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    We have seen architecture change throughout history in style, concepts, and purpose. Howev- er some aspects remain the same: its use for different purposes, expression of different types Specific in each instance to the particular patron or designer and to the purposes for the structure. Its uses for residential, commercial, communal or religious purposes, spiritual ideas, and sentiment.

    This chapter allowed you to understand a broader range of methodologies in context of issues in modern art that evolved over time and with a world that became more complex. Architecture, other forms of art, has experienced great change in the designs of contrasting skyscrapers, incorporating more functionality and fluidity for the lives of modern people. Especially notable, perhaps, from our current perspective, are developments in art and architecture that occurred after World War II, when art’s focus moved from Europe to New York. With the focus on the West, art changed to incorporate more freedom in technique and style as opposed to rules that governed art and structures. Artists and architects are now committed to societal issues and personal expression in art and architecture, using all aspects of society to define and explain. This new construct reflects tradition and non-tradition, gives more voice on societal issues, expresses more culture, and resonates individual expression and identity and society’s aesthetic personality. Postmodern art focuses on public attention and its role in contemporary society by defining, questioning, and examining art’s function, form, content aesthetics, and value.

    Test Yourself

    1. Describe at least three different examples of architectural work – each built for a different purpose, and discuss specific features of the work that are designed to meet certain distinctive needs.
    2. Discuss two different structures built for religious use, explaining how form is related to purposes, and how the form is used by that religious group. Be specific about how it meets particular ritual or other needs of the group.
    3. Select four different types of architectural structures and explain the type of architecture and the purpose of each building. Discuss characteristics of each façade, and how the façade addresses the user of the building.
    4. Describe different features of temple/church structures that reflect specific beliefs about the deity/deities of the people who use it for worship. Discuss why those particular features are logical and suitable for the ways they are used.


    Acropolis: “high city” – a hilltop setting such as that reserved for the temple complex in ancient Athens associated with Classical Greece, including several temples to Athena and other sacred sites and structures. The elevated location is associated with greater proximity to the gods who were believed to reside in the celestial realms.

    Aesthetics: the branch of philosophy that concerns itself with the definition of beauty and with considerations of the purposes and value of art.

    Aisle: one of the longitudinal divisions of a basilica building. Basilica form churches usually have either three or five aisles, the central one being called the nave.

    Amphitheater: a round or oval building with tiers of seats around a central area used for performances and sport events.

    Arcade: a colonnade with arched spaces between the columns.

    Art Functionalists: believe that form follows function and that the value of art consists in its function or performance.

    Avatar: an embodiment of a deity on earth. Avant-garde: new, original, and experimental.

    Basilica: a building of longitudinal plan, originally designed for Roman law courts and public meetings, later adopted for Christian usage because of its suitability for accommodation of large congregations and processional ritual.

    Bodhisattva: a Buddha-to-be; a being who has achieved enlightenment but has postponed Nirvana in order to help fellow seekers in their spiritual quests.

    Cantilever: a long beam or other horizontal prop projecting from a wall to support a balcony, stairs, or similar structure.

    Castrum: a Roman military encampment or fortress, specifically designed on a grid plan, with specific zones related to activities/uses.

    Colonnade: row of columns supporting a roof or entablature.

    Deity: a religion’s god or goddess.

    Form: the structural components of a work of art or architecture.

    Forum: open public space in Roman cities that served social, commercial, religious, and political needs of the residents.

    Function: the meaning or purpose a work of art.

    Gallery: a balcony or upper floor of a church or hall.

    Garba Griha: Literally, the “womb” or most sacred precinct in a Hindu temple -- the sanctuary.

    Gothic: a late medieval (12th-14th centuries) architectural style that may include pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttress. Gothic churches have very tall structures, high interior spaces and, increasingly, the walls are filled with stained glass windows that filter mystical colored light into the interior.

    Hypostyle hall: structure consisting of a “forest of columns” arranged in numerous rows that support a flat roof.

    Iconography: the subject matter and/or symbolism of an artwork, including reference to religious or other narrative meaning.

    Insula: an apartment building in the ancient Roman civilization.

    Logo: a design used by an individual or organization to identify itself or its products.

    Mandapa: an audience hall in Indian architecture, often a porch-like ante-room to a temple, but also a free-standing gathering hall.

    Mausoleum: a building containing one or more tombs.

    Middens: refuse heaps, often of kitchen waste, but also for other discarded materials.

    Minaret: a tower, usually tall and slender, associated with a mosque and signifying Islamic presence in a location.

    Oculus: “eye”; an opening in an architectural structure, to let in light, located in a ceiling, a dome, or on a wall.

    Peristyle: a row of columns that surrounds a space such as a courtyard.

    Post-and-lintel: basic architectural means of creating an opening in a wall by placing two vertical members (posts) to either side of the opening and spanning the upper part of the space with a horizontal member.

    Propaganda: biased, and sometimes misleading or hidden, information intended to influence views, beliefs, or behavior.

    Qibla: a wall in an Islamic mosque that is situated so that prayer is oriented towards Mecca. Rammed earth: dampened earth mixed with sand, gravel, or clay that is compacted into a temporary frame to create a wall.

    Sphinx: a hybrid human/animal sculpture.

    Stele: an upright stone slab often serving as a grave marker or public monument.

    Stoa: a covered walkway in a public area, often fronting market stalls or other commercial spaces.

    Stupa: a domed, hemispherical structure that functions as a Buddhist shrine. The conception is of a burial mound, designed for ritual circumambulation.

    Tympanum: the semicircular area above a doorway, often decorated with sculptural artwork, especially as noted in Romanesque and Gothic church portals.

    Wattle and daub: branches intertwined with twigs and straw, then coated with a substance such as plaster or clay to create a wall.

    Ziggurat: a man-made mountain, designed to be the platform for a temple, raising it closer to the heavens where the gods were believed to reside.

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