View Full Version : Architectural Language - Terminology and examples

November 24th, 2002, 03:14 AM


November 24th, 2002, 03:19 AM

(stolen from Ed!)

November 25th, 2002, 10:27 AM
PEDIMENT - low pitched gable above a portico

New York Stock Exchange

The pediment sculpture on the NYSE is called "Integrity Protecting the Works of Man".
I wish I could find a better picture with more detail.

Federal Hall

Tweed Courthouse

November 25th, 2002, 11:58 PM

[Latin plural of Atlas], sculptured male figures serving as supports of entablatures, in place of a column or pier. The earliest (c.480–460 B.C.) and most important example from antiquity is in the Greek temple of Zeus at Agrigento, Sicily. The baroque architecture of the 17th cent. made considerable use of atlantes, as did the classical revival in the early 19th cent. Female supporting figures are called caryatids.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

The main facade of the New Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, is notable for the monumental portico with ten wonderful figures of the atlantes struck by Alexander Terebenev from grey Serdobol granite.



From HermitageMuseum.org

The New Hermitage

The Building and the Rooms
The 19th century was the time of creation of public museums in Europe. The New Museum in Berlin was built in 1830. In 1830 the architect Leo von Klenze completed construction of the building for "the marbles from Aegina" and for the Albani collection of sculptures purchased by the future king of Bavaria Ludvig I, the building, known as the Glyptothek in Munich. In 1836 the picture gallery Pinacothek, constructed by the same architect, opened in Munich. It was this fashionable architect, who built the first museum buildings and was invited by Nicholas I to construct the Emperor's Hermitage in Saint Petersburg.
The New Hermitage was not a typical example of the Petersburg architecture. It revealed not only distinctive features of the style of Leo von Klenze but also the tendencies of the "Historicism". It managed to combine in a single composition elements of different styles: Antique, Renaissance, Baroque, all being interpreted with the accent on the Classicism. Every facade of the building has its own decoration. The main facade, facing the Millionnaya street, is notable for the monumental portico with ten wonderful figures of the atlantes struck by Alexander Terebenev from grey Serdobol granite. His immediate assistant, stone-mason Gavriil Balushkin wrote that 150 masters worked with Terebenev. Klenze thought highly of the skill of Terebenev. "The beauty and noble character of these sculptures, accurateness and delicacy of work, glittering polish are beyond comparison and allow to say that as Egyptian Pharaohs could make their monolyth colossi, so these telamones are no worse for the Extreme North"- he wrote.
Apart from the portico with the atlantes and ornamental decor the facades are embellished with 28 sculptures and high reliefs on the eastern pediment that represent famous artists, architects, sculptors and engravers of all times and countries. The arrangement of the sculptural portraits of artists and sculptors in the niches and on the corbels demonstrated where the rooms with paintings or sculptures of this or that school were located.
Leo von Klenze paid only flying visits to Saint Petersburg and his project was designed without taking into account the existing architectural surroundings. The architects of the Special Commission, established by the order of Nicholas I, Vasily Stasov and Nikolai Yefimov introduced substantial changes in the design of their colleague from Munich. They changed the location of the main entrance to the Museum, added expressive details to the facade facing the Millionnaya street and what is most important, preserved the building of the Great Hermitage of Catherine's time.
The New Hermitage was the first building in Russia constructed with the idea to house there a huge art collections of the Museum. It is also a monument of art by itself.

September 20th, 2008, 08:35 AM
Supporting Cast

In The Details ...

By CARTER B. HORSLEY (http://www.nysun.com/authors/Carter+B.+Horsley), Special to the Sun | September 18, 2008

Caryatids, those stately maidens holding up the porch of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis in Athens (http://www.nysun.com/related_results.php?term=Athens), and their male counterparts, known as Atlantes or Telemones, are obvious means of humanizing architecture.

Konrad Fiedler In the Details. Femal sculptures. Louis Sullivan's building at Bleecker and Broadway. 9 (Konrad Fiedler / Konrad Fiedler/New York Sun)

means of humanizing architecture.
Click Images for Slideshowhttp://www.nysun.com/pics/8262_large.jpg (http://www.nysun.com/pics/8262.jpg)

http://www.nysun.com/pics/8260_large.jpg (http://www.nysun.com/pics/8260.jpg) http://www.nysun.com/pics/8255_large.jpg (http://www.nysun.com/pics/8255.jpg) http://www.nysun.com/pics/8250_large.jpg (http://www.nysun.com/pics/8250.jpg)

In our increasingly virtual and animated world of superheroines, superheroes, and supervillains — and in an architectural era that is becoming decreasingly rectilinear — such curvaceous and brawny embellishments may once again become popular.

The city's most dramatic caryatids are atop the former American Tract Society Building at 150 Nassau St., near the Brooklyn Bridge. They are lashed in as if being protected from the changing dynamics of the Lower Manhattan skyline.

New York's most attractive caryatids are tucked beneath the cornice of Louis Sullivan's ornate Bayard-Condict Building at 65 Bleecker St., between Broadway and Lafayette Street. It is the only building in the city by Mr. Sullivan, the Chicago architect famed for his exuberantly organic designs.

The Sullivan building was erected in 1898, four years after another sextet of caryatids were placed on the façade of the commercial building at 91 Fifth Ave., between 16th and 17th streets. That building was designed by Louis Korn.

Some of the most beautiful examples of caryatids have been destroyed: There were several on the second floor of the luxury apartment building at 667 Madison Ave., which was demolished in 1989. There were also three atlantes, representing different races, sculpted by Karl Bitter above the entrance to the St. Paul Building across Broadway from St. Paul's Chapel, near City Hall. The building, which was briefly the tallest in the world, was demolished in 1959; the atlantes were saved and are now in Holliday Park in Indianapolis.

A group of caryatids representing the four seasons and sculpted by Thomas Shields Clarke in 1899 can be found on the Madison Avenue façade of the Appellate Division courthouse at 25th Street, and the city's newest caryatids support a large sculpture of Duke Ellington by Robert Graham that was installed in 1997 at Fifth Avenue and 110th Street.
Other nice caryatids can be found at the top of the stoop at 32 St. Marks Place, near the top of the luxury apartment building at 960 Fifth Ave., and near the top of the low-rise building at 542 Broadway.

Caryatids and atlantes, of course, are not free-standing sculptures but structural elements. At the great Dorilton apartment building on the northeast corner of Broadway and 71st Street, two atlantes can be witnessed struggling to support the weight of a balcony on the side street.

The city's "freshest" caryatids can be found in the recently restored, skylit Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel.

Although the ancients often painted their statues, modern tastes seem to prefer the raw limestone or marble. No lipstick, please.

Mr. Horsley is the editor of CityRealty.com.


© 2008 The New York Sun