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Relationship Between Architecture and Politics

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Architecture
Wordcount: 2904 words Published: 2nd May 2018

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Architecture is not only classified as describing the elegant and formal preferences of an architect, but it can also reveal the hopes, power struggle and the elements culture of the society. Although nowadays architecture tend to orbit around themes that represents neutrality in order to represent a healthier theme or image for the city without supporting any political regime ,it can be certainly maintained that using architecture as a major tool to symbolize power and authority for a society such as Nazi Germany and Rome power is a required and preferred tool in order to keep the legacy of the society or area alive as time passes by as the built environment is a text whose every word reveals a nation’s vicissitudes. As insofar the building that was only said to be a work or architectural earth can serve a purpose of being a visual metaphor, announcing something in its own way about the power, existence, strength, protectiveness and structure of the institution it represents.

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Firstly, architecture supports the system with a structural model which is used by the society to conceptualize the world which makes it connected with political power as said by Mitchell kapor “Architecture is politics”. Hence there is a structural relationship between the social and political sides, architecture reveals the power that is embodied in it and specifically the monumental architecture that is formed by the political powers. These monuments shows the power of the individuals accountable for their formation and they describe the nature of that power. For example, using axial architecture symbolizes consistently more to power which control the community as it directs people to that seat or that specific power. Whereas ,Non-axial architecture always maintain the equality of constituent parts and puts the choices always between people’s hands rather than the mastery of certain goal. Moreover non axial architecture is regularly connected to political power as mandate from the masses. Architecture that symbolizes top-down distribution of power is the opposite of an architecture that demonstrates control vested by the community as shown even in prisons as the warden’s power is over the inmate which shows the supreme edge of social control.

As architecture can control the way we understand the world, looking at architectural history the relation between the monumental architecture and political power can consistently be seen. Architecture gives us the choice to visualize mentally and support societies to create systems that shows their social and cultural traditions and practices. Hence, leaders use it to express the way that they understand reality in and express how they crave to be seen by the people and enforce their opinion and view and carry their power over the populace. However, Nazi’s and Romans leaders in Germany and Rome in the old centuries used architecture in a way to exude power and domination in order to keep their legacy as a society with power and wealth in the world, hence their buildings had an enormous effect on the way architects designed their buildings in the western side of the world and still continues till this day.

Nowadays along the western world the effect of Roman power is still manifest which shows how using architecture as a society power tool can be effective and is needed by the world, and many European cities still have souvenirs that remind them of the ancient Rome. Architecture played an essential role in bringing together the empire and was vital to the success of Rome as both formal architecture like temples and basilicas for example bridges and aqueducts had a major role in representing Rome power. Communication across the far flung was supported by the construction of the roads with their bridges. Moreover, clean and hygiened water was provided to the people in city by aquedects.

Whereas, the basilica fulfilled administrative functions which was showed in American cities in town halls or court houses and other buildings also served roman power weather directly or indirectly. The basilicas had various characteristics and components such as a projection which the Romans called apse which acted as the seat of the magistrate accountable for dispensing the law and along with it comes a scene or an image of the emperor which is the source of the law. Then above the image is a curvy semi -circular line which acts as an echo in the form of the apse. The basilica in Roman city carried the concept of Roman authority for the people of the Roman Empire. The association with person was a prima explanation for the use of the basilica soft as the typical become of the Christian church from the abstraction of the Emperor Metropolis.

The organization of the space and disposition of the buildings in the second century formed almost a symbolic map of Roman power which the study of this early second century building complex show us. To summarize the Roman architecture, the basilica with its apses points and symbolized to Roman law power; the authority of classical culture and literature is shown by its formal libraries; and the religion is reflected to the public life of the people by the temples. Also Trajan which is the Roman military leader and has images at the center of the city in the imperial axis has ordered the built of the markets on the adjacent hill which states an obvious statement about the emperor being the provider for the Roman populace.

Reminders of the culture and traditions of the Roman Empire are still there throughout the western world cities. Most Leaders want to give intimidation and control through their built environment and visual testament to their strength and control to the people and the nation .Examples can be seen all around the world. In Paris after Napoleon became the king of the empire in 1804, he wanted Paris to become the new Rome so you can find various similarities in their buildings.

The Arc de Triumphed, started to be built by Napoleon in 1806 but not finished until 1836, is the extremely famous example of the French taking of Roman formulas

In Vendome in Paris, the leader Napoleon ordered the built of a monumental free-standing column that was clearly based and similar in structure to the column of Ttrajan from the early second century.A bronze statue is on the top of the vendomne column and has a costume that looks like a Roman, like Trajan on his column.

The service of the Madeleine. The designer Pierre-Alexandre Vignon plain supported his construction on the distinct strain of the Italian Temple.

Secondly, Nazi’s and Hitler also used architecture in a way to threaten and intimidate the people and go forward in the power of their state. It is shown clearly in their projects as some element like stark facades, columns, pilasters, and clean lines is used in a massive scale by the project’s architects such as Albert Speer, Hermann Giesler, and Fritz Todt to form a new aesthetic and demonstrate power, control and domination. Moreover, the building’s sizes gave a huge effect and showed clearly the wealth and power of the Germans to anyone who ventured their buildings. Hence, the city of Berlin was to be the city of the Nazis’ corp, and as such, required to bonk and resemble the noesis, ascendancy, and caliber of the Fascist circle. Invoking images of the Catholicism Empire, the remade Berlin would be titled Germania, the old European plant for Deutschland. Domination of the world was the aim of Berlin so it required more monuments. So to ceremonialize the power of the German state a plan and models to create a city with an enormous number of public building were made by the architects responsible of the project. Many buildings are still surviving till nowadays although the Berlin plan did not fully succeed that represent the rare trend of the regime. The style of intimidaton architecture was the main style used by the germans while building and designing their buildings. Other buildings not representative of the Nazi vogue all the same reference Nazi aims by glorifying both the past of Teutonic and the culture of the rural as well. Always, Nazi architects worked to confirm that their buildings served the needs of the regime. Influenced by classical Hellenic Republic and Rome, they cultivated ANaesthetic of order, victimization lowest decoration and action straight lines. From the baroque era, they realised the facility of buildings as expressions of wealth and power, and they tried to include that expression into their buildings. Nazi design served the state by actioning its values, demonstrating its power, and making edifices capable of lasting for hundreds of years.

The Nazis tried to regulate each facet of Germans’ lives; design contend a key role during this. The order and plainness of Nazi facades mirrored the order perfect by Nazi theorists. Places designed for mass community experiences designed unity round the party. Buildings reflective rural and Teutonic pasts emphasised the Nazis’ glorification of these times. Constant aspects of Nazi buildings supposed to impress foreign diplomats served double duty by expressing the strength of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party to everybody United Nations agency lapsed. Adolf Hitler and Speer had faith that that design had the power to deeply infuence peoples’s thoughts and actions. In their neurotic plans for Germania, they showed expressly that design was a tool of the state. it’dbeaccustomedpromote ideology, even at the expense of livability.Adolf Hitlerwishedbuildings to be “the word in stone,” durable, a clear representations of the Nazi ideals. Same all the antithetic varieties of art throughout the Socialism programme, Structure was a puppet of both the state and the commonwealth as well as John Ruskin the English writer said “Architecture is the work of nations”. This shows that architecture can be used in a spectacular multiple of ways to provide the nation, culture and society its own characteristic and charisma.

A major distinction between the classical state design of Third Reich|Reich} and classical design in alternative trendy countries in Europe and America is that in Germany it absolutely was however one aspect of a severely authoritarian state. Its dictatorly aimed to determine study order; grid iron city plans, axial symmetry, hierarchic placement of state structure among urban house on a scale meant to strengthen the interpersonal and governmental rule wanted by the Nazi propose, that anticipated the displacement of religious belief and moral values by a brand new quite worship supported the cult of Nazi martyrs and leaders and with a worth system near that of pre-Christian Rome

In Mein Kampf, Germanic Nazi states that industrialised Teutonic cities of his day lacked high open monuments and a halfway accent for territory spirit.

In fact, criticism of the fast manufacture of German cities once 1870 had already been voiced. The ideal Nazi town wasn’t to be over large, since it had been to replicate pre-industrial values and its state monuments, the product and symbols of collective effort, were to lean most prominence by being centrally set within the new and reshaped cities of the enlarged Composer.

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Nazi’s comments in Mein Kampf indicated that he saw buildings such like the coliseum and also the Circus Maximus As symbols of the political would possibly and power of the Roman individuals. Potentate explicit, “Architecture isn’t solely the word in stone, however is also the expression of the religion and conviction of a community, alternatively it signifies the ability, greatness and laurels of an fantabulous man or individual”. In Potentate’s cultural direction, “The Buildings of the Reich,” delivered in Sep 1937 , in Nuremberg, he thoroughbred that the new buildings of the Reich were to bolster the authority of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party and also the state and at identical time give” gigantic proof of the community”. The subject proof of this authority may already be seen in Nuremberg, metropolis and Berlin and would become still a lot of evident once a lot of plans had been place into result.

Hitler himself was as a girlish man was initially impresssed with the extremely formed, ornate, neo-Baroque vogue open in various Habsburg-era people buildings. Flat then, he matte that the key qualification for a morality public business was that it verbalised the capability of its somebody. These buildings, with their immoderate volume of pilasters, porticos, columns, arches, and pediments, manifested the wealth and nation of the German and royalty states. Whereas these highly-decorated buildings square measure markedly totally different from those designed throughout Hitler’s reign, they possess symmetry, a proper part of style that each designer and Der Fuhrer believed was essential to making order. The impressive Berlinerdom exudes any wealth, with palm in apiece character and carrefour. In block with Der Fuhrer, the cathedral, cerebration too tiny, was “fittingly impressive.” The nightlong arcades of the New Hofsburg and thus the deposit of Penalty Study, apiece in grapheme of Oesterreich, breathe at the lordly and colonnades entrances open in buildings subsequent in experience, peculiarly Designer’s New Reich authority’s structure.


The New Hofsburg, Vienna

Furthermore, Hitler, as a trained creator, was well-versed within the history of design. Within the Nazi’s seek associate “orderly” aesthetic, a lot ofattention was paid to the classical buildings of Balkan countryand Rome. It’s straightforward to examine the similarities between Albert Speer’s Zeppelintribune, shown higher than right, and therefore the Pergamon Altar of Zeus housed within the Berlin Pergamon museum:

Albert Speer’s Zeppelintribune


The Pergamon Altar to Zeus

In fact, Albert Speer himself explicit that the apsis supported this Pergamon monument. There also are noticeable similarities between the coliseumin Rome and therefore the Olympiastadion in Berlin. Specially, the 2 buildings assets a layered grouping of pillars and arches. Notwithstanding, the sports bowl differs from the coliseum in its demand of curves or broadsheet arches. Olympiastadion’s outside is regressive, and depends on rectangles formed from healthy crosswise and straight lines to actualize its spic, organized lead. Further, the sports bowl exterior is scanty: there’s no ornamentation of any good, only lines. These preferences for healthy lines and kosher exteriors are a regular boast of Socialism buildings, especially those organized by Designer, and businessman them as definite from the neoclassical structures that influenced them, Classic buildings were heavily with statues. Fascist buildings are placing for his or her nearly tot lack of honour.

The coliseum in Rome

Olympiastadion in Berlin

To conclude, although after the mid century and the beginning of the 19th century urban architects and societies began to change their concepts and preferred to use architecture and design buildings in a way to make cities healthier and help in reducing crimes and deduct problems. Moreover architects had an aim to improve the attitude of the people and society and they wanted to use architecture to reduce poverty,crimes, and prevent revolutions .However, architecture can be used in both ways but I certainly agree that if architecture is used as a participatory tool to represent power and strength for certain society it would play a major role in changing history and effect vitally the culture of the world as Frank Lloyd the american architect said “The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization”. Also architecture in that way leaves legacies behind them that coming generations can look up to and that is why architects and leaders that time tried their best to serve strenghtfull testament through their designs and buildings.


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