Visual Delight

The Greeks were the first to employ architects instead of priests for the design of its religious temples and since then the trends would be different. In the 5th century BC, Iktinos and Kallikrates erected the Parthenon, a solemn monument whose appearance departed from the repetition of preset shapes to become a striking showcase of art, refinement and good taste. However, it has not always been so. Impressive as the Egyptian pyramids, the Japanese pagodas and other temples erected by the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians and Hindus were merely symbolic, conceived and oriented in response to religious beliefs. Its profuse external decoration was opposed to the manifest absence of internal space. This active participation of the first great architects introduced profound changes that the Romans took full advantage.

It was the beginning of an era that John Portman, another professional of our days, has stated eloquently: the architects of antiquity tended to conceive their buildings as objects static, but believe that the dynamics of people, their interaction with the spaces and the environment is more important. This notion was that more than 2,000 years ago moved to the pioneers Vitruvius and Frontinus to design drawings of the aqueducts of the capital of the Roman Empire. Later followed other works combining form and space with architecture and engineering. Basilicas, circuses, fora, theatres and resorts not only distinguished other important as Severus, Rabirius, Celer architects and Greek Apollodorus of Damascus, but also promoted construction on a large scale in a way that endures to the present day: the dome or cupola. During the Christian Rome building churches gave rise to majestic enclosures vaulted with a great interior space. The domes were also distinctive both Islamic mosques and churches of the Byzantine Empire, among which stands the Basilica of Hagia Sophia, work of Artemio de Tralles and Isidoro de Mileto. The architects at the end of the middle ages they were accomplished architects of the Gothic style, represented by a fertile imagination that gave utmost preponderance to the structure above the aesthetics.