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History of Architecture and Design (Essay Sample)


What was architecturally innovative about the Pantheon in Rome? The essay must include at least 3 carefully chosen images that support your writing. Bibliography: min 3 books, 2 websites


History of Architecture and Design
The building of the Pantheon in Rome signifies the emergence of the architectural designs practices in Italy. The design and construction of buildings has always relied on the ability of an architect to graphically visualize and present their ideas using a variety of different media. Architects formulate and refine artistic, spatial and functional concepts through drawings, sketches, and models, whereby they rely on their personal artistic skills and preferences to accomplish this (MacDonald, 2002).
The Pantheon construction was invented around 25 BC although the demonstration of innovative architectural advancement is traced from the works of Emperor Hadrian in 127 AD. The advancement in arts and architecture of the Pantheon helped to revolutionize the world of architecture in the years that followed (DuTemple, 2003). The architectural works in the Pantheon also liberated architecture from the technological and aesthetic constraints imposed by Gothic traditions.
The Pantheon is a distinguished invention of linear perspective that officiated a new architectural representation method in a three-dimensional space. This innovation opened up new venues for artistic and architectural expression. However, the need for architectural revolution was not the main reason behind the planning and construction of the Pantheon. The design resulting to the building of the Pantheon was to symbolize the universe of earth and the gods. Opulent cathedrals such as the Pantheon were built “for” god(s), while buildings and monuments were largely built in lieu of the emperors. The Pantheon is an example of Roman opulent cathedral built for the roman pagan gods (MacDonald, 2002). The dreams of the Roman emperors to bring the entire world under Roman rule by demonstration of their financial and political powers through such buildings is the other motivation behind the construction of the building.
The Pantheon Innovation
The Pantheon is a complex structure that was initially constructed in 25 BC by Marcus Agrippa in about 125 AD. Domitian then rebuilt the building but it was then burned down destroyed again in 110 AD. Emperor Hadrian then begun to rebuild it again in 127AD. Hadrian altered the building drastically by adding a colossus dome which makes the building a supreme architectural achievement of Hadrian in Rome. However, the works of all these Emperors who were involved in the reconstruction of Pantheon are not attributed the most architectural credit as that credited to Agrippa. Agrippa was involved in the inscription of the building on the architrave (DuTemple, 2003). The structure is still today uncontested and one of the most conserved buildings of the Imperial Rome.

Style and Architectural Form
There are several amazing features that showcase the innovation about the building. Looking first at style and architectural form of the Pantheon, feature domed roofs and drum-like supporting walls as illustrated in the image below. The Pantheon has three rows of pillars that support the triangular pediment of the building. These pillars are eight across the front and four pillars in two rows behind (DuTemple, 2003). The Pantheon is also characterized of a triangular pediment with Roman inscriptions that sits on 16 gigantic Corinthian columns. The columns are 5 feet wide, 40 feet tall, and over 80 tons each. These columns were carved from a single granite piece and shipped from Egypt to Italy. The Pantheon drum is also free from adornment.

The Interior Design
The Roman Pantheon constructed as a temple to the Romanian pagan gods, such as Diana (goddess of the Moon) and Apollo (God of the Sun) is associated to the interior design of the building (Castex, 2008). The dome features of the building consist of the oculus which is an opening at the apex of the building. The innovative aspect of this is that the dome is open to the elements while the building itself is solid and not opens to the elements. During the storms, the rain that falls through the oculus is fetched and a drained below the floor handles. The dome also features the coffers which are the sunken panels of 5 rings of 28. The coffers are evenly aligned in spread out layout which must have difficult to achieve and thus innovative applications that is presumed to symbolize geometric, numerical or lunar (MacDonald, 2002).
The unifying theme of the interior design of the Pantheon is represented by the circles and squares form of the building. The checkerboard floor pattern is different from the concentric circles design of the square coffers located in the dome. Each section of the interior, starting from the floor all the way to the ceiling is subdivided into different scheme. This makes the interior decorative zones to unstreak. The overall effect of the Pantheon is direct viewer orientation from the major the building’s axis (DuTemple, 2003).

The weakness
The weakness in the Pantheon is firm in its cylindrical space which is covered by a hemispherical dome. This cylindrical space is inherently ambiguous a discordance that was not apprecia...
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