We live in an age where technology and architecture are becoming synonymous, and we’re all more than a little bit obsessed with the latest tech gadgets and fancy new designs.
But in the 21st century, it’s easy to forget that architecture, as the name suggests, has roots in ancient cultures.
The Aztec people of Mexico, for instance, were renowned for their great stone structures and intricate design.
When they were first discovered, the Aztec civilization was already well established, but a few decades later, they started to fall prey to a disease called tuberculosis, which spread across the continent, and soon, the entire Aztec empire was in ruins.
After a few centuries of struggle, the last of the Aztecs was wiped out by the Spanish in 1521.
While Aztec architectural styles were the epitome of the golden age of the 20th century, there was a time when their grand structures were much less impressive than the contemporary skyscrapers of New York and Los Angeles.
So, how did the Aztes come to be so impressive?
In the early 20th Century, an architect named Emilio de Cervantes came up with a theory that was popular at the time, which was that Aztec buildings were actually the works of aliens.
In his book, The Art of Manliness, he theorized that Azteks had designed these beautiful structures to hide their true identity from the world, so they could be hidden from enemies and their enemies from them.
This, of course, meant that they were designed with human elements, like roofs, windows, and doors.
To make his theory seem plausible, Cervante theorized they had hidden the Aztek buildings in a very unusual way, by using the traditional Aztec pattern.
“If you take away the roofs, the roofs of the buildings are just like human figures, except that the roofs are made of a special material,” he said.
“In the same way, if you take off the windows, the windows are made up of two elements, one of which is made of metal and the other is made up out of glass.
In the Aztician building, the glass elements are made out of copper.”
Cervantes’ theory of Aztec building design, or, more specifically, the use of the shapes of buildings as architectural elements, was popular and gained popularity among the educated classes of the time.
However, as we’ve all learned, the theory was based on a misunderstanding of what architecture really was.
In a letter to the editor in 1899, architect J.M. Peacock said that “the Aztec architects did not use the standard architectural form of the great pyramids and pyramids of Egypt.”
Instead, he claimed that the Azteles had created a new form of architecture.
Peacock also claimed that “these Aztec structures were of such grandeur and beauty that it was impossible for an educated man to see them without seeing the buildings themselves.”
As an example of this, Peacocks description of a tower constructed of limestone blocks, that was made of three overlapping stone sections, and covered with copper roofing, which he called “tiger’s eye.”
“The architecture of the towers and pyres, the forms of the roofs and the windows and the doors and the roofing and the roofs which they made were so great, that the people of the world could see the buildings without having to go into the city itself,” Peacocker wrote.
But while Peacocking’s theory was popular, the architecture of Aztezas buildings was much more complex than what we can today recognize as a modern skyscraper.
One of Peacuckers most famous creations was the “Buchette Tower,” a tower that he said was “built of the finest materials of the earth and of the most brilliant colours and forms.” “
They have windows, which are made by using a variety the copper, or silver, or gold, or iron, or the other materials.”
One of Peacuckers most famous creations was the “Buchette Tower,” a tower that he said was “built of the finest materials of the earth and of the most brilliant colours and forms.”
According the Aztic architect, the tower had to be able to withstand the intense heat of the day, but he was not concerned with the details.
A detailed view of the construction of the Buchetté Tower.
Source: Alamy/AAP image “It was built by a man, the architect of the tower, whose name is Bicanteco,” Peaceocks son wrote in a letter published in 1900.
“The tower has to be strong enough for the sun, but not so strong that it would be burned.
And he also has to build it from the ground, and he built it to be capable of surviving the day and night.