ARCH 221 Report: The Hellenistic Realm

erechtheum-porch-caryatidsDuring the Hellenistic period, architecture emphasized on decoration rather than function. In this term, the Greek continued to build temples , but also began to build a lot of other types of large public buildings. The architecture is similar to Hellenistic sculpture, focused on theatrically, drama and the experience of the viewer.

The Doric order was abandoned because it was considered too formal. On the contrary, the architectural style of the Ionic order, being more decorative and elegant, was preferred to suit the aesthetics of the Hellenistic period. They was put their wealth on display for all to see; building elaborate palaces and commissioning art sculptures and extravagant jewelry. Public spaces and temples were created with the people in mind, and so were built on a new monumental scale. They were constructed on larger scale in more ambitious configuration and complexity.

On the other hand, classical temple was self-contained and active. They had a relation with nature and built which gave it scale. One of the famous temples in this term was temple of Apollo. Unlike a typical Ionic and Doric temple, the plan of the Temple of Apollo consists of a temple within a temple. Normally, a temple’s foundation will lie on a more or less consistent horizontal plane. As one approaches this temple, the stairs in the center of the east side are marked off as the entrance.

When we look at the determinants of city form, the structure of grid maintained its importance in this term. Besides that, plan of the hilly site was given importance and based on the vertical, three dimensional alliance of major building groups. The cities of that period had the main gate, acting this as the threshold between the nature and  the urban landscape. The monumental public buildings contributing both the rural population as well as those living within the city’s walls, constituted the urban landscape.


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