The 18th century was a point in time when the world was changing and evolving, this time period is known as the industrial revolution. There were several types of revolutions and growth during this time. The general population grew immensely due to increased farming and food quantity. Due to the development of national banks, paper currency and stock exchanges a financial revolution was also happening.
Industrial and transportation revolution took off due to the creation of stories, cast iron, machines and manufactured products. The evolution of science also took off during this time after the invention of electricity. As the population grew the gap between the rich and the poor shrank, starting the rise of the middle class and the fall of the church. The middle class in turn plays a vital role in the revolution of architecture. As industrial materials became easier and cheaper to produce the creativity of architecture took off, cast iron playing a huge role in this change.
With the invention of cast iron architects were now able to hide the structure of the alluding underneath decorating fades and create more visual effects with aesthetics. The increase in manufactured products and materials revolutionized the infrastructure of buildings. The buildings no longer needed to be built completely out of stone but are supported by steel structure with stone used as decorative facade. Now that the stone was not the supporting structure this allowed for smaller columns, bigger windows, taller walls, higher arches and taller buildings.
The need for skilled craftsmen started to dwindle as prefabricated materials made the assembly of construction easier, and the idea of an architect as a hired professional became more common. As the profession of architecture took off during this time there were many amazing and unique buildings created. The new techniques available for construction allowed architects to be very creative and really push the envelope of new design. On the other hand while new limits were being reached, architecture was also being cut back and streamlined for larger scale commercial/ industrial buildings.
The growing need for industrial factories created a need to build faster and easier. Therefore industrial buildings were designed to be large, square and plain with lots of windows. The creativity and freedom in architecture was slightly lost in these types of buildings however this also helped to identify the type of building from the exterior. All of these revolutions have lead to shape the way we live and build today. The things we have today would not be around if not for these wonderful discoveries. I do believe that these evolutions allowed architects to take buildings to new shapes, sizes and heights.
As much as the industrial revolution catapulted building design and eave architects the treated to create masterpieces, it also and it sets backs as well. Construction has been so streamlined with manufactured products to make installation easy that a lot of homes and buildings now have the “cookie-cutter” look. The spunk and creativity of architecture has been lost in certain aspects especially in residential design. That being said the world would not be what it is today without the evolutions that happened in the industrial revolution. Even though houses may look the same now, the possibilities of architecture are now endless.