Architecture Within a Societal Context Essay by Research Group

Architecture Within a Societal Context
Several buildings and city designs from various ages are evaluated within the context of their society and period.
# 25876 | 1,324 words | 1 source | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on May 02, 2003 in Architecture (Buildings) , Architecture (History)

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Apart from possessing a functional and ornamental value, architecture also tells the story about the character and the culture of a society, thus reflecting the spirit of the people and the age. The paper shows that the architecture that is most representative of a society consists of ordinary and drab buildings. Although they cannot be considered esthetically pleasing to the eye, their value rests in their reflection of the reality of the ordinary people. The paper evaluates several buildings and cities such as Ancient Greek cities, the Great Mosque of Kairawan and the city of Chicago. It shows the important role architecture plays in every society, not only because it reflects the society of its time, but also because it has the power to influence the people.

From the Paper:

"As a part of the City Beautiful Movement started to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America, Chicago was transformed by Daniel Burnham who was appointed director of the project. The transformation included the creation of a lakefront park system, an inner harbor and a civic center. According to Burnham, the redevelopment of the city served an important purpose in creating uniformity and order against the chaotic development of a city affected by massive immigration of people with different cultures. Thus, to him, the orderly city would reinforce an American order over the diversity of cultures (Kostof 671). However, in this case, the City Beautiful Movement failed because it was more concerned with the aesthetic ideal than the lives of the people in the city. The City Beautiful Movement limited itself to changing public facilities, but did not seek to improve the housing needs of the poor. Therefore, it produced architecture that was divorced from the actual reality of the ordinary people it sought to represent."

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