Norman Architecture

Norman Architecture, named so due to its roots in Normandy, arose in the Middle Ages. It began in the early 11th century and ended by the 12th century, following the Saxon architectural movement and preceding the Gothic movement. Norman architecture is a form of the prevailing Romanesque Architecture that was propagated by the Normans (or Vikings) who conquered England. Its development gave rise to large and impenetrable cathedrals, fortresses, castles, and fortifications.

The archetypal monastery building arose during this movement, with its squat buildings that were either rectangular or circular. For instance, the renowned abbey Mont-Saint-Michel was built in the Norman era. In fact, the majority of Norman Architecture is religious structures, from village churches to royal cathedrals. A hallmark of Norman churches is their cross-like shape, deriving from the Roman basilica pattern. These churches also had bell towers, or campaniles, which were built nearby the main church buildings.

The quintessential medieval castles are also a distinctly Norman innovation. They arose not only in England but also in Scotland, Ireland, Normandy, and even Italy. In Italy, however, Norman features were combined with Byzantine and Arabic styles, which made for less gloominess.

Norman Architecture is actually an outgrowth of Romanesque Architecture, which began in Lombardy, Italy. Romanesque derives much of its architecture from classic Roman styles, such as arches, vaults, columns, and arcades. It greatly utilized the rounded arch, a Roman invention. It also used a great variety of vault styles. The prevailing type was the barrel vault, a curved vault used widely in cloisters.

The building materials used in Norman Architecture mainly included stones, so as to give the buildings greater stability. These stones were uncut because there were no real architectural jobs, such as mason jobs, in the Norman era. Therefore, buildings were made up of large, irregularly shaped stones that contributed to their bulky look.

Norman roofs were vaulted, like their Roman predecessors. Vaults allowed for more balanced weight distribution across the roof. Norman buildings’ adornment was minimal, though some architects used their chisels to carve a series of arches into walls. These were not actual arches, but carvings giving a trompe de l’oeil effect. Moreover, some architects carved moldings onto stone surfaces. A minority of architects even became so adroit with their chisel that they sculpted animals onto reliefs over doorways, or tympanums. Arches and columns were also minimally decorated elements. As the Norman movement reached its peak in the 12th century, however, it gave rise to more ornamentation. This ornamentation gradually culminated in the first stained glass windows in the 12th century, directly before the Gothic Architecture took hold.

Norman Architecture is additionally distinguished by very small windows. Before the Gothic movement, architects avoided installing large windows because it increased the chances of building collapse. Therefore, people who resided in Norman buildings were in extremely dim surroundings, using candles as their only source of light. It wasn’t until the Gothic period that architects safely installed huge windows to let in an enormous quantity of light, giving cathedrals their celestial quality.

Yet, Romanesque and Norman Architecture also blazed new trails by installing much taller buildings, such as castles and cathedrals, which were the largest structures in Europe at that point. These buildings were usually square and inhabited by guards who worked as night watchmen, scanning the surrounding landscape for intruders.

With these taller buildings came much denser walls to give the needed support to these great heights. Inside these buildings, there were also large columns that bolstered structural support. These walls would become much thinner with the advent of flying buttresses, which arose in the Gothic movement.

One of England’s first pieces of Norman Architecture was London’s Westminster Abbey. Though this structure is now largely Gothic, it began as a Norman construction. Many Gothic structures, in fact, began as Norman buildings that were later elaborated on by Gothic architects. Many central towers (keeps) on castle and cathedral grounds were also Norman. These square, dense-walled structures were used as dungeons as well as defense fortresses. The Tower of London (also called the White Tower), which served as the royal dungeon, is another penultimate example of Norman Architecture. Like all Romanesque buildings, it was tall in its day, reaching about 90 feet high. It also contained extremely thick walls, spanning about 15 feet wide, to support that height. It is, like many Romanesque buildings, a fortress-like building.

While Gothic Architecture produced extremely tall, magnificent structures, these structures were essentially continuations of Norman Architecture. Gothic Architecture utilized pointed arches rather than Norman rounded arches, along with ribbed vaults that were combinations of Norman barrel vaults. Therefore, Gothic Architecture as we know it may not have taken place without its grounding in Norman Architecture.

Today, most people immediately associate Norman and Romanesque architectural styles with the fairy-tale medieval period. Architects have learned that these castles and cathedrals were not so much royal residences as densely armed fortifications. In truth, most Norman structures have been the sites of much bloodshed and suffering. The “Dark Ages,” by which the Middle Ages was alternately known, may have been due in part to the dimness of Norman buildings, as a result of their extremely small windows.

Today’s architects are not rebuilding Norman Architecture, except for historical reproduction purposes. Church builders, moreover, take more inspiration from the Gothic period than any other architectural period. However, most architects certainly regard the Norman movement as an architectural watershed. Norman Architecture realized unsurpassed heights and first renewed the magnificence of classical styles. Though taking place in a dark period, it manifested the collective desire to reawaken human greatness, as people perceived it in classical architecture. Part of Norman Architecture’s legacy was to have passed on this desire in large measure to the succeeding Renaissance era.

A. Harrison Barnes is the founder and CEO of EmploymentScape, the parent company of more than 90 job-search websites, employment services, recruiting firms and student loan companies. EmploymentScape (originally Juriscape) employs several hundred employees in 14 offices throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. These companies were literally started from Harrison’s garage several years ago after Harrison quit his job.

Harrison has worked for the United States Department of Justice, a federal district judge and the law firms of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges and Dewey Ballantine. After three years of practice, Harrison founded Juriscape, under which he developed a collection of industry-specific job-search websites that revolutionized the way job seekers access employment postings from around the world. Harrison and his companies began serving the legal industry with BCG Attorney Search and LawCrossing. Following on the success of those endeavors, the company soon broadened its range to include the 90+ EmploymentCrossing websites, each specific to a particular industry or field. Juriscape changed its name to EmploymentScape in 2007 to reflect the company’s broadening focus.

In addition to the EmploymentCrossing websites, EmploymentScape employs top job recruiters nationwide and offers resume development and distribution services through EmploymentAuthority and LegalAuthority.

Harrison’s latest venture is Hound.com. Using technology that took two years to develop, Hound is able to pull job listings from company sites throughout the world, giving its members the best opportunities to find and apply to jobs.

Harrison resides in Malibu, California. He is a sought-after motivational speaker [http://www.aharrisonbarnes.com/speaking-coaching-and-workshop-fees] and writes articles relating to the legal community. Harrison is an active philanthropist and advocate for people reaching their full potential in their careers. Given his passion for job seekers and them reaching their full ability, Harrison recently started offering a limited number of coaching engagements to job seekers.

The Emerging Architecture

Architecture is the art of designing and constructing buildings and other physical structures. Architecture is as old as human history because it is the basic need of a human being. Architecture symbolizes the history, culture, traditions, technology and climate of the nation. In primitive ages man was used to live in caves but with the passage of time trends changed. As “necessity is the mother of invention” human beings started to make houses made up of stones to protect themselves from extreme climatic conditions and also from wild animals. New innovations and new trends prevailed and human beings started to make houses with bricks made up of mud, then they started baking these bricks to make them much stronger to protect themselves from other natural disasters.

Till now, many of the artists and great philosophers have defined architecture but it has no static definition. It is the art which is directly concerned with all human beings because a man rather rich or poor, tall or short or may live in any part of the world has to face architecture in his lifetime. It can’t be avoided rather we like it or not. William Morris defined architecture as the “molding and altering to the human needs of the very face of the earth itself.” According to John Rustin, it is the art for all to learn because all are concerned with it. It is affected by climate, culture, technology and needs of the society. Architecture of a nation highly depicts the taste of its people. Architecture is also considered as frozen music. Sir Henry Watson says that architecture is commodity, firmness and delight.

Greek architecture is considered as most primitive architecture and long lasting too. In Greek architecture mostly Parthenon (Parthenon of Athens) and temples are included. This is also considered as one of the wonders of the world. Greeks mostly used stone carvings and the philosophy behind all their architecture is to make some place for worship. Ancient architecture mostly include stone carving, wood carving and most of the construction work is done by human hand which made it so unique. Most of the buildings are symmetrical where repetition of design and patterns can be seen. Similarly Roman, Gothic, Egyptian and Indian architecture is an elegant example of ancient architecture. It tells us all about the culture, climate and traditions of these civilizations. It seems that much hard work and struggle has been exerted to build these buildings. Materials used in these buildings are mostly natural like stone, marble, sand, wood etc. Repetition of ideas and materials could be seen in ancient architecture because of the lack of technology.

With the passage of time new inventions in the field of technology, chemistry and many other scientific fields are done. Many of the new materials have been introduced by the architects and chemists produced artificially at low cost. Today’s architecture is the blend of structuralism, formalism, high technology, expressionism and neo expressionism. Fast growing industries and professionalism give birth to modern architecture which is simple less ornamental but maximum people-oriented. Modern architecture is rich in inspiration and abstract ideas behind it. With the increasing complexity in architecture it is further divided into various branches. Environmental hazards are most hot issue today that’s why architects are trying to create designs which are environment friendly. Many of the architects gave stress on green building sustainable designs among them Sim Van der Ryn (1960), Ian Mc Harg (1970) UK and Brenda and Robert Vale from UK and New Zea land are most famous. Architects are now designing building which are self-sufficient in all energy demands. Dynamic Towers is the famous modern building which is good example of sustainable architecture which will be powered by water turbines and solar panels to fulfill its energy requirements.

In short, architecture whether good or bad has great impact on our lives. It is the symbol of the strength and progress of the nation but the architecture must be aesthetically pleasing and environment friendly to save our planet earth and to mold its face in a beautiful manner. Many trends have been passed away and many will come but its only purpose is to provide shelter for human beings and to create the world where they can live with peace and tranquility.

Tuscan Architecture

Tuscan architecture combines modern and classic elements that make up pure Old World Europe. The beauty of architecture Tuscan style comes from the typical custom crafted natural stone. This includes limestone, travertine and marble. Terracotta floor and roof tiles are often used to give the antique feel. In Tuscan architecture, wooden beams are often refurbished from Tuscan farmhouses.

Tuscany architecture involves fine Italian building materials that create beautiful marble fireplaces, wrought iron gates and amazing fountains.

Integrating Tuscan elements brings a sense of Old-World charm and mystique to indoor and outdoor aspects of your home.

Exterior architecture typically include:

Tile roof Wrought iron front door entrance Walls covered with vines Crumbling stone walls that outline patios and walkways Beautiful travertine cobblestone driveways Brick or stone set garden paving Tuscan Landscape : Lavender, rosemary and sage can be found surrounding a Tuscan style home. Old lemon pots and antique jars give the feel of a Tuscany garden .

Interior architecture typically include:

Walls: Plaster walls with hand painted wall treatments. Usage of warm colors that represent the rolling hills of Tuscany bring the feel of basking under the Tuscan sun! Mediterranean decor involves subtle earth tones. These are standard in French Country decorating.

Ceilings: Textured richly. Stenciled borders can be found along the ceilings. Paneled or vaulted ceilings are a typical choice in decor as it creates pure Tuscany architectural framework. Wooden or chestnut beams provide a rustic feel to the Old World style home.

Floor: Glass, stone and tile are often used to create amazing mosaic art for flooring, which works well with table tops. Terracotta tiles, marble and ceramic flooring marks true Tuscany home decor. Selection of marbles that blend nicely with your Tuscan color palette.

Gothic Architecture and Design – Cathedrals and Buildings

Gothic architecture was first used in cathedrals in France during the 12th and 13th century. The Cathedral Basilica of St.Denis is one of the most famous examples of a Gothic cathedral created during the medieval period. Abbot Suger (1081-1151) a French historian and Gothic architect, was the mind behind its creation. Suger’s inspirations came from travels to the east where pointed arches, varying colours and detailed patterns were used.

Traditionally, monks were the architects that designed churches in France, and often their creations were basic and practical. However; as powers in France increased there was also an increased desire to create symbols of religion and authority that were grand and spacious. Out of this need emerged concepts in Gothic architecture and design.

One of the first changes Gothic architecture brought to cathedral design was a change in vaulting. Architects worked on how to substitute a stone vault for a wooden roof, while incorporating the use of intersecting stone ribs. That lead to the development of expanded of windows, the use of flying buttresses for support, and the use of slender piers.

Gothic windows covered almost the entire wall surface and had varied designs with delicate stone decorations.The thick and heavy walls traditionally used in Romanesque cathedrals to create stability were abandoned and walls were made thinner and used as an active skeleton that integrated arches, piers and buttresses.

During the medieval period cathedrals were built in two forms: Romanesque and Gothic. Romanesque cathedrals had a few distinctive features. Firstly, the buildings used rounded arches for structure support. The rounded top of these arches exuded an increased force onto the cathedral walls, and thus the walls had to be thick for support. Additionally, buttresses were added along the side of the outer walls as support. Due to the thickness of the walls around the base of arches and the obstruction of the buttresses, windows could only be placed near the top of the walls and were small in size. Only smaller windows could be places along the lower sides of the walls, if they were even placed at all. The overall structures in these cathedrals resembled that of a fortress.

Gothic cathedrals created structures that managed structure forces differently. Gothic architects used flying buttresses to support cathedral arches. Basically, this meant that rather than placing the buttress directly next to the arch wall for support, the buttress was attached to the wall with a smaller connecting arch arm, creating support for the walls and rounded arches. This displaced the force from the arch walls and buttress to the foundation. Because of the space the flying buttress created between the walls and the supporting buttresses, windows could be placed lower on walls where the sun could enter and could also be made larger.Additionally, pointed arches were used as opposed to rounded for increased roof support.

Gothic architecture in cathedrals became the art of erecting buildings with stone vaults and thin walls, whose ribs intersected (concentration of load) and whose thrusts were supported by flying buttresses (the grounding of the thrusts). The downward and outward thrust of the vaulting was met by an equivalent resistance in buttress and solid earth, resulting in an equilibrium from well-adjusted opposing forces.

Although many think Gothic architecture was mainly concerned with elaborate design and heavy ornamentation, in actuality Gothic architecture emerged as a response to structural need with sound engineering. All forms of decoration came as an after thought to the practical designs. Gothic masters of work often said “nothing which is inherently needed could be ugly.” Gothic cathedrals sought to create larger buildings with increased support while doing away with blank walls and solid bland surfaces. Interestingly, modern copies of Gothic architecture tend to ignore the original engineering intent of the structures and often place a heavy emphasis on decoration.