The Classical Nature of the Trinity College Examination Hall

explanatory Essay
1405 words
1405 words

The term “Classical” refers to the time period of the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. The architectural techniques of these peoples’ allowed them to create buildings that we admire to this day. The architectural style has several distinct characteristics that continue to influence modern architectural design. The utilization of symmetry, centralized composition, order, and a devotion to congruence has resulted in a unique and profound model for building. Roman engineer, Marcus Vitruvius, lived during the first century and wrote a book on architecture called De Architectura. This treatise on architecture provided a comprehensive model for building, which among other things stated that all must be built with reference to durability (firmitas), convenience (utilitas), and beauty (venustas) (Summerson 10). The buildings at Trinity College Dublin are mainly of a classical nature and abide by the words of Vitruvius. The Dublin Parliament granted the college large sums of money mainly in the 18th century; therefore, allowing for the creation of expensive and magnificent buildings during this period (Casey 389). The Examination Hall, designed by Sir William Chambers in 1785, exemplifies the exquisite classical-styled architecture that makes the campus unique. The features of the building include: “an apsidal hall with a three-bay arcaded vestibule and gallery above, a free-standing tetrastyle portico and three floors of offices to either side” (Casey 396). Chambers utilizes classical devices to create a building that fits with the local surroundings and has a formal and traditional appearance. In general, the Examination Hall possesses a predominately classical design despite certain discrepancies.
The façade of the building cons...

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In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the ancient greek and roman civilizations' architectural techniques allowed them to create buildings that we admire to this day.
  • Explains the tetra-style architecture of the exam hall. the entablature is corinthian and the pantheon's façade depicts the classical style of roman temples.
  • Explains that the exam building incorporates roman or rounded arches on both the exterior and interior, which is a typical classical design.
  • Explains that the ceiling of the exam building is a barrel vault, which dates back to the roman period and was popular during the renaissance
  • Explains that the exam building resembles the roman temples of the past and acts as a "secular power-symbol" due to its established and imposing style.
  • Describes encyclopaedia britannica's "apse" and "clerestory."
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