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Year 5 Visual Arts

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Feeling big and small with architecture

leaning tower of pisa

The ancient Greeks used to say that ‘man is the measure of all things’, which is why you don’t feel overwhelmed, even by their greatest buildings like the Parthenon. However, the twentieth - century Swiss architect Le Corbusier described buildings as ‘machines for living in’, and many modern buildings like skyscrapers make you feel very small indeed.

Now look at these photos of two buildings in London: Saint Paul’s Cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher Wren using elements of ancient Greek architecture and the Shard is a new, modern-style building. How do you think you would feel if you were standing in front of these two buildings? If you are in London, visit each building and experience the difference. Can you work like an architect to draw two buildings, one that is more traditional and like an ancient Greek building and one that is as modern as you like?



This activity is adapted from page 152 of What Your Year 5 Child Needs to Know.

Click below to see a related activity.

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