The Relationship between Architecture and Politics
Published: Last Edited:
Disclaimer: This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.
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.
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 Nazivogueall the samereference Nazi aims by glorifyingboththe past of Teutonic and the culture of the rural as well. Always, Nazi architects workedto confirmthat their buildings servedthe needsof the regime. Influenced by classicalHellenic Republicand Rome, they cultivatedANaesthetic of order,victimization lowest decoration andactionstraight lines. From the baroque era, theyrealisedthe facilityof buildings as expressions of wealth and power,and they triedto includethat expression into their buildings. Nazidesignserved the state by actioning its values, demonstrating its power, andmakingedifices capable of lastingfor hundreds of years.
The Nazistriedto regulateeachfacetof Germans' lives;designcontenda key roleduring this. The order and plainness of Nazi facadesmirroredthe orderperfectby Nazi theorists. Places designed for mass community experiencesdesignedunityround theparty. Buildingsreflectiverural and Teutonic pastsemphasisedthe Nazis' glorificationof thesetimes.Constantaspects of Nazi buildingssupposedto impress foreign diplomats served double duty by expressingthe strength of theNational Socialist German Workers' PartytoeverybodyUnited Nations agencylapsed.Adolf HitlerandSpeerhad faith that thatdesignhadthe powertodeeplyinfuence peoples's thoughts and actions. In theirneuroticplans for Germania, they showedexpresslythatdesignwas 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 majordistinctionbetween theclassicalstatedesignofThird Reich|Reich} andclassicaldesigninalternative trendycountries in Europe and America is that in Germanyit absolutely washoweveroneaspectof a severely authoritarian state. Its dictatorly aimedto determinestudyorder; gridironcityplans, axial symmetry,hierarchicplacement of state structureamongurbanhouseon a scalemeantto strengthenthe interpersonal and governmental rule wanted by the Nazi propose,thatanticipated the displacement ofreligious beliefandmoralvalues bya brand newquite worshipsupportedthe cult of Nazi martyrs and leaders and witha worthsystemnearthat 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 thefastmanufactureof German citiesonce1870 had already been voiced. The ideal Nazitownwasn'tto beoverlarge, sinceit had beentoreplicatepre-industrial values and its state monuments, theproductand symbols of collective effort, were toleanmostprominence by being centrally set within the new and reshaped cities of the enlarged Composer.
Nazi's comments in Mein Kampf indicated that he saw buildings suchlike the coliseum and also the Circus Maximus As symbols of the politicalwould possiblyand power of the Romanindividuals.Potentateexplicit, "Architectureisn'tsolelythewordin stone,howeveris alsothe expression ofthe religionand conviction of a community,alternativelyit signifiesthe ability, greatness and laurels of an fantabulous man or individual". In Potentate's cultural direction, "The
Buildings of the Reich," delivered in Sep 1937 , inNuremberg, hethoroughbredthat the new buildings of the Reich wereto bolsterthe authority of theNational Socialist German Workers' Partyand also thestate and atidenticaltimegive"giganticproofof the community". Thesubjectproofof this authoritymayalready be seen inNuremberg,metropolisand Berlin and would become stilla lot ofevidentoncea lot ofplans had beenplaceintoresult.
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. Whereasthese highly-decorated buildingssquare measuremarkedlytotally differentfrom those designedthroughoutHitler's reign, they possess symmetry,a properpartofstylethateachdesignerandDer Fuhrerbelieved was essentialto 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 trainedcreator, was well-versedwithin thehistory ofdesign.Within theNazi'sseekassociate"orderly" aesthetic,a lot ofattention was paid to the classical buildings ofBalkan countryand Rome.It’sstraightforwardto examinethe similarities betweenAlbertSpeer's Zeppelintribune, shownhigher thanright,and therefore thePergamon Altar of Zeus housedwithin theBerlin Pergamon museum:
Albert Speer's Zeppelintribune
The Pergamon Altar to Zeus
In fact,Albert Speerhimselfexplicitthat theapsissupportedthis Pergamon monument. There also arenoticeable similarities between thecoliseumin Romeand 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 “Themother 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.