Styles in interior design and architecture throughout the ages. Gothic Style.

Gothic style, developed from Romanesque Architecture, begins its history in the 12th century in France and spreads throughout Western Europe through the 16th century. It originated from the Goths. Gothic architecture transformed castles, churches, abbeys, palaces and pretty much the whole of Europe. It was also the architecture of many bridges, city walls, gates, universities and some private houses.

Gothic architecture tried to create airy, pleasant buildings with a lot of light. Cathedrals were tall and designed to lead the eyes upward, however, they tend to be quite narrow. Usually, Gothic buildings and cathedrals were large in size in order to preserve natural light. Main Gothic features were vertical. It was the idea of height and grandeur.

New building techniques, such as flying buttresses (2), enabled architects to spread the weight of taller walls and transform the force directly to the ground. Its significance was both practical and decorative, too.

Ribbed Vaulting (1) is another distinctive feature of the Gothic architecture.” Ribbed vaults were made up of intersecting barrel vaults, whose stone ribs supported a vaulted ceiling of thin stone panels.” Ribbed vaulting in Gothic architecture was a structural development that allowed buildings to be much taller than previous ones. They were not only aesthetically attractive but could also hold a tremendous amount of weight.

Pointed arch (3) is the most fundamental distinguishing element of Gothic style. “Gothic architects replaced the round arches of the barrel vault with the
fullsizerender-69pointed arch which distributed the vault’s weight in a more vertical direction.”

Gothic windows were lavishly decorated. Window tracery and rose windows (4) exhibit quite complex geometric shape configurations.  “This complexity is achieved by combining only a few basic geometric patterns, namely circles and straight lines, using a set of operations, such as intersection, offsetting, and extrusions.” (Generative Parametric Design of Gothic Window Tracery, Sven Havemann, 2004).

Decorative sculptures in niches and gargoyles (5), mythical figures, which were serving as a water spout, were also frequently used in Gothic buildings.

All this led to a completely new type of cathedral and building interior. Thin, opulent walls gave an impression of soaring verticality, enriched by colourful light coming through the window.

A series of Gothic revivals occurred during mid 18th century in England and spread throughout Europe in the 19th century. These styles are known as Victorian Gothic, Neo-Gothic or Jigsaw Gothic.  Gothic revival style continued to spread during the 20th century mainly for ecclesiastical and university structures.