architecture

Squire Whipple – The Father of the Iron Bridge

Squire Whipple – The Father of the Iron Bridge

On September 16, 1804, US-American civil engineer Squire Whipple was born. He who provided the first scientifically based rules for bridge construction and has become known as the father of iron bridge building in America. The Civil Engineer Squire Whipple was born in Hardwick, Massachusetts in 1804 the son of a farmer. He was exposed to construction sites and materials from early age, since his father designed, built and ran a cotton-spinning…
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El Escorial – The World’s largest Renaissance Building

El Escorial – The World’s largest Renaissance Building

On September 13, 1584, the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 45 kilometers northwest of the Spanish capital, Madrid, is finished. El Escorial is the world largest Renaissance building. The Rubble Heap After Philip II of Spain defeated the French King Henry II in the Battle of Saint-Quentin on August 10, 1557, the feast of St. Lawrence (Spanish: San Lorenzo), he vowed to build a monastery in honor of…
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Louis Henry Sullivan – the ‘Father’ of the Skyscaper

Louis Henry Sullivan – the ‘Father’ of the Skyscaper

On September 3, 1856, American architect Louis Henry Sullivan was born. Sullivan is identified with the aesthetics and innovation of early skyscraper design. He is also often referred to as  the “Father of Modernism”. “No complete architecture has yet appeared in the history of the world because men, in this form of art alone, have obstinately sought to express themselves solely in terms either of the head or of the heart.” –…
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The Great Exhibition and the Crystal Palace

The Great Exhibition and the Crystal Palace

On May, 1st, 1851, Queen Victoria opened the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, which was the first in a series of World’s Fair exhibitions of culture and industry. A special building, nicknamed The Crystal Palace, a gigantic cast-iron and plate-glass building, was built to house the show on its 92,000 square meters of exhibition space to display examples of the latest technology developed in the Industrial Revolution. If you…
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The Broughton Suspension Bridge and the Resonance Disaster

The Broughton Suspension Bridge and the Resonance Disaster

On April 12, 1831, the Broughton Suspension bridge collapsed, reportedly due to mechanical resonance induced by troops marching in step. But, also wind can be the cause for mechanical resonance which leads to disaster, such as for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940. But, also buildings can be affected, such as the 39-story shopping mall called the “Techno-Mart” in Seoul, Korea, that had to be evacuated because of people synchronously exercising Tae Bo. The…
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Living as a Work of Art – Henry van de Velde and Art Nouveau

Living as a Work of Art – Henry van de Velde and Art Nouveau

On April 3, 1863, Belgian painter, architect, and interior designer Henry van de Velde was born. Together with Victor Horta and Paul Hankar, he is considered one of the founders of Art Nouveau in Belgium. Van de Velde spent the most important part of his career in Germany and became a major figure in the German Jugendstil. He had a decisive influence on German architecture and design at the beginning of the…
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Leo von Klenze and the Greek Revival Style

Leo von Klenze and the Greek Revival Style

On February 29, 1784, German neoclassicist architect, painter and writer Leo von Klenze was born. Court architect of Bavarian King Ludwig I, Leo von Klenze was one of the most prominent representatives of Greek revival style. Among his famous buildings are amongst others the Glyptothek in Munich, the New Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, or the Walhalla temple near Regensburg. Early Years Klenze was born in Buchladen, near Schladen, Lower Saxonia, Germany, to…
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Balthasar Neumann – Refining Baroque Architecture

Balthasar Neumann – Refining Baroque Architecture

On January 27, 1687, German architect and military artillery engineer Balthasar Neumann was born. Neumann developed a refined brand of Baroque architecture, fusing Austrian, Bohemian, Italian, and French elements to design some of the most impressive buildings of the period, including the Würzburg Residence and the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers (called Vierzehnheiligen in German). By the way, it’s about time to write about Balthasar Neumann, since he has built several…
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The Vegetal Designs of Victor Horta, Pioneer of Art Nouveau

The Vegetal Designs of Victor Horta, Pioneer of Art Nouveau

On January 6, 1861, Belgian architect and designer Victor Horta was born. Horta is one of the founders of the Art Nouveau movement. The curving stylized vegetal forms that Horta used influenced many others, including architect Hector Guimard, who used it in the first house he designed in Paris and in the entrances he designed for the Paris Metro. He is also considered a precursor of modern architecture for his open floor…
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William Burges and a Medieval Revival in Architecture

William Burges and a Medieval Revival in Architecture

On December 2, 1827, English architect and designer William Burges was born. Burges sought in his work to escape from both nineteenth-century industrialisation and the Neoclassical architectural style and re-establish the architectural and social values of a utopian medieval England. Burges stands within the tradition of the Gothic Revival, his works echoing those of the Pre-Raphaelites and heralding those of the Arts and Crafts movement. “Use a good strong thick bold line…
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