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The Parthenon is a primarily Doric temple with some Ionic features. It has 8 x 17 columns, where each short side has two rows of columns. The internal space is filled by a cella split into two areas, the naos and sekos. Each short side features a triangular pediment, columns and a frieze of Doric order. There is a continuous frieze along the cella which is of Ionic order.

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The Temple of Apollo at Didyma stands in contrast to the Parthenon, where the Parthenon was regarded as the pinnacle of Greek architecture and particularly of the Doric order, the Apollo was under construction for centuries and was never finished. It didn’t have a pediment, cornice, and many of the sculptures and large columns were unfinished. The Didymaion was built around a natural spring, as were it’s two predecessors. Because of the fact that the temple had to be built around this spring, the centre of the temple needed to be at ground level. 
In temple designs, the centre is dedicated to a cella where a statue of a deity is usually held. The temple is expanded around this central area with columns until the desired size is reached. The cella is also raised from the ground as there are possibly multiple layers of stylobate.
The Didymaion was designed to look entirely like a normal Greek temple from the outside, but this caused issues with other elements of the temple’s design. Notably that the cella would have to be at ground level, as the appearance of a Greek temple calls for a stylobate which would raise the structure off the ground. The temple kept the stylobate and raised areas but had the cella be at ground level anyway.

Thus the Didymaion differed from the Parthenon in many ways. The style of both were typical Greek temples, where the Parthenon featured a single row of columns from the outside and a primarily Doric order, and the Didymaion featured two rows of columns and an Ionic order. The form of both were similar in some ways. Both were structured around the basic concept of a Greek temple which is to house a central area, often referred to as a cella or naos, and both feature some combination of columns and entablature. Where they differ most is the cella. The Parthenon features a standard cella, where the Didymaion has a cella that is below the the base of the temple and is not covered by a roof. The Didymaion also has two tunnels that run down the side of the cella, creating a passageway between the base and the cella.

The Ancient Mesopotamian and Indian Buddhism civilisations each had a specific type of monumental building which they used to communicate with the gods. 

The Mesopotamian civilisation of the Sumerian people were the first examples of the structure called a ‘Ziggurat’. A ziggurat is a large structure usually with 3 sets of stairs and one large elevated platform. The Great Ziggurat of Ur has a ~60m2 base and is estimated to have been over 30m tall. The most common building material of the Sumerian people were mud-baked bricks. These bricks were stacked on top of each other and sealed with more mud. 
Ziggurats served the purpose of an elevated platform for religious structures. They were seen as exclusive areas and thus entrance was restricted to only priests (and gods).

The Indian Buddhist civilisation featured a monumental building type called ‘Stupa’. Stupas originated from a different religion where deceased practitioners were buried in seated form. This resulted in a hemispherical mound shape. Stupas were related to Buddhism when Buddha’s remains were cremated and buried in eight different mounds. Stupas throughout the Buddhist religion are symbolic representations of this original burial of Buddha. 
The earliest stupas were likely built from non-durable materials like wood or soil, however, later stupas were built from brick and stone. One of the earliest known stupas, ‘The Great Stupa’ was originally constructed from brick but was later doubled in size with stone.
Basic stupas consist of three main features, the mound, a central pillar, and the railing surrounding it. More complex stupas also feature an enclosure wall and a circular terrace on which rituals could be performed.

These monumental buildings differ from each other significantly in their form and materiality. The ziggurat stands in great contrast to the stupa where the stupa ranges from the size of a human to ~10m tall, and the ziggurat is over 10m tall and usually has a base of 30-60m on each side. They are, however, somewhat similar in their materiality. Ziggurats are of course built of sun-baked bricks, and a range of stupas are partially constructed by bricks, however, most are made of stone as stupas originated long after ziggurats (<500 BCE vs 3800 BCE) and thus had better material knowledge. Both the ziggurat and stupa share the common factor of being religious buildings. While the ziggurat was originally developed as a method of protecting religious buildings from flooding, it progressively took on the meaning of getting closer to the gods and allowing a clearer communication. Thus the use of a ziggurat was purely ceremonial. The structure of a stupa is a symbolic representation of the original burial of Buddha. Because of this, participating in the construction and ritual related to stupas is seen as having great karmic benefit. The main use of the stupa is to perform rituals around it, usually circumambulating along the medhi, the path around a stupa. Light is one the fundamental concepts of architecture. It is key to designing a building that functions well in it's environment. The ancient civilisations of Egypt and Maya both provide us with examples of respect for this fundamental concept. The example from the ancient Egyptian civilisation is Abu Simbel. Abu Simbel refers to two temples located in Nubia, in Southern Egypt built in 13c BCE. They were built by the ruling Pharaoh Ramesses as a monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, and to commemorate his victory of the Battle of Kadesh. The Great Temple at Abu Simbel was designed so that on two specific days of the year, light would enter into the building and reach the back walls where it would illuminate sculptures of 3 gods and the Pharaoh. One notable detail is that the light didn't reach Ptah, a god related to the underworld. An example from the Mayan civilisation is El Castillo, the Temple of Kukulkan. This temple is located in the Mexican state Yutacán, in the archeological site Chichen Itza. It is estimated to have been built in 9-12c CE.  The temple was built as a temple to the god 'Kukulkan', a Mayan serpent deity. During a period of a few days around the autumn and spring equinoxes, light hitting the corner of the temple creates triangular shadows on the northwest balustrade, creating the illusion of a serpent crawling down the temple.  However, it is useful to note that this illusion occurs not just on the equinoxes but on a few days surrounding the equinoxes. This shows that the illusion could not have been used to mark the equinoxes nor could they be used to tell the date either. Kinkaku-Ji is a temple in Kyoto, Japan. This is another example of a building that has considered the effect of light and incorporated it into the overall design. The Zen temple walls on the top two floors are covered in a very thin gold plating. They were added as the reflection of the gold plating would represent the shrines and relics inside the structure.


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