Describe And Analyse The History And Cultural Context Of Two Significant Buildings Of The Same Typology From Two Different Centuries One Of Which

996 words - 4 pages

Museums are places of exhibition and teaching. The place of a museum has changed as the culture around the world has evolved , museums have grown from a rich man’s play thing to an accessible learning environment that can produce an exhibition that changes the perception of reality or show artefacts that allow us a greater understanding of the known world. With that the museum build has changed to accommodate this evolution in culture, from the grand terracotta Romanesque build to a truly modern enclosure the main aspects of a museum have always been the same to show the pieces of artwork or artefacts in the best way possible with as little damage to the object as possible.

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Completed in 1881 the Natural History Museum was first intended to be an extension of the British Museum for the Natural History department which outgrew the space provided. With the department lobbying for not just extra space but a new museum with increased funding, the commission was accepted and the original design decided on the museum was a Renaissance build by engineer Captain Francis Fowke. In the end due to the sudden death of Captain Fowke the project was given to Alfred Waterhouse who changed the style of the build to German Romanesque with extremely great attention to detailing on the exterior and interior.

Waterhouse’s design was very orientated around a grand entrance and main hall with lavish exterior and interior detailing like every other museum around the victorian period. The exterior design of the building was very similar to the German Romanesque churches Waterhouse took his ideas from, which was unusual as the main style for the period was Gothic. Another outstanding difference was the detailing and façade and the material used for them. The museum was the first ever building in the UK to be totally clad in terracotta.

Victorian culture called for a very opulent designs in state buildings to give a sense of importance and grandness to the institution that resides within them. Waterhouse took this even further and allowed the architecture to be an extension of the institution. He made is so when you saw the building it is instantly recognisable as the Natural History Museum. This merging of architecture and institution to produce a specific building allowed the Natural History Museum to be one of the iconic buildings in London.

Taniguchi’s style again like Waterhouse was very much against the trend for museums. His modernistic approach with clean backgrounds and foregrounds take over the traditional detail orientated and lavish designs for...

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