Search This Blog

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


Early Egypt recorded the names of the architects who built the great pyramids. The first great architect, Imhotep, who lived almost 5,000 years ago, is also the first scientist known by name today.

Roman emperor Hadrian was a fine architect. He organised the rebuilding of the Pantheon which had been destroyed by fire, reconstructing the accustomed temple facade, with columns and pediment, but attached it to a drum which was surmounted by a coffered dome. The latter was pierced by an oculus nine meters in diameter, which was the main source of illumination. The height and diameter were identical, 43.3 meters.

Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) won the commission to engineer the dome of Florence's Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral after winning a competition in which architects attempted to stand an egg upright on a piece of marble. He used more than  four million bricks in the dome's construction and invented a new hoisting machine for raising the masonry needed.  Its success resulted in Brunelleschi becoming the world's first superstar architect.

Leonardo Da Vinci was for a time the architect and Engineer to Cesare Borgia.

Michelangelo's design for the dome of St Peters in Rome became the model for domes all over the western world including the majority of American state buildings.

Michelangelo did architectural plans for the Church of Santa Maria Delgi Angeli at the age of 88.

Christopher Wren, the designer of St Pauls Cathedrial in London, studied Mathematics and had only six months architectural training in Paris.

Nine days after the Great Fire of London in 1666 Wren prepared a plan for rebuilding the city which he presented King Charles II with. In it he removed the crowded alleyways which were a fire and health hazard. All new streets would have one of three widths- 90,60 or 30 feet.

King Charles II rejected Wren's first plan for St Pauls, it was deemed too modest and Wren was so upset he wept. The king accepted his third scheme.

In February 1770 Thomas Jefferson's family house at Shadwell, Virginia burnt down. An Architect, Interior Designer, Builder and Furniture Maker, he designed his 35 roomed replacement home in Monticello. It had only two very narrow staircases as he considered them a waste of space. He also installed a small, innovative shelved elevator to carry wine from his wine cellar to his dining room.

Thomas Hardy trained as a Church Architect. He was articled to Dorchester Architect John Hicks and habitually got up at 4.00 in the summer and 5.00 in the winter to study

As a youngster Adolf Hitler was told he should become an architect, since he had some flair for painting buildings. However, he failed the entrance exam at the architectural school in Vienna.

The Catalan architect Gaudi spent his last 15 years living as a hermit beneath the unfinished structure of his great church in Barcelona. In 1926 he was run over by a tram and looked so bedraggled that bystanders took him for a tramp and were slow in getting him to hospital, where he died.

The actor Anthony Quinn (1915-2001) studied architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright who advised him communication was an important part of the job — so Quinn joined an acting group, and ended up preferring that.

The architect Zaha Mohammad Hadid was born on October 31, 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq, to an upper-class Iraqi family. The designer of the London Olympics 2012 Aquatics Centre, she was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize regarded as the ‘Nobel Prize for architecture’ eight years earlier. However, for the first 20 years of her career, despite living in the UK, she didn’t receive a single British commission.
Zaha hadid

No comments:

Post a Comment