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Ancient Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News

How Rammed Earth Walls are Built

Rammed earth has been used in construction for thousands of years, with evidence of its use dating as far back as the Neolithic Period. Commonly used especially in China, the technique was applied to both ancient monuments and vernacular architecture, with the Great Wall utilizing the technique. Though interest in rammed earth declined in the 20th century, some continue to advocate its use today, citing its sustainability in comparison to more modern construction methods. Most notably, rammed earth structures use local materials, meaning they have low embodied energy and produce little waste. Below, we describe how to build with this material.

7 Ancient Ruins Around The World "Reconstructed" with GIFs

Ancient ruins, like the Parthenon and Luxor Temple, can teach us about the past in a unique way. Through architectural remains, we can gather what building techniques and civilizations were like long ago. Even so, ruins can’t compare to the real deal, and historical reconstructions of these architectural wonders are key to a fuller understanding of the cultures that created them. In these GIFs made for Expedia by NeoMam and Thisisrender, seven architectural wonders are reconstructed into their original form, allowing us to see how the ruins visible today developed from the initial structures in all their glory.

AD Classics: Acropolis of Athens / Ictinus, Callicrates, Mnesikles and Phidias

The Parthenon, perhaps the most celebrated example of Classical Greek architecture, was only the first of a series of remarkable buildings to be constructed atop the Athenian Acropolis in the wake of the Persian Wars. Led by the renowned statesman Pericles, the city-state embarked on an ambitious rebuilding program which replaced all that had been razed by the Persians. The new complex, while dedicated to the gods and the legends that surrounded the Acropolis, were as much a declaration of Athens’ glory as they were places of worship – monuments to a people who had risen from the ashes of a war to become the most powerful and prosperous state in the ancient world.

Although the western façade of the Propylaea has not survived the passage of time, its columns still stand guard at the entrance to the Acropolis. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user Thomas Hackl (licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0) Courtesy of Flickr user Aleksandr Zykov (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0) Throngs make their way up the causeway to the Acropolis in this artistic imagining of the Panathenaic Procession.. ImageCourtesy of Yale University Press Courtesy of Wikimedia user Steinsplitterbot (Public Domain) + 14

AD Classics: The Parthenon / Ictinus and Callicrates

It is unsurprising that Athens, the city widely considered to be the cradle of Western civilization, would have made as celebrated a contribution to architecture as it has to countless other human pursuits. Built on a hilltop above the contemporary city, the weathered marble complex known as the Acropolis stands as a faded remnant from the former city-state’s ancient glory years, surrounded by the products of the centuries that followed. The greatest of these landmarks, the Parthenon, captures an age long past when Athens was the wealthiest and most powerful city-state in Greece and beyond.

Courtesy of Flickr user Kristof Verslype (licensed under CC BY 2.0) The west pediment of the reconstruction of the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee depicts Athena and Poseidon fighting for the rule of Attica while the other gods look on. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user damian entwistle (licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0) After almost 2,500 years, the Parthenon still stands tall above the city of Athens. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user Aris Gionis (licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0) The Parthenon’s columns, being narrower than typical Doric proportions dictated, served to reduce the bulk of the temple and make it appear more airy and graceful. ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia user Jebulon (licensed under CC0 1.0) + 11

AD Classics: Roman Pantheon / Roberto Luna, Raúl Fernández y Alejandro Zamudio

Locked within Rome’s labyrinthine maze of narrow streets stands one of the most renowned buildings in the history of architecture. Built at the height of the Roman Empire’s power and wealth, the Roman Pantheon has been both lauded and studied for both the immensity of its dome and its celestial geometry for over two millennia. During this time it has been the subject of countless imitations and references as the enduring architectural legacy of one of the world’s most influential epochs.

The coffers in the Pantheon’s dome, aside from their aesthetic qualities, serve to reduce the weight of the dome on the support structure below. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user Michael Vadon under CC BY 2.0 Courtesy of Flickr user Michael Johnson (licensed under CC BY 2.0) The interior of the Pantheon contains a perfectly spherical volume – a cosmic symbol which triumphantly asserted the authority and might of the Roman Empire. ImageDrawing by Francesco Piraneni. Via Wikimedia user Bkmd under Public Domain Although the original Pantheon built by Marcus Agrippa burned down after his death, Hadrian ordered that its replacement bear an inscription stating that Agrippa had built it as a tribute to his predecessors. ImageCourtesy of Flickr user Michael Johnson under CC BY 2.0 + 16