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ARCHITECTURAL

COMPREHENSIVE
COURSE

PREPARED BY:

MARTINO, MARIEL PAZ R.

BS IN ARCHITECTURE

INSTRUCTOR:

AR. CHRISTOPHER MAGRATA


THE ROLE OF HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE IN DESIGN

History of architecture is a vast subject, but is an indispensable and invaluable key to


understand architecture. Architecture has always been very close to civilization's development.
In fact, we can see architecture as a mirror, reflecting civilizations changes, advancements and
hopes throughout history. The same applies to other forms of art and culture, but architecture,
since it is not only a form of art but also catering to fundamental human needs, can sometimes
be a deeper portrait of what happened in a certain place at a certain time.

By studying history of architecture, we not only study history of civilizations, but, since
architecture is a coherent chain of events, styles, tendencies, beliefs and techniques, we also
gain a direct understanding of how and why architecture is made today, and clues to how
architecture can be tomorrow.

4 semesters, 12 units, 216 hours of studying History of Architecture; from prehistoric to


medieval, to modern, to Asian and Islamic and to Philippine Architecture, we covered all of
there is to study the history of our past. The different types of architecture, prehistoric to
gothic; the styles in architecture, classical to high tech/post modern; the architecture of the
Islam to those of the South East Asia; and the study of our own Philippine Architecture, with its
prehistoric era and all other influences until the design of our churches went from Classical to
Romanesque to Gothic to Baroque to Rococo and lastly, to Mudejar.

Draw on the past – why the history of architecture is important to its future

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”, Winston Churchill said.
It’s important that we learn from the past – both what worked, and what didn’t. Millennia of
engineering and architecture provide a rich databank of useful inspiration.

Preserve the past and Study the classics

The past is a rich source of fuel for the imagination. Whether we’re drawing inspiration
from the beautiful art of the recent past, learning what works in great design, or simply taking
note of mistakes that should never be repeated, the last ten or more millennia have a lot to
offer the inquisitive architect.

The Roman architect and engineer Vitruvius, in the very first book devoted to
architecture De architectura, says that architectural education in the Ancient World had two
aspects: theoretical which is mainly related to the principles of proportion and practical which
is included the manual skills or the actual exercises of building. A wide knowledge of theory and
history of architecture is also requisite for an architect who should be equipped with knowledge
of various disciplines (Vitruvius, 1960). Theoretical and historical education and practical
training had taken place simultaneously in the ancient world. He summarizes the process by
stating “Let him be educated, skilful with pencil, instructed in geometry, know much history,
have followed the philosophers with attention, understand music, have some knowledge of
medicine, know the opinions of the jurist, and be acquainted with astronomy and the theory of
the heavens” (Vitruvius, 1960). It seems that function of philosophy here, is to make an
architect a dignified figure in the society rather than enriching his mental ability to think on the
architectural design as a matter of intellectual discourse. The book essentially records the glory
of the past clearly admiring the way they were designed and built. It suggests that lessons for
future architectural enterprises should be based on the tradition of architecture in which the
past is the source of learning.

The study of architectural history can also be a good way to inspire us into trying new
forms of design. Without access to differing styles of architecture, a designer would become
stagnant and locked into one kind of building. If nothing else, the study of historical
architecture will help to stimulate the creative juices in the minds of us students and this will
make for more creative and flexible architects overall. For these reasons, it is important to
study ancient architecture and learn the how and why these buildings were constructed.

Architecture tells us about who we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going.
What we build as human beings becomes the legacy we leave behind, offering insights into the
socio-political and cultural reality of the time.