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Ancient Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News

The Transformation of the Museum: From Curiosity Room to Exhibition

Housing objects of artistic, cultural, historical and scientific importance, the term ‘museum’ is derived from the Latin language. In regards to classical antiquity, in Ancient Greek ‘mouseion’, meaning ‘set of muses’ was a philosophical institution, a place for contemplation and thought. These muses refer to the 9 muses in Greek mythology, the goddesses of the arts and sciences, and patrons of knowledge. Early museums’ origins stem from private collections of wealthy families, individuals or institutions, displayed in ‘cabinets of curiosities’ and often temples and places of worship. Yet these ‘collections’ are predecessors of the modern museum, they did not seek to rationally categorize and exhibit their collections like the exhibitions we see today.

In definition, the modern museum is either a building or institution that cares for or displays a collection of numerous artifacts of cultural, historical, scientific or artistic importance. Through both permanent and temporary exhibits, most public museums make these artifacts available for viewing and often seek to conserve and document their collection, to serve both research and the general public. In essence, museums house collections of significance, whether these be on a small or large scale.

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Architects that Transitioned into the World of Fashion Design

The term ‘Architect’ can be open to interpretation much like the reverence of an Artist. However, the universally recognized definition of the role is regarded as one who designs and plans buildings, a key member in terms of building construction. Architecture as a profession presents itself as a very diverse occupation. As an Art and Science in every sense, it offers insight into a vast range of subjects that can be applied to a range of different ventures.

Often Architecture students are offered with such a rigid path, constrained with these short-sighted ideas that an Architect must follow a particular direction to flourish in the field. When in fact it is interesting to note the vast opportunities that arise when given opportunity to diversify. Here are the Architects that have branched out and become successful fashion designers …

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What is a Traditional Windcatcher?

Before fossil-fuel powered air-conditioning became widely available, people living in harsh climates had nothing but natural means to ventilate their spaces and control the interior temperature. To do so, they took into account several external factors such as their location, orientation with respect to the sun and wind, their area's climate conditions, and local materials. In this article, we explore how ancient civilizations in Western Asia and North Africa have used windcatchers to adapt to the region's harsh climate and provide passive cooling solutions that are still being used in contemporary architecture, proving that local approaches to climate adaptability are fundamental to the development of today's built environment.

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Grand Egyptian Museum Gives Historic Artifacts a Modern Context

Designed by Irish architecture firm Heneghan Peng, the long-awaited Grand Egyptian Museum devoted entirely to Egyptology is set to open this summer, sitting on the edge of the Giza Plateau, 2 km away from the Pyramids. Considered as the largest museum in the world dedicated to one civilization, the cultural complex will accommodate about 100,000 ancient artifacts, and will include 24,000m² of permanent exhibition space, a children’s museum, conference facilities, educational areas, a conservation center, and extensive gardens inside and around the museum's plan.

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History of Architecture: Ancient Greece

Courtesy of ArchDaily - Danae Santibáñez
Courtesy of ArchDaily - Danae Santibáñez

As far as written records report, “prehistory” dates back between 35,000 BCE and 3000 BCE in the Middle East (2000 BCE in Western Europe). Ancient builders had a profound understanding of human responses to environmental conditions and physical needs. Initially, families and tribes lived together in skin-covered huts and bone structures. Thousands of years later, human settlements evolved into fortified mud-brick walls surrounding rectangular volumes with pierced openings for ventilation and sunlight. 

During the upcoming months, we will be publishing short articles on the history of architecture and how it evolved to set the fundamentals of architecture we know today. This week, we are going back to one of the most prominent and influential periods known to architecture: Greece; Aegean, Archaic, classical, and Hellenistic periods.

History of Architecture: Megaliths, Mesopotamia, and Ancient Egypt

As far as written records report, “prehistory” dates back between 35,000 BCE and 3000 BCE in the Middle East (2000 BCE in Western Europe). Ancient builders had a profound understanding of human responses to environmental conditions and physical needs. Initially, families and tribes lived together in skin-covered huts and bone structures. Thousands of years later, human settlements evolved into fortified mud-brick walls surrounding rectangular volumes with pierced openings for ventilation and sunlight. 

During the upcoming months, we will be publishing short articles on the history of architecture and how it evolved to set the fundamentals of architecture we know today. This week, we are going back to some of the earliest civilizations known to mankind: Megaliths, Mesopotamia, and Ancient Egypt.

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.

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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.

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AD Classics: Roman Pantheon / Emperor Hadrian

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.

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