Palace of Versailles
The "Alternatives" unit really discussed themes of reaching heavenward, millennial observations, the notion of breaking the rules of architecture, the idea of retreating, and within the Baroque and Renaissance the importance of rationality, emotionality, and light. " ...So the Romanesque church is simultaneously a stronghold and gate to heaven, and the two main building types of the period, the church and castle are profoundly related." ( Christian Norberg-Shulz, Roth, pg.301) Architects of this time were really interested in reaching heavenward. Churches became what cities were built around, and Deity played a major role in these communities. The "church" became a main building around the time that Christianity came to rise. One of the first main churches, was the Basilica San Marco. It is located in Venice. During this time period the basilica is the main architectural form used in the churches. However, overtime some incorporated porches, and domes, like the San Marco. It is around this time that all of these basilicas are being designed that order begins to become incorporated into the cities again, due to the fall of Rome. Also around this time the front facade became really important. For example, St. Madeline was one of the first structures that really emphasized the facade. People of this time thought that since the millennium was coming that life would go to hell. The designers reflected the millennial time through the figures on the interior columns. Designers of this time also really wanted to emphasize movement. They displayed this quality through their architecture with details. They decided details because they wanted to elaborate the end of the journey to salvation. So for a while you see heavy patterns as surface decorations. It truly become their language to the rest of the world. Therefore, countries became more and more progressive, for example, Florence. Then as we leave the Renaissance period, we enter the Baroque period. However, we still keep the main theme of reaching heavenward and deity, when we design the "Villa." It becomes a retreat house, a house for entertaining. They were designed to really celebrate the family that resided within them. Also with the design of Villas designers and architects began to really focus on landscaping and incorporating nature into the overall design. Thus, the exterior space becomes just as important as the interior spaces. For instance, the Villa Rotundo, that had the facade of a temple from the ancient times. " Baroque unity is achieved- at the expense of the clearly defined elements-through the subordination of individual elements to invigorate the whole; Baroque space is independent and alive- it flows and leads to dramatic culminations."( Henry A. Millon, Roth, pg. 397) To me this really describes the risks that designers and architects took in the Baroque period. Their design aesthetic was all about redefining the rules of architecture and design. Overall, the Baroque period was a stylistic period of time that architects had been aiming for years by now. Therefore, they begun to incorporate more emotions from that time into their designs. Which, is very different from the Renaissance that designed from a more rational approach. With the Baroque time period the became movement and fluidity in the architecture. However, what all of these styles of architecture lead up to is the Palace of Versailles. So we got to the Palace of Versailles from different elements of the basilica,villa, chateau, and casino styles of architecture. For the king of this time architecture was a way to express his control over the land. This is when light become key because he believed that light shown down on the earth and reflected himself. Every aspect of design was going into creating larger open spaces and more beautifully designed interior spaces. To me the Palace of Versailles is the piece of architecture that should be representative of this unit because it incorporates qualities from both the Renaissance and Baroque time periods to achieve the greatness of the time that it has reached.