The Agora And For Open Space Designs

952 Words4 Pages
The Agora and Fora: Open Space Designs to Promote the Spread of Ideas During the reign of the Greeks, and later the Roman Empire, many architectural styles emerged that would be carried over throughout the centuries. City planning, doric and ionic colonnades, and peristyle columns are just a few of the styles adapted by other civilizations from the greeks. Possibly the greatest culmination of Grecian architectural styles was the Athenian Agora, “the civic and commercial heart of the city” (Fazio, Moffett, & Wodehouse 58), where temples, Stoas, and the senate house surrounded the Panatheic Way to form a large open-air meeting place. Using the Agora as a blueprint, the Romans later developed the Forum, such as the one at Pompeii, with the same general purpose, but improved on the form in numerous ways. While both designs sought to optimize open space for religious, political, and public purposes, the Agora utilized the space as the largest meeting place of intellectuals, politicians, and the like to allow the spread of culture. However, the Roman Forum took the architectural design to a new level, adding in basilicas, triumphal arches, and public services (like latrines and markets), and even designing multiple Fora to further spread public ideas. The Athenian Agora (shown in the first picture) was the pride of greek city planning in Athens, designed to surround the Panatheic Way and to create a space for the free flow of ideas amongst the people. Beginning in 600 BCE, development of the Agora was performed over multiple eras, from the Archaic to the Classical (“History of the Agora at Athens”) . At first, the design included only a few civic buildings, such as temples, a shrine to Zeus, and the bouleterion (Senate House), but ov... ... middle of paper ... ...ere not just effective uses of space and materials, but also effective cultural expansion points to better improve each empire. Although the Agora emphasized Greek city-planning and was well-structured with respect to the Panatheic Way, the Fora of Rome exemplified the use of public space to increase the spread of knowledge by providing better public services and a more structured design. As was the case in Pompeii, grecian Agora styles were used as the blueprint for the later Roman Forum, showing the evident cause for the design style. However, the effect of this was creating a bustling public domain that logically utilized the free space provided. Therefore, these advanced architectural designs were key for each society to not only have a city hub for elections and markets, but ultimately led to the development of early democracy in these near-ancient societies.
Open Document