WHAT IS ARCHITECTURE?
“...the art of shaping space to human needs and
-JANSON, History of Art
The unique patterns from the Parthenon, Colosseum, and Notre Dame are the primary sources
for architectural styles throughout western civilization. Explore these
structures to discover their influences on Savannah's built environment.
A SYMBOL ENDURES
The Doric order temple known as the Parthenon, built in honor of the
Goddess Athena, is considered the epitome of Classical Greece's art and
This Greek capital of the Corinthian order dates from the period
of Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) On loan from the Telfair Academy of Arts
and Sciences, this was brought as ballast to Savannah and thrown on the bank as
the ship loaded cotton and naval stores. Part of a pair, the capitals was the
gift to the Telfair of Harris M. King Jr., in memory of his father, who
recognized their worth when he found them.
COLUMNS AND CAPITALS
As eye-catching as they are, columns in antiquity (the past) were more
than just visual decoration. Columns supported beams, arches, or other building parts above
them, distributing the weight to the structural elements beneath them. Still,
people blended art into architecture, and columns are classified into three
styles based in large on their capitals:
Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian
Ready to top a column?
Turn the pieces to create one of the three types of column capitals.
THE ARCH IN ARCHITECTURE
Spanning long spaces while supporting weight, arches made
possible the Colosseum as well as other
architectural innovations. The Romans
were the first to use arches extensively, and a
variety of arch forms developed later. The Roman arch features a semi-circular arch. The pointed top of the Gothic arch is stronger because of the lines of compression.
Flattened, somewhat pointed
Tudor arches allowed for even larger openings.
Turn the panels to create complete arches.
YOU'RE PART OF THE CROWD!
The Colosseum was built to display architectural and
construction prowess and to honor its creators. It was also a crowd-control
masterpiece still emulated by sports stadiums today.
While Savannah has a style all her own, it comprises distinct
influences from these three primary sources: the Parthenon in Ancient Greece,
the Colosseum in Ancient Rome, and the Cathedral of Norte Dame in France. Architects and researchers track adaptations, evolutions, and
even revolutions in the way buildings are constructed and decorated. Styles,
the collection of similar attributes, are thus designated. Each style is
anchored within a bracket of date, during which it was at the leading edge of
MATCH THE STYLES OF ARCHITECTURE!
Pure examples of a single architectural style are rare, but the Savannah structures whose photos appear on this rail
exhibit key characteristics that place them in a specific style category.
Match the photos of Savannah structures to the style on the
rail. If it sticks, you are correct! If it does not stick, try again!
BUILDING YOUR VOCABULARY
Every art form and science discipline, including architecture,
has its own set of particular words and vocabulary. Architecture, both an art
and science, uses words and phrases with agreed-upon meanings to describe
structural components that help compare its many styles.
Turn the wheels to learn new terms!