Colonial Architecture in Vietnam

Vietnam was under French rule in the 19th century; France left Vietnam but left their mark in the form of buildings in many places, especially Hanoi. France began by destroying old buildings and building new ones in their place. The French want to give a European look and that is why buildings are built in European patterns. Even today you can see the streets filled with trees on both sides, villas and mansions with yellow stones and some very impressive buildings; all the wonderful features of French architecture. To adapt to the new area, some local features were included in the building style but French influence was dominant.

The Presidential Palace in Hanoi is probably the grandest French Colonial structure. Built somewhere between 1900 and 1906, the Presidential Palace serves as the residence of the Governor-General of the French Indochina. The building is made of yellow stone and guarded by wrought iron gates. This is quite impressive and very European with mango trees on the grounds to be the only local factor. The interior also has renaissance features such as impressive quoins, columns and stairs. The palace was renovated in 1990 and currently serves as a place for government meetings. Only a large area and a beautiful Presidential Palace garden can be seen by the public (entrance fees are charged).

Built in 1886, Cathedral of Saint Joseph is another beautiful example of French colonial architecture. Stained glass windows that give rise to different colors of color when light falls on them and tall towers are some of the features found in cathedrals in Europe. The church still holds the masses with thousands of worshipers.

The date of construction of the Hanoi Opera House was recorded as 1911 although it could have been built earlier. Built in a pattern similar to the Opera House in France. The grandeur and beauty of this building cannot be described. French neo-classical patterns such as wrought iron balconies, tiles and closed windows dominate the yellow pointed exterior. An impressive entrance is a column feature and a wrought iron balcony overlooking the city. The Opera House was renovated in 1990 and with a seating capacity of 900 people; it continues to entertain people. To see the building from the inside, you need to buy a ticket for the show.

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.

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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.