ARCH 221 Assignment 10

This week we are going on reading 15th and 16th chapters of book which is called History of Archiitecture Setting by Spiro Kostof.Chapters name are; The Urbanization Of Europe and Edges of Medievalism.

Function of cities developed by itself and by their citizens. As far as this chapter, Kostof  explains civitas with very different examples and perspectives. If we examine the europe civilization, we can clearly see the changes in urbanization according to the cultures and the time.I will discuss the 16th chapter in this post. But if i would like to summarize  very briefly the 15th chapter, ı would say that in this chapter writer mentions the changes of cities , city plans, structures and the ingredient of civilizations by pointing out the connection of civilization with the other cultures and the times before medieval age.

In the 16th chapter; Edges Of Medievalism, starting with the words “destined for great things”. The renaissance  art and architecture unfailingly begin in early 15th century Florence with the triad of Brunelleschi, Donatello and Masaccio. Florence is mostly considered the hometown of  renaissance. This city is accorded that cultural primacy that Athens held in antiquity, and these very terms self-satisfied native historians of the time describe this city.

 The particularly designed of the city-form was both cumulative and participatory. The aim was creating the shape of florence more sharply, more expeditiously. In early fourteenth century, the city center was imposing ensemble of new public buildings, which clarify the visual relationships step by step. these buildings, lay east of the main north-south artery of the Roman city. At the place of ancient Forum was market whose activity has spread to nearby streets and piazzas  with specialized areas. The distribution of public spaces of city was simple but effective. At the two ends of an axis running parallel to the Roman cardo, the cathedral complex and the administrative structure of commune were grouped, not as adversary estates but as pendants of urban identity.


As we can say that  the source of Renaissance village shows itself in te main structure built on the farm property not exactly different from the traditional Tuscan Farmhouse. The type is shown in 14th century paintings;  a blocky mass built of rough stone, with an arched or trabeated porch or loggia, a balcony, and an outside oven. In contrast to farm house, The town house was too derived from a traditional type. By mid fourteenth century the type was in the process of civilizing itself, turning into something more urbane, less dour. The plazzo Davanzati is a good example of  this. The open gallery graces shows friendly gestures toward the street, were becoming characteristic of residential architecture. sometimes the openness came at ground level, with a loggia, where ceremonial affairs. The greate loggia of The Piazza della Signoria is a public expression of this domestic feature.

 Church building in late medieval Florence, as we have seen, was in the hands of the commune and the fairs. But whether it was the new cathedral or the greate churches of mendicant orders, the architectural approach was the same. Religious architecture leaned towards the more international conventions of Gothic, albeit of a very individual brand. As we can see in the churches like S. Miniato. Brunelleschi had many ingredients close at hand: rounded arches on columns, classical pilasters and cornices, flat ceilings, square bays. But the predisposition of this dressing no more constitutes the style architectural historians call”Renaissance” than the occasional existence of ribs, pointed arches, and flying buttresses within northern Romanesque could blunt the newness of Gothic.

End of this chapter , writer lastly briefs the overall changing architectural approach in  the fourteenth century  europe, generally, by giving examples building mainly Florence and the rest of the Europe.


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