What is Green Architecture

greHave you noticed how everything and everyone is suddenly going all eco-friendly and nature savvy? It’s a good thing as well. With the human race carrying through destruction of all natural resources with an unparalleled zeal, it is about time that there comes a sort of revolution (for what could be a better way to describe this?) that takes up the cause of all natural resources of the world. In that direction, there has been a revolution as far as architectural techniques and the methods of building things with eco friendly material is concerned. This concept, in a broad term is called green architecture. What is green architecture? It is a term that is used to describe the methods used in building environmentally friendly architecture. This technique aims at putting minimal pressure on the air, earth and water by adopting certain environmentally friendly architecture designs. In that way, it coincides with several going green ideas and concepts as well.

Green architecture is known by several other names like green construction, sustainable building, eco-friendly architecture, earth-friendly architecture, natural architecture and environmental architecture among others. The key factor of this construction is that beginning from the germination of the idea, to the planning, the execution through construction, the subsequent maintenance and renovation, till the point of demolition, it is all carried through with the help of environmentally friendly techniques and resources. Thus, truly making it a green building project.

Green Architecture and its Components

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Different Types of Houses

types-of-houses-powerpoint-1-728With the passage of time, the designs and layout of houses have gone through a sea change. Improved construction methods and the development of new construction materials has given rise to different types of houses around the world. Houses can be classified on the basis of the style of architecture or construction designs. Different styles of architecture have developed during different eras. Geography or location has also had an impact on the housing designs. Some of the popular architectural styles include cottages, ranch, chalets, colonial houses, bungalow, and mansions.

Cape Cod
Cape Cod is popular in the North eastern United States. The origins of Cape Cod can be traced back to early 18th century. It is linked to the colonial era. The colonists who traveled from the New England to England adapted the English house with a hall and a parlor as a model and remodeled it using some local materials to ensure protection against the stormy weather. Generally, these 1 or 1½ storied timbered houses are covered in shingles and clapboards and the exteriors are slightly ornamented. The prominent features of this style of house include decorative shutters, hardwood floors, and a large central fireplace that is connected to all the rooms. Other features include the multi-paned, double-hung windows, and a central hall floor plan.

Colonial Houses
The prominent feature of this style of architecture is symmetry. These houses are rectangular or square in shape and have multi-squared panes and evenly spaced windows. In the colonial times, these houses had a symmetrical shape along with low ceiling and doors. The designs of a colonial house could be simple or elaborate. These are multi-storied houses with the main living area on one floor, whereas the bedrooms are on the higher floors. Some of the other features are timbered framing, open porches, decorative columns, or door being crowned by molding. Victorian style houses are included in this category.

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Architecture of Angkor Wat

angAngkor is a rich cultural site, and is located about 5.5 km north of the present town of Siem Reap in Cambodia. It is rich in ancient structures, the most important of them being the Angkor Wat temple. Angkor Wat was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II, as his state temple in the capital city of Angkor. It was dedicated to the Hindu God, Vishnu. The temple took 37 years to be built and had turned the people of the kingdom into slaves who worked hard to raise the temple. Though, initially a Hindu temple, it became an important Buddhist religious center, under the rule of Srindravarman who adopted Buddhism as the state religion.


Spread over an area of more than 200 hectares, the Angkor Wat was built using the two fundamental plans of Khmer architecture: the Temple Mountain and the Galleried Temple. According to the Temple Mountain plan, the temple is depicted as Mount Meru, the abode of Hindu Gods. The wall and moat enclosing the temple, represent mountains and oceans respectively. The temple’s conformity with the Khmer architecture, can be best understood if we divided the temple into an outer structure and inner structure.

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Differences between Neoclassicism and Romanticism


Neoclassical and Romantic movements cover the period of 1660 to 1832. Neoclassicism showed life to be more rational than it really was. The Romantics favoured an interest in nature, picturesque, violent, and sublime. Unlike Neoclassicism, which stood for the order, reason, tradition, society, intellect and formal diction, Romanticism allowed people to get away from the constrained rational views of life and concentrate on an emotional and sentimental side of humanity. In this movement, the emphasis was on emotion, passion, imagination, individual and natural diction. Resulting in part from the liberation and egalitarian ideals of the French Revolution, the Romantic Movement had in common only a revolt against the rules of classicism.

Neoclassicism was an artistic and intellectual movement, beginning in the mid-17th century in England, both progressive and traditional in its goal of rivaling the literary and artistic accomplishments of Augustus Caesar’s day and the classical period in general. This movement could be characterized as a religion of the head. On the contrary, Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement that spread across Europe in the late 18th and early 19th century. This movement was a reaction in direct opposition to the Age of Reason in its understanding of human happiness and the means to achieve it. This literary revolution could be characterized as a religion of the heart. There are obviously a lot of distinctions between these two movements and here I am going to compare and contrast these two movements in English literature by considering the principles and writers and works of writers which exhibit these differences in both the periods.

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The Architecture of the French Riviera

La-Croix-des-Gardes_2Much of the architecture of the French Riviera traces to the Belle Époque or “Beautiful Era” bracketed by the latter half of the 19th century and the end of World War I. (For example, the Hotel Negresco in Nice.) The period was characterised by ostentation and extravagance, evident in many of the villas and hotels of the region. Though a clearly dominant decorative and structural influence, multiple architectural styles from pre-historic times forward can be found throughout the south of France.

Paradoxically, many of the French Riviera’s most obvious examples of Art Nouveau buildings (the curvilinear, stylized designs that peaked at the turn of the 20th century), sit adjacent to the region’s significant pre-historic ruins. Some sites in the Côte d’Azur date to nomadic peoples who inhabited caves near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin as early as 950,000 BCE. An ancient fireplace near the Nice Port at Terra Amata is the oldest in Europe, dating to 400,000 BCE.

In both Fréjus and St-Raphael, Roman canals are still in use to carry water. (Anthony and Cleopatra sailed to the port of Fréjus following their defeat at Actium in 31 BCE.) The town’s Baptistry also has an excellent example of early Christian architecture dating to the 1400s. The Roman influence is also evident in Nice at the amphitheatre and baths, now also the site of a beautiful garden with panoramic views. Gothic elements are evident across the region, especially in facades, windows, and doorways, while the Cathedrale Sainte-Reparte in Nice epitomises the Baroque aesthetic.

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