Ancient Greek to Modern Architecture with Greek Influence
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 22:20


No matter where you are in the world today, chances are you have come across a piece of Greek-inspired architecture.

Buildings, monuments, and even houses have always borrowed ideas from some of Greece’s most famous landmarks throughout history, and as time goes on, the thoughts used for these once-traditional structures have begun to take a turn for the contemporary.

Modern Greek architecture is commonly defined as architecture which has followed international and cultural trends; however, real modern Greek architecture actually began when the Modern Greek state was established after the country’s war of independence in 1821.

The materials mostly used by Greeks when it came to constructing their structures primarily consisted of wood, unbaked bricks, limestone and marble, and terracotta and metals. Today, these supplies are still used by contractors who build edifices, whether they are structures signifying religion, politics, or recreation.

Of all the architectural designs used by ancient Greeks throughout history, three major systems have withstood the test of time and are today still used. These include the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian styles. Each order has its own definitive characteristics, however they can also be easily confused to the untrained eye.

The first order is the Doric style of architecture. This style is arguably the most famous Greek system used around the world today. It is what you will find when visiting the Parthenon and Acropolis, distinguished by vertical columns and a plain roof. It has also been used historically by colonies of southern Italy and Sicily, and is one of the oldest architectural orders that exists today.

The second style is known as the Ionic order. This style is described as more delicate, intricate, and elegant than Doric architecture. Having originated in eastern Greece, Ionic structures are believed to have become dominant during the Hellenistic period.

Lastly we have the Corinthian style of architecture. Corinthian architecture is intended to be an altered version of the Ionic style. There is much detail used in the Corinthian order, although surprisingly it is not commonly found in Greece.

Check out our gallery of both ancient and modern structures using the blueprints discussed above:

The Acropolis in Athens

The White House in Washington, D.C.

A rendering of the Temple of Zeus in Athens, Greece

The Temple of Apollo in Bassae

The Oslo Trading Building in Norway

A house-style cottage somewhere in the United States

The Coliseum in Rome, featuring all three orders of Greek architecture

Corinthian architecture at the Fontana di Trevi in Rome

Several balconies using Doric columns

A detailed Corinthian column at the Temple of Zeus

The Temple of Poseidon in Paestum, Italy

Ionic columns at the Chamber of Commerce in Dougherty County, Georgia

And who can forget the house from Hollywood’s “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”…

By Staff Writer – Jonathan Bliangas