ARCH0760 Palaces: Built to Impress

Ancient palaces capture the imagination as monumental and grandiose manifestations of power and wealth. These were the residences of kings, queens, and courtiers, built to impress with their echoing halls, exquisite paintings and statuary, exotic building materials, fragrant gardens, and sumptuous reception rooms. This course explores these phenomenological aspects of palatial design in the ancient Mediterranean (and beyond), delving into how architecture shapes human experience in such monumental spaces. Through a series of case studies from ancient Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Israel, Turkey, and Greece, we examine how palatial architectural design manipulates the senses, the body, behavior, and the mind to create theatrical and performative arenas. We also visit historic and monumental buildings in and around Providence, exploring firsthand how architectural design is all about the human experience. Prepare to be impressed!