Roman Revival Vs Gothic Revival Analysis

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Architecture does not come out of nowhere. Architects always absorb knowledge from a certain typology that they favor in the past, digest the knowledge and apply them to their own design. It is significant that architects carry classical ideas throughout generations in order to project designs in their ages powerfully, and leave heritage for next generation. During 18th and 19th century, several classical revivals occurred in America. Due to the increasing demands of housing and the eagerness of finding the identity of American architecture, domestic architecture emerged from “non-designed” to professionally designed work. Two major ones were Roman Revival verses Gothic Revival. Led by Thomas Jefferson (Figure 1) and his own estate Monticello, …show more content…
With enormous sources about architecture came from Europe to America, “architects” learned and applied them differently. Some were called “the untutored folk builders” who only followed the builders’ handbook repeating traditions. Some “master builders” , on the contrary, ditched the traditions completely to build out without foundation knowledge. Neither of them were as successful as “the gentleman amateurs” , who learned from classical styles, and applied them in ways that best fit the local context of the time. Thomas Jefferson successfully learned from elaborate drawings of Pantheon by Andrea Palladio, invented his own Pantheon- Monticello- in Charlottesville, Virginia, which in 1987 with the nearby University of Virginia, also designed by Jefferson, were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. His success required not only his devotion of architecture, but his understanding of culture identities behind the architecture and architects that he learned from. He preferred Roman culture that, in his opinion, could project an American democracy that the new country should head for. Among many talented minds, he was the one who first imagined an identity of American …show more content…
In his The Four Books on Architecture, he stated his will to build “well and gracefully” . He found himself deeply attracted to Vitruvius’s perfect geometry and proportion. “…finding myself moved and inflamed by my profound studies of Virtu of this type and having, with the highest hopes, applied all my powers of thought to it, I also set myself the task of writing about the essential principles that must be followed by all intelligent men eager to build well and gracefully, and beyond that to illustrate through drawings many of those buildings that I have seen up till now.” This also explained his inclination to pass on his perspective of perfect architecture to architects later on by writing The Four Books on Architecture. His Book I was on preparations, foundations, materials, and the description of the orders of architecture. Then he discussed complete dwellings, starting with the Greeks and Roman private house, and illustrating how his own designs adapted such precedents in his Book II. Book III was about public works, also balanced between ancient examples and his own work, while Book IV focused on ancient sacred architecture, such as the temples of

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