Evolution of Building Design: Origins of the Architect profession
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Technological progress has changed many areas of our lives, but in the field of architecture and construction, it made a real revolution.
Today, the architect uses computer graphics to create the drawing, but the main skill is a technical mentality required for this profession.
The profession of architect appeared many millennia ago. The need was due to the appearance of the first cities. In this case, it was necessary to take into account the features of the landscape. Houses should be practical, aesthetically beautiful and at the same time perform many functions.
Before the foundation of the city of Faros Alexander the Great invited architects to his place and they completed the first drawings with barley grain, outlining the main points of the buildings on the ground.
Only some names of architects of antiquity have survived to our time. The first architect known to science is Imhotep, who directed the construction of the Djoser Pyramid in the third millennium BC. Scripture gives the names of the builders of the Tabernacle: the chief builder, Veseliel, and his assistant Agoliav.
Hiram (or Khir) from Tire is named the chief builder of the First Jerusalem Temple. He was the son of a widow from the Naftali family. After the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians, the Second Temple was built, the foundations of which were laid by Zerubbabel.
Also known are the names of ancient architects: Iktin and Kallikrath, builders of the Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens, Phidias, sculptor and architect, author of the statues of Zeus at Olympia, Athens Promachos, Athens Parthenos and others.
The ancient Roman architect and engineer, the largest antique theorist of architecture, Mark Vitruvius Pollion (I century BC) made quite strict requirements for the qualification of an architect in the treatise Ten books on architecture:
“He must be a competent person, a skilled draftsman, study geometry, thoroughly know history, listen carefully to philosophers, be familiar with the music, have a concept about medicine, know the decisions of lawyers and have knowledge in astronomy and in heavenly laws”
“I don’t think that anyone could suddenly declare himself an architect, except for those who gradually grew from one branch of education to another and, having absorbed the knowledge of many sciences and arts, reached the very heights of architecture.”
The builders of the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages are unknown, the researchers put forward only assumptions about authorship. This is due to the influence of the church, because at that time the author’s brand was regarded as pride. Nevertheless, the stigmas of artels and suppliers have been preserved.
During the High Renaissance in Italy, the profession of an architect becomes very respected, equal in prestige to the profession of an artist or sculptor, and the names of the most prominent of them are preserved in the memory of generations.
Some Renaissance architects are narrated by Giorgio Vasari in his famous book, The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects. For example, about Filippo Brunelleschi, the famous creator of the dome of the Florence Cathedral.
Architect in the Middle Ages
The Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary, published in 1890–1907, provides a historical reference to the concept of an architect.
In Europe, this word took root about 400 years ago.
On this occasion, Viollet-le-Duc says the following. “Apparently, until the sixteenth century this title was not given to the artists who directed the buildings.” It is also known that in Tsarist Russia until the reign of Peter I the word “architect” was not used. The builders were designated with the words “architect, ward foreman, mural, stone and carpenter warden. ”Currently, architects are specialists in“ civil architecture ”.
The Italians were named the first “architectons” in Russian documents of the XV — XVI centuries: Pietro Antonio Solari, Petrok Maly, Aleviz Novy.
19th century architect
The Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary gives us an understanding of the responsibilities of an architect of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The architect has the following responsibilities:
- firstly, he draws up projects according to these conditions and makes estimates, that is, he makes drawings and drawings of future structures and determines their cost;
- secondly, he manages the work, that is, in other words, practically implements the project;
- thirdly, he testifies to existing buildings and makes them an assessment for sales, pledges, insurance, etc.
Among the required skills:
- He must have excellent theoretical and practical knowledge of his specialty; but besides this, he must possess many more versatile knowledge.
- First of all, he must know perfectly the structural mechanics in order to be able to accurately calculate the strength and stability of all parts of his structure.
- He should be familiar with mineralogy, geognosy and geology in order to have a true idea of the properties and qualities of various natural materials.
- He should have a good knowledge of physics and chemistry, because he has to meet with them at every step in matters of building strength.
- He needs to have a well-known legal knowledge, for he must know well what is permitted and what is prohibited in the construction industry by the legislation of his country