Trabeation | Why Buildings Look Like They Do, pt.3 – The Amalgam

In the beginning humans carved away stone for shelter. Eventually they built. And some of their structures were created for spiritual purposes. Around the 26th century BC three pyramids at Giza in Egypt were built as a sacred burial place for three Pharaohs. The pyramids were made from 2.5ton limestone blocks. In about the same period Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, England, was constructed. It’s not as grand as the pyramids but it was a harbinger of one of the most influential building advances known to man called trabeation or post and lintel construction.

About 2000 years after the pyramids were built in Egypt the Greeks were constructing temples on a large rock outcropping in Athens we now call the Acropolis. One of those buildings was the Parthenon, and inside stood a 40 foot tall sculpture of the Goddess Athena. Although the Parthenon isn’t the first structure of its kind it could be viewed as a historic architectural amalgam and thus symbolic beginning to form and detail in architecture. The structure employs trabeation a readily applied strategy by civilization henceforth to create openings and open space in buildings.

The five classical Roman orders were based on the Greeks original three. The Roman architect Vitruvius wrote them in the Ten Books on Architecture around 15 BC. They are the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite.


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