Architecture basic glossary.

Some words I came across in architecture talk that aren’t exactly commonly used, at least not in my vocabulary.

  • Cyclopean: Huge, gargantuan, large, grand… probably on a more intimidating level then anything else.
  • Non-Euclidean: If something is designed to be non-euclidean then it is comprised of shapes not commonly seen as part of building designs. The geometry would be nonsensical to the human eye. Spires and cones would jut out of uneven surfaces with wave like patterns perhaps. Think about the lack of parallel lines.
  • Art Deco: Very geometric and bold in it’s design. With parallel lines.
  • Art Nouveau: The new art movement thought to show off the creative skills of the artisans and builders of the time. Featuring more organic, smooth and curved building designs. Including faces and various carvings.
  • German Expressionism: Early influence of film noir, black and white designs, very stark images. Exaggerated effects, low lights and long shadows.

Must also take into account the creative styles of the various eras.

  • Roman designs include a lot of pillars and archways, they took a lot of designs from the Greeks. They liked to show off the grandness of their halls and buildings, a lot of the Roman Warmachine was reflected in the architecture. To tell a story and warn the locals that if their rule is resisted then bad things will happen.
  • Egyptian buildings all tend to a feature a flattened out pyramid shape with blocky and quadrangle archways. The pillars are similar to roman design but are more stocky and shorter.
  • Russian and Arabic share similar designs with pillars and large cylinder shaped buildings that all end with an onion dome like shape on the top. The Russian cathedrals are very grand and colourful, dominating the skyline. Late middle-age Arabic architecture featured no humans or animals in the designs, just simple repeating and floral patterns.
  • Japanese and Chinese architecture also share some similarities, however, the Japanese go for a more understated look in their roof designs. Whereas the Chinese have a far more elaborate design, using bold reds and dragon shapes on the beams.
  • Viking, Medieval and Tudor: As the Vikings fell out of existence, their designs could still be seen in the Normans as time went on, from the cross beams in the grand halls, to the long boats and the embroidered tunics. Tudor housing is known for it’s iconic white walls and black beams, though it didn’t originally look that way, it’s just been shaped that way now by revivalists.
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Architecture basic glossary.

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