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Architecture: its forms and functions

1. Read, translate the text, find words regarding to your special terms and explain their meaning:

Architecture is the art or science of planning, building and structures. Without consideration of structural principles, materials, social and economic requirements a building cannot take form. But without aesthetical quality inherent in its form a building cannot be considered as a work of architecture as well.

From the very beginning of construction in human history lots of architectural skills, systems and theories have been evolved for the construction of the buildings, which have housed nations and generations of people in any kind of their activity. Writings on architecture are almost as old as writing itself. Books on the theory of architecture, on the art of buildings, and on the aesthetical view of buildings exist in great number. The oldest book, which sets forth the principles, upon which buildings should be designed and which aim is to guide the architect, is the work of Markus Vitruvius Pollio written in the first century B. C.

Architecture is an art. Its nowadays expression should be creative and consequently new. The heritage of the past cannot be ignored, but it must be expressed in modern terms. There exists an evident paradox in the coexistence of change and survival in every period of human civilization. This paradox of change and repetition is clearly illustrated in any architectural style.

Architecture is also the style or manner of building in a particular country or period of history. There are widely known examples of Gothic architecture all round the globe. During many centuries mankind admires the architecture of ancient Greece or Roman Empire as well.

Nearly two thousand years ago the Roman architect Vitruvius listed three basic factors in architecture. They are convenience, strength and beauty. These three factors have been present and are always interrelated in the best constructions till the 21st century. No true architect could think of any of them without almost automatically considering the other two as well. Thus, architectural design entails not only the necessity to study various solutions for convenience, structure and appearance as three separate processes. Architectural design also includes the necessity to keep in mind the constant interaction of these factors. It's impossible for an architect first plan a building from the point of view of convenience, and then make the design of a strong construction around his plan to shelter it. Then, as a final touch, try to adjust and decorate the whole to make it pretty. Any design evolving from such kind of work will produce only a confused, incoherent, and unsatisfactory building. When speaking about any truly great building we cannot but say that every element in it has a triple implication or significance.

This triple nature of architectural design is one of the reasons why architecture is a difficult art. It needs some unique type of imagination as well as long years of training and experience to make a designer capable of getting requite in the light of these three factors—use, construction and aesthetic effect — simultaneously. The designer must have a good knowledge as of engineering so of building materials. This knowledge will enable him to create economically strong and practical construction. The designer, in addition, must possess the creative imagination, which will enable him to integrate the plan and the construction into the harmonious whole. The architect's feeling of satisfaction in achieving such integration is one of his/her (their) greatest rewards.

Key vocabulary/expressions:

entail – вызывать

evolve – развиваться

incoherent – непоследовательный, несвязный

inherent – присущий, неотъемлемый

heritage – наследство

requite – вознаграждение

triple – тройной, утраивать


2. Find synonyms to the following words from the text:

art of building have to

structure special word

build stage

start manner

people history world

many, numerous well-known

experience whole

live 12 months

manuscript main

ancient comfort

for a long time durability

ought to different

project (v) decision

purpose contain

rule remember

projecter cover

modern last

to make smth more beautiful big

to be able to thing

have connect


3. Compose words into sentences according to the text:

1) Science, of, building, architecture, the planning, is, structure, or, and, art.

2) Architecture, old, itself, writings, as, on, are, writing, as, almost.

3) Which, architect, the, to guide, oldest, aim, book, Markus Pollio, is, the, is, work, the, of.

4) Ignored, it, terms, the, cannot, be, modern, in the, be, past, expressed, in, heritage, of, but, must.

5) Mankind, of, Roman, during, the, ancient, of, as, many, admires, well, centuries, Greece, Empire, architecture, or.

6) Have. in, till, convenience, been, the, century, beauty, the, present, strength, constructions, 21st, and, best.

7) Three, design, the, constant, architectural, factors, design, the, also, interaction, also, in, necessity, to keep, includes, mind, of.

8) Building, the, must, materials, have, as, engineering, of, knowledge, designer, a, so, a, of, good.


4. Check the translation of one paragraph from the text and find some stylistically mistakes:

С самого начала строительства в человеческой истории множества архитектурных опытов, систем и теорий развивались для строительства зданий, которые населяли нации и поколения людей в любом виде их деятельности. Письменности по архитектуре почти такие же старые как письменность сама. Книги по теории архитектуры, по искусству строительства и по эстетическому виду зданий существуют в большом количестве. Самая старая книга, которая устанавливает четыре принципа, по которым здания следует проектировать и чья цель – руководить архитектором, является работа Марка Витрувия Поллио, написанная в I в. до н.э.


5. General understanding. Answer the questions to the text:

1.What is architecture?

2.What is the oldest book to set forth the principles of construction?

3.How should mankind deal with the heritage of the past?

4.What three basic factors in architecture were listed nearly two thousand years ago?

5.Why architecture is a difficult art?

6.What can we say about any truly great building?

7.What integration must an architect achieve?

6. Let's talk about architecture. Compose the dialog on following topics:

1.What famous Russian/English architectors do you know?

2.Among Seven Wonders of the World there were some famous buildings and constructions. Do you know them?

3.What famous architectural complexes in Russia do you know?

4.What do you think about your city/town architecture?


7. Write down the composition “My impressions of modern architecture” using information from lessons VIII-IX and your point of view.


8. Compose the plan to the text and speak briefly about architecture, its basic factors and tasks.


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