Eiffel Tower

What key architecture projects have shaped iconic European architecture?

European architecture is a vast, rich field of styles and influences that have changed enormously over time. As one of the most important locations in the world for architecture, the projects that have taken place here over the years have shaped and influenced buildings across the globe. These are some of the key architecture projects that have made European architecture as iconic as it is today.

Sagrada Familia, Spain

The Sagrada Familia is a prime example of the Art Noveau style of architecture and was designed by the famous Gaudi. Building began in 1882 – the cathedral was originally going to be constructed by the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar but he resigned from the project and that’s when Gaudi took over. The 2.8+ million visitors every year marvel at the strong colours and Gothic motifs that define the design of the cathedral.

The Eiffel Tower, France

The distinctive look of the Eiffel Tower is unlike almost anything that exists today and was certainly unique when construction began on the project in 1887. The building was commissioned to mark the 100-year anniversary of the French Revolution and it took two years to assemble the framework. It takes 60 tonnes of paint to keep the tower looking fresh and it has to be repainted every seven years.

Florence Cathedral, Italy

Building began on Florence Cathedral in 1296 and today the iconic construction is filled with classic examples of gothic and renaissance architecture, such as flying buttresses and ordered columns. One of the most famous parts of the Florence Cathedral is its dome, which was engineered in the same style as the Pantheon in Rome. Today, the cathedral is the fourth largest in the world.

Acropolis of Athens, Greece

One of the earliest examples on the list, the Acropolis began construction in the 5th century BC. The architecture is representative of Ancient Greek construction style, in particular the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders. The Acropolis is intended to be a monument to the goddess Athena and took hundreds of craftspeople, metalworkers and painters – among many others – to build.

Colosseum, Italy

Work on Rome’s Colosseum started in 72 AD and is defined by its iconic column structure. Each level originates from different “orders” – a Roman variation of the Doric order on the ground floor, Ionic on the floor above and Corinthian above that. The building was designed for gladiatorial combats and has a very bloody history. It took nearly a decade in total to complete.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

This iconic piece of 19th century architecture might well look familiar, as Neuschwanstein provided the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle. It is classic Romanesque revival style architecture that was intended to capture both a romantic interpretation of the Middle Ages as well as King Ludwig II of Bavaria’s admiration for composer Richard Wagner.

Palace of Versailles, France

Versailles began as a brick and stone hunting lodge but Louis XIV enlarged it into the incredible example of French Baroque design that it is today. The palace was gradually expanded with fountains, gardens and wings and it’s estimated that 60% of France’s revenue was spent on it.

These are just some of the iconic architecture projects that have shaped European construction.

At RG Group we believe that there is plenty to learn from our architecture heritage. If you have a current project you’d like to discuss please get in touch.

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