The palace of Westminster, commonly known as The Houses of Parliament, is located in the centre of London. The UK Parliament has taken it as it’s official building and has a history of being the palace for former kings. The contemporary building was designed by the architects Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin after parts of the structure were destroyed by the fire in 1834. The gothic-inspired building was rebuilt during the Victorian era with 1,000 rooms,100 staircases, passageways and gardens. It’s intricate and artistic architecture has made The Houses of Parliament iconic on a worldwide scale.
During the design process, Barry consciously decided to have an equal amount of horizontal lines, which he illustrated by using the ongoing belts of panelling with the perpendicular lines, which he portrayed through small towers that were extremely tall. He also brought forward the idea of greatly pointed iron roofs which highlighted the Palace’s grand skyline. The magnificent architecture is especially significant as it towered over the simple Georgian infrastructure of Westminster, inspiring the imagination of many Victorian people. As a result, the designs of public buildings, schools and law courts were greatly influenced so much so that it spread internationally.
Barry’s Gothic intentions even followed through to the interior furnishing of the Palace; through the wallpapers, stained glass windows, carvings and even the royal thrones. The colours of the interior buildings were symbolic, colours such as gold were used by the Monarchs, red were for the Lords whilst for the commons, the colour green was used. Each colour represented how high the person was in the social hierarchy with gold as the highest ranking. As the Victorians were especially eager to educate their guests about history, artists were employed to decorate the rooms inspired by historic events.
The Central Lobby is the heart of the Palace and was designed as a meeting place by Charles Barry. The stunning octagon shaped interior, incredible tiled floors and the rich mosaic art makes this room truly breath-taking. The central Lobby is also where the corridors from the house of commons, lords and Westminster Hall join. The grand windows are decorated with the statues of former Kings and Queens of England and Scotland since King Edward I. Above each of the four exits, there are mosaic sheets that illustrate a patron saint from the United Kingdom: St George for England, St Andrew for Scotland, St David for Wales and St Patrick for Northern Ireland. Furthermore, the windows overlooking the Central Lobby had metal bars all along it, these were the windows of the female gallery. After the fire in 1834, they were put into place to hide the sight of women in the House of Commons to make sure that the MPs weren’t getting distracted by women observing them as they work. These bars made the females feel uncomfortable and regretted from Parliament. The stylistic development of the Central Lobby took place after female protesters fought for the metal bars to be taken down from their gallery and in August 1917 they were removed and taken to the central lobby after voting. These metal bars, now found in the Central Lobby, are extremely important for both the interior design of the room and the symbolic meaning behind achieving women’s rights.A cultural movement is when there is a change in how artists, scientists and philosophers undertake their work. Throughout time, different religions and nations have experienced some form of movements in their culture but as the world develops with an increase in technology and communication, the distinction of different cultures has become less and less each year. When nations with strong cultures go through revolutions (both in Europe and in the Islamic world), traditions can sometimes be replaced and over time forgotten. The Greek culture, for example, symbolised their difference to other Mediterranean cultures around them. The Romans took from the Greek and various other styles as they travelled through Europe and the Middle East. It is thought that both the Greek and Romans were the fundamental creators of the western culture through their art, styles and movements. As they went and conquered empires, they imposed their new way of styles and traditions on that country, increasing the number of people that identify with such a culture or tradition. There were more uses of light, shadow and perspective to illustrate the meaning of life, the uprising of art and science earned those years the name of the “Golden Age”.The European styles of art are heavily influenced by literature, music, architecture and philosophy, and as these factors change and evolve, so does Europe stylistically. During the reign of Elizabeth I, the Elizabethan architecture was greatly influenced by the Renaissance architecture in England. This also matches to the Renaissance in France and the Cinquecento in Italy. Stylistically speaking, it also followed the Tudor architecture and was successful in the 17th century due to its stylistic expansion.One European style of art is the Romanesque art, from the period from approximately 1000 AD to the start of Gothic art in the twelfth century. Romanesque art is forward, bold and vibrant with vivid colours and a touch of sophistication. The art formed itself as stained glass, sculptures and architecture. Its architecture consists of broad, deep walls, curved arches and stained windows and lots of sculpted decorations. Traditions have come to evolve with every generation and era and they shape the architecture of that generation. The influences of change come from other cultures and traditions. A great example is the Tudor houses that were built in the 16th century that are still standing strong today and still remain a key design for architecture in the UK tradition. The Islamic movement is known globally for its adoption of Arabian influenced designs and its Turkish inspired architecture. The movement is a global phenonium which brought together culture and religion within forms of art. Furthermore, the Islamic movement reached all continents and infused its styles with the styles of the land it was in through art and architecture; keeping it unique in contrast to the neighbouring country’s designs. A great example is in Turkey, the Ottoman art is one of the most influential and significant elements in Turkish and historical art. The Islamic architecture covers both a secular and religious style from the history of Islam to the current day. Although having some unique factors like it’s geometric and complex patterns and styles, it does take from Persian, Chinese and Indian traditions as Islam was established near North and East Africa and East Asia.