Posted in Greek

Archtrove travels to Greece – sun, sea and sand

Architecture in Greece

The architecture of ancient Greece is the architecture produced by the Greeks, best known for its temples, many of which are found throughout the region, mostly as ruins but many substantially intact. The second important type of building that survives all over the Hellenic world is the open-air theatre, with the earliest dating from around 525-480 BC.  Other architectural forms that are still in evidence are the processional gateway, the public square, the tombs and stadiums.

Ancient Greek architecture is distinguished by its characteristics, both of structure and decoration. The formal vocabulary of ancient Greek architecture, in particular, the division of architectural style into three defined orders: the Doric Order, the Ionic Order and the Corinthian Order, of which is replicated throughout the Western architecture, even today.

Islands in Greece

The Greek islands are known for their special architecture, the Cyclades. Most commonly known for its beautiful houses, stones churches and paved town streets. The most characteristic feature of the Cycladic architecture is the colours: blue and white are the dominating colours in all the islands of the complex. In 1936, the Greek prime-minister actually ordered the inhabitants of Cyclades to paint their houses white with blue doors and windows so that these colours match with the blue sky and the white wave foams of Greece. These two colours are also used for churches, as the walls are painted white and the domes are blue. The houses in the Cyclades are small and have a rectangular shape with a flat roof, as the strong winds do not allow the construction of triangular roofs. They are built with stones and bricks and most of them have flowered yards or gardens. The inner streets of the towns are narrow and paved, as in the old times all transportation was done on foot or by donkey.

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Cities to Visit

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Posted in Pakistan

Pretty Pakistan – The Ultimate Guide

Architecture in Pakistan

Pakistan is a country abundant with natural beauty and stunning historical architecture but plagued with corrupt politics. Its architecture has been inflicted by its difficulties through its various time periods and rulings. Its styles range from Mughal to Modern, from British to Greek. Its building range from government buildings to mausoleums and mosques with Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Faisal Mosque, Islamabad, and Quaid-e-Azam Mausoleum, Karachi some of the most famous.

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Posted in Greek

Archtrove travels to Santorini – the jewel of the aegean

Architecture in Santorini

Santorini, the jewel of the Aegean, is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. As a result of its volcanic eruption, Santorini has developed a rugged landscape causing the windy paths up the mountain on which most of its architecture sit on, especially, in its 2 principal towns, Fira and Oia. Clinging onto cliffs above an underwater caldera, they overlook the sea, small islands and beaches made up of black, red and white lava pebbles.

Landscape of Santorini

Characterised by its Cycladic architecture and white painted villages stood on top of the high red-coloured cliffs, Santorini architecture is unique. It is built for its landscape, to contrast its harsh volcanic scenery, it is whitewashed with blue and white buildings. Both Oia and Fira, house neoclassical mansions, small churches, narrow cobbled paths and colourful houses. Matching the classic with the modern beauty, They provide the most romantic scenery and a plethora of beautiful places to visit. The highlights of the capital are the traditional houses which blend with the lovely Venetian characteristics like the arches and vaults and the colourful stairs. Among the narrow paths of Santorini are the beautiful churches, architectural jewels that blend in the island’s landscape.

The Venetian presence left the island a small legacy that counts on a few fortified settlements. The only one that remains intact is the Kastro in the centre of Pyrgos village. Equally interesting is the Venetian castle of Akrotiri, the Argyros Mansion, Kasteli Castle and the Catholic Cathedral of Fira.

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Posted in Qatar

Archtrove travels to Qatar – hidden in the sand

Architecture in Qatar

Qatar, the rise from the desert, is a peninsular Arab country, its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its territory surrounded by the Persian Gulf. An arm of the Persian Gulf separates Qatar from the nearby island country of Bahrain. Comprising of mostly sand dunes with a stunning shoreline of beaches. The capital Doha, and the only city really, is known for its futuristic skyscrapers and ultramodern architecture, inspired by traditional Islamic design.

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The Growth of Qatar

Recently, as a new country, a financial influx and winning the World Cup, the outpour of buildings that have shot up in Doha are phenomenal. Ranging from 2 large shopping malls, numerous university buildings, a myriad of stadiums and countless hotels and restaurants. These rapid construction projects have big brands, both in the architecture world and none, fighting for a piece.

That being said, some stunning pieces have been developed as a result.

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Modern Buildings in Qatar

IM Pei’s Museum of Islamic Art is the Perfect Building to Suit Doha’s Style. The building was designed by IM Pei who, when the building was constructed in the mid-2000s, was retired but was persuaded to commit his time to design this prominent museum. And prominent it for sure is. Mister Pei, you know how to make your building stand out. Standing off the mainland, a solid natural stone structure rises out of the water.

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The recently designed 2022 World Cup stadium by Designed by Qatari architect Ibrahim M Jaidah and design consultant Heerim, the Al Thumama Stadium will feature a woven-pattern exterior skin inspired by the traditional ‘gahfiya’ cap worn by Arab men.

Other buildings have been designed or in the pipeline are with Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel and Rem Koolhaas, all designing stadiums in Qatar.

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Buildings to Visit

Museum of Islamic Art

Qatar Mall

Doha Mall

Numerous Skyscrapers

World Cup Stadiums

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Posted in Malaysia

Archtrove travels to Malacca

Architecture in Malacca

Malacca is Malaysia’s Historical City. Culturally and socially. Malacca boasts a history of port settlement and the result of some 600 years history has made Malacca a multicultural society and their presence is still very visible through the building heritage that is still standing. It is here in Malacca that one can still find buildings and monuments of historical significance where a very large number of splendid buildings and monuments demonstrating traditional Eastern and Western mixed architectural styles were built within the city wall.

Malacca has been through the ringer. Recently, it has capitalised in its illustrious history and assert itself as one of Malaysia’s tourist must see. This is all due to the fact that in the 15th century, Melaka was one of Southeast Asia’s greatest trading ports.

First were the Portuguese. Some of their original styles are remnant in today’s Malacca but most were destroyed by the Dutch, the second invaders. Located in Melaka, are the Stadthuys with its heavy wooden doors, thick red walls and wrought-iron hinges. It is a fine example of Dutch masonry and woodworking skills. Built between 1641 and 1660 it is believed to be the oldest buildings in the East.

Chinese in Malacca

In Malacca, Chinese architecture is of two broad types: traditional and Baba-Nyonya. Examples of traditional architecture include Chinese temples found throughout the country such as the Cheng Hoon Teng that dates back to 1646.

Many old houses especially those in Melaka and Penang are of Baba-Nyonya heritage, built with indoor courtyards and beautiful, colourful tiles.

Chinese and Western

A rare architectural combination of Chinese and Western elements is displayed by Melaka’s Terengkera mosque. Its pagoda-like appearance is a fine example of Chinese-influenced roof form, combined with Western detailing in its balustrades and railings.

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Buildings in Malacca

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Posted in Warwickshire

Archtrove travels to Solihull

Architecture in Solihull

Solihull is a town in the West Midlands of England, historically in Warwickshire, it is a part of the West Midlands conurbation. The motto of Solihull is Urbs in Rure (Town in Country). The architecture in Solihull is most commonly noted for its historic architecture, includes examples of timber-framed Tudor style houses and shops. The historic Solihull School dates from 1560 as does St Alphege. Other notable buildings include Touchwood Shopping Centre, Resort World, NEC and Birmingham International Airport. 

The History of Architecture in Solihull

Barn – designed by Sir John Soane in his early days. Although known for designed complex elaborate buildings, this barn is simple red-brick with influences from Greece. Malvern Hall – now part of St Martins School, was also designed by prominent architect Sir John Soane

Modern Architecture in Solihull

Recently designed are Resort World, situated next to a lake, Genting Arena and National Exhibition Centre an entertainment complex with the largest casino in Britain, shops, cinema and dining facilities, loosely based on a cruise liner.

A Short Drive from Solihull

Not far from Solihull are plenty of country hotels, national trust properties. Embedded in the countryside, their picturesque buildings provide stunning views. Also the small town of Henley-In-Arden, comprising of a small high street.

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  • Top 5 National Trust Properties with 30 mins of Solihull

 

For more about the county of Warwickshire, click here

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Posted in Birmingham

Library of Birmingham, Birmingham – the cities jewels

The Library of Birmingham is the largest public library in Europe, designed by Dutch studio Mecanoo, including a circular courtyard, rooftop gardens and a facade clad with interlocking metal rings coloured in silver and gold. The library itself is used by users of all backgrounds and ages, connecting Birmingham.It provides a cafe, reading space, chill zones and nature spots.

What Need to Know About ….. The Library of  Birmingham, Birmingham

 

  • The building itself is made up of four rectangular masses, staggered to create canopies and terraces. The external facade compromises of overlapping metal rings, over gold, silver and glass. These rings can be seen from the third floor.
  • A gently sloping floor leads visitors down to one level and then to another, where the children’s library and music section at the base of the building is. Here a circular courtyard allowing people to view the world sits.
  • There are three main floors that branch out from the staggered centre of the building, rows of bookshelves and study spaces. Then the archives and research spaces occupy the levels above, while an oval space at the top of the structure houses the Shakespeare Memorial Room. Overlooking these top two levels are plant-filled terraces creating spaces for visitors to read and study outside.

Location of The Library of Birmingham

It is situated in Centenary Square, beside the Birmingham Rep, to which it connects, and Baskerville House. The construction of this building began the start of the cities much-needed redevelopment. 

 

 

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Posted in Warwickshire

Archtrove travels to Stratford-Upon-Avon – the tudors and shakespeare

Architecture in Stratford-Upon-Avon

Comprising of a small market town in Warwickshire located on the beautifully peaceful River Avon. Stratford-Upon-Avon was originally a village and later gained its market town status. Resulting in trade and commerce as well as urban expansion. The town is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as birthplace of English playwright and poet William Shakespeare.

However, it is so much more, its charm is the town itself with its quaint shops and traditional English feel. Its timber framed, black and white, Tudor buildings are peppered throughout the town, some dating back hundreds of year.

History of Stratford-Upon-Avon

Many of the town’s earliest and most important buildings are located along what is known as Stratford’s Historic Spine, which was once the main route from the town centre to the parish church. The route of the Historic Spine begins at Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Henley Street and finishes in Old Town. Along the way it passes many Elibethean buildings, as well as the Guild buildings and the 13th century Holy Trinity Church, of which Shakespeare is buried.

Theatres of Stratford-Upon-Avon

The first real theatre in Stratford was a temporary wooden affair built in 1769, the theatre, this was washed away in two days of torrential rain and flooding.

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth in 1864 the Tercentenary Theatre, was built in the brewer’s large gardens on what is today the site of the new, Courtyard Theatre. After three months the Tercentenary Theatre was dismantled, with the timber used for house-building purposes.

An architectural competition was arranged to design for a new theatre, with the winner, English architect Elisabeth Scott, creating the Royal Shakespeare Theatre we see on the riverside today.

 

Gallery

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Buildings to Visit

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  • 5 Buildings to Visit in Stratford-Upon-Avon
  • 5 Buildings to Visit about William Shakespeare

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Posted in Birmingham, England, Warwickshire

Archtrove travels to Warwickshire – rolling hills and market towns

Architecture in Warwickshire

Warwickshire, a landlocked county in West Midlands, known for its rolling hills and market towns. However, it is most notably know for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare and the major draw for tourists from across the globe. Equally famous is the impressive Warwick Castle known for its history and majestic cliff top views.

History of Warwickshire

Warwickshire came into being as a division of the kingdom of Mercia in the early 11th century. During the Middle Ages Warwickshire was dominated by Coventry, which was at the time one of the most important cities in England due to its textiles trade in the heart of England. Warwickshire played a key part in the English Civil War, with the Battle of Edgehill. During the Industrial Revolution Warwickshire became one of Britain’s foremost industrial counties, with the large industrial cities of Birmingham and Coventry within its boundaries.

Towns in Warwickshire

There are many market towns of Warwickshire, in the north and east, the industrial towns of Atherstone, Bedworth, with Nuneaton, and Rugby (birthplace of Rugby Football) the most famous of them. 

Other towns include Stratford-Upon-Avon – home of Shakespeare, Royal Lemington Spa –  a beautiful and prosperous town with large natural springs and examples of  Regency architecture, Kenilworth –  atmospheric castle ruins, Coventry – two extraordinary cathedrals and an unmissable motoring museum. Warwick is the county town and is most famous for its castle and old-school charm.

 

Photo Gallery – click here to see more

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Areas included are:

Birmingham

Coventry

Kenilworth

Royal Lemington Spa

Rugby

Solihull

Stratford-Upon-Avon

Warwick

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Top 10 Places to Visit

Top 10 Cafes

 

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