The foundation unit was based on the establishment of everything. Everything had its start from somewhere. From the first settlements, in Mesopotamia, China, Ohio valley, and Teotihuacán, had one common theme and that is the form of stacking. They built using natural material that surrounded them and used them to their advantage, in this case stacking; from there, walls and cities were created. They built upon what they understood, from prototypes; in this case life and death, which helped form the look of the city. One example of this was the Teotihuacan society where they had the sun and moon temple that could be described as the life and death temple. These temples are an example of how through the use of stacking monuments were formed.
Egypt took this concept of stacking and formed the pyramids on the west and the city in the east. They took their religion and theory of what they knew of life and developed a city to reflect their beliefs. Using the natural material around them they stacked up each block to form the pyramids. But before they were pyramids it was the mestaba an underground burial place for the dead. Then taking that form and stacking one on top of the other created the step pyramid; leading up to what the pyramids that we familiarize with are created. In the hypostyle hall they had stylized lotus columns that would become the prototype of future societies to view them. Their way of narrating their society’s life became the ornamentation of their time, and a history marked literally in time. Within their own society there was a since of prototype, and archetype.
Greece borrowing from Egypt took the stylized column and used it to their advantage, becoming what we know as the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns. Having a different view of life changed the concept and set of architecture. They believed in living for the day and making everything perfect and aesthetically pleasing. They had the method of keeping everything proportional and symmetrical basing it off of the diameter of the columns used in the structure. Different from how Egypt had set up their city, Greece was very harmonious in having an a-symmetrical balance in their arrangement. The columns were used as a structural support and a method of keeping everything proportional, because it had its own equation to keep everything in order. Even within their first attempts to find the perfect balance of diameter and height of column was the prototypes of the Grecian temples. Compared to the previous temple columns the improved version is much slimmer and proportional. Becoming the archetype in which different methods would be tested and refined to its full potential.
Rome had the precedents of both Egypt and Greece to construct their empire. They stacked and reused what was available to them. They combined, mixed and matched the styles to add decoration to their architecture. With what they had they built upon it and came up with new structures due to what the people needed. It was the need for innovation in which they created new forms. They revisited Egypt’s use of story telling in trajan’s column. The columns themselves changed from not only being structural support but ornamentation as well. Rome was now being the hybrid because they incorporated different elements. A good example of stacking from Rome is the Roman Coliseum. This structure used the columns that were once seen in the Grecian society as architectural support, as a decorative system stacking the orders on top of one another.
It is not uncommon that stacking remained throughout the centuries and that is also being used currently. We are constantly looking back at previous societies to see what they had to offer in design. We only use what is important just like they did and morphed it to whatever our needs are in society. Each society has a major influence to one another and the same is true for modern cultures. Whether we are actually stacking the columns on top of each other or stacking and building upon the ideas and concepts once used ancient societies.