Once the Roman Empire ceased to exist, the people of that era were in total chaos. In the early Gothic Era there was a rise in Christianity that swept the western world because the church was the only safe orderly place left. The main goal of the Gothic period was to make order out of chaos. Churches were erected in the shape of crosses to bring heaven to earth through design. The center and usually the tallest crossing point of the church is where the two would meet and create centrality and order. Italy at this time was concerned with geometrical division as well. The church \people believed that the genetic code of the universe was in geometric shapes, and if the world ended at the beginning of the century, it would not be destroyed. All of the churches at this time used light to connect the world back to heaven through design. In all of the chaos, the church sought the keep the order through geometric shapes, light, and height.
In the Renaissance period they were even more obsessed with order and perfection. They chose to revive the ancient world in a Romanesque manner “in the manner of Rome” The question was though how do you legitimately and appropriately revive the past? They wanted to stick to the rules of Rome, but somehow change the designs. The dome at Santa Maria del Fiore was inspired by the pantheon only Brunelleschi wanted to he used a cloister vault. It had a steep pointed profile and was octagonal in shape. There was a thicker dome on the inside and a thinner one on the outside and the two were nested inside of each other connected by ribbed arches at each of the corners. This all began reviving the past.
After the Renaissance there was an intense need for something new that had never been done before. In order to this rules had to be broken and artistic creativity had to break out of the box. At the beginning of the seventeen century the same structural and static structures were pushed to the edge by the Baroque period. Baroque designs were elaborate, embellished, and complex. It was all about capturing movement in emotion in the work and further expanding design. The statue of David by Michelangelo in the Renaissance was standing there in thought, while Bernini’s David was captured in movement with intense expression on his face. After the Baroque period, there was a transition to Rococo architecture. This design was about light colors and the delicate, irregular curvilinear ornament captured in the design. This was partially due to the stuffy architecture of the chateau Versailles in France. Everyone was sick of the cramped interiors and wanted to feel at ease. The rococo architecture achieved this with the fluidity of the designs.
All the new architecture that arose after the fall of Rome was helpful in to deside was is legitimate in design. Do we keep it simple and to the rules or do we break the rules with elaborate details and colors. All of these designs gave way to what was about to happen in the next phase of architecture when technology pushes design further.