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Ancient buildings were more beautiful than new ones?

Jul 20 '12 23 Last Comment
Transparence
Jul 20, 12 7:30 am

Ancient buildings were more beautiful than new ones, do you agree with this? Share your views.

 

archinet
Jul 20, 12 8:43 am

  i don't think its necessarily only a style issue. But also a quality issue. Ancient buildings were built to last forever- which help make them beautiful.

Also I do believe details matter a-lot. And if a building is well detailed no matter the style this contributes to it being beautiful. Construction quality has been so badly degraded for the past 50 years, especially in North America that I can understand why the majority of people do not like it, and therefore blame modern style as the sole perpetrator.    

bob/bob
Jul 20, 12 8:55 am

One thing that makes my Midwestern American city so attractive is the quality of the historic buildings, mostly limestone and brick, built between the Civil War and WWII. ( We have some good new buildings, too, but I worry that they will not age well.)  Anyway, my point is that lots happened between the fall of Rome and Bilbao that is also worthy of consideration.

citizen
Jul 20, 12 10:44 am

It's important to bear in mind that most ancient buildings substantial enough to survive for centuries were built with slave labor.  It doesn't make them less beautiful as objects --maybe.  But it does give us something to consider when evaluating them, their architects, and their patron-clients.

won and done williams
Jul 20, 12 11:03 am

I see little difference between Imhotep and Rem's slave labor. ;)

there is no there
Jul 20, 12 11:13 am

There were plenty of buildings through the years that weren't built to last nor beautiful. Only the ones that were built to last and worth keeping, lasted.

gwharton
Jul 20, 12 1:08 pm

Time is a crap filter.

Jul 20, 12 1:18 pm

"Ancient building were more beautiful than new ones?"

My english isn't that great but shouldn't that be an 'are' instead of a 'were'?  Cause my head hurts when trying to think of when ancient building were more beautiful but weren't more new.

Yo?

RyuArch
Jul 20, 12 1:19 pm

Your view of some ancient buildings is of their decayed state (e.g. the decay of ancient Mediterranean architecture that has been stripped of its paint and pigments via the weathering of time). So an accurate comparison is lacking. Also, modern architectural aesthetics have changed so rapidly, I am not sure what you are trying to compare. Is a roman brothel house more beautiful than La Sagrada Familia? or is the Coliseum more beautiful than our modern day gladiatorial arenas?

@gwharton
you must work an an international elite design firm

RyuArch
Jul 20, 12 1:21 pm

@HandsumCa$hMoneyYo

it depends if they still exist or not

design
Jul 20, 12 1:43 pm

No.

we shouldn't recreate archaeological digs.

Jul 20, 12 2:21 pm

"Time is a crap filter."

hmmm....

Yo?

Kevin W.Kevin W.
Jul 20, 12 2:40 pm

The true sustainable buildings are the ones that have lasted hundreds of years, not whats built today with it's planned obsolescence. Is something really green or sustainable if it's just going to be replaced in 10 to 30 years?

But, as far as the topic of beauty, Age does not guarantee beauty, age can enhance the beauty of materials, patina, etc.. Recreating age is usually never a good idea.

RyuArch
Jul 20, 12 2:51 pm

Yes

design
Jul 20, 12 11:16 pm

hoarding keeps old buildings alive.

Thecyclist
Jul 21, 12 6:59 pm

So many of today's buildings ignore quality and are quite fake.  They are built and then torn down 50 years later when they look outdated and start to degrade...this even goes for monumental buildings.  So much of this 'green' technology that is being paid for and placed on buildings today is just going to end up in a landfill in 10-15 years when it loses efficiency or breaks.  It's the simplicity of older buildings that make them last and the appreciation we have towards the craft put into their construction.  Both of these traits are missing in 99.9% of the things being built today.  It's hard to find structures built recently that you can say without a doubt will last for 200+ years.  I wonder during the Renaissance and medieval period, if those architects thought their buildings would last so long?

J. James R.J. James R.
Jul 24, 12 11:22 am

We tend to forget that modern technologies make older buildings increasingly more livable and appreciable.

Even "modern technologies," some of which pre-date the historical Modern Era [17th-century to 21st-century], are as old as the practice of city building— lime and concrete plaster, adobe and cast stone are technologies that have come and gone as far back as the Stone Age. While societies in the 7th- and 6th- millenium BCE were known to use lime plaster in flooring in the Near East, the practice was nearly abandoned in Western Europe for much of the time between the 7th-century to 17th-century CE.

Many of the highly-prized quaint Gothic and Romanesque houses found around Europe today were hellholes to live in just a century prior.

Ignoring the basic idea of comfort, many modern and not-so-modern technologies have massive effects on public health and well-being.

Plaster, caulk, cement and rubber have made modern homes rodent- and insect-proof.

Mechanical ventilation prevents the accumulation of moisture that would make many stone and cement buildings over-grown with mold and mildew.

Screens and fencing prevent nature from inviting themselves inside— window screens and soffits have done more for reducing and eliminating malaria than one could imagine.

(The last one is one of the things that grinds my gears relatively hard — I see so many project housing and project schools produced by firms for non-profits and competitions that utilize open-air ventilation in third-world locations. NO, NO, NO!)

Modern architecture tends to overlook how much of a profound impact something like caulk has had on society in the last 100 years. 

Nam HendersonNam Henderson
Jul 24, 12 12:33 pm

"grinds my gears relatively hard" +1

piero1910
Jul 25, 12 12:17 am

But do you think that this problem is caused because contemporary architects tend to focus more on things such as light, ventilation, energy and function than long-lasting buildings? 

jk3hl
Jul 25, 12 4:33 pm

J James—it really depends on the climate zone. In hot places where all you have are the breezes to cool you down, ventilated block and other things like that are super necessary. Windows and mesh screens are too readily broken/stolen in many third-world countries. Besides, they're pretty much used to dealing with pests. =P

Stephanie
Jul 26, 12 4:26 pm

J. James R:

Mechanical ventilation prevents the accumulation of moisture that would make many stone and cement buildings over-grown with mold and mildew.

Screens and fencing prevent nature from inviting themselves inside— window screens and soffits have done more for reducing and eliminating malaria than one could imagine.

(The last one is one of the things that grinds my gears relatively hard — I see so many project housing and project schools produced by firms for non-profits and competitions that utilize open-air ventilation in third-world locations. NO, NO, NO!)

Really?

are you... sure about that?

Emilio
Jul 26, 12 4:37 pm

New buildings will become ancient ones, then they'll be beautiful too.

J. James R.J. James R.
Jul 26, 12 6:15 pm

"  ... window screens and soffits have done more for reducing and eliminating malaria than one could imagine."

Stepahanie: Aside from mosquito netting over the beds, this building does nothing to address malaria transmission. And unless those mosquito nets are changed with every single patient, they're likely to spread even more disease than the ventilation system would prevent.

Instead of installing simple metal screens over the surfaces of all of the windows, they've casually ignoring that window screens are effective in eliminating the transmission of malaria.

It still blows my mind that providing cheap and easy solutions are not being used on these projects.

qweasd
Jul 27, 12 12:07 am

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