As the origin of classicism, Ancient Greek architecture plays a key role. Withs its range of decorations like sculpted columns, pediments and entablatures with a system of proportinal composition were included in classical architecture.

The Greek city, or polis, demanded a large area where people could appoint their democratic ideas in a public debate. The active communication among people was the stating point of the buildings of classical Athens.


The Greek Polis: The city of Public Space

The Greeks mainly designed open spaces with a few colonnaded buildings unlike Egypt, Assyria and Persia which built great palaces and tombs. Also the fragmented landscape formed a basis for independent and self-managed cities which enabled the concept of democracy. Open public spaces and public buildings drived from this approach later on forming polis as Aristotle said: ” When several villages are united in a single complete community, large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the polis comes to existence.”

The agora which means gathering was the main public space of the Greek polis which was in the middle of the city unlike other cultures where this certain public space was in front of the temples and the palaces.  Stoas, box like structures with collonades which was visually and physically available to its surrounding, served as edges to the agora. Another thing is that the building types were shaped directly with their functionalities with a gridal system aided with proportions.

Classical Orders

The columns of Greek temples were integrated with these three styles: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian which were formulaic proportions for the architectural language.

The Doric order was typcially six modules high and left two modules of intercolumnation between one column and the next. The Temple of Hera Paestum, a typical example of a Doric temple, carried six columns on the short sides and fourteen on the long.

The Ionic order where columns rose from a convex base with slim shafts and many flutes as in the example of the Temple of Artemisat at Ephesus in which the proportions of one module to nine were used.

The Corinthian order was the one with the ornamentations which was founf in the Temles of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae. The interesting thing is that the exterior columns were Doric and the interior was filled with Ionic columns where a single Corithian column arose lie a statue with carved leaves.