Gothic Influenced Themes

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The Oxford University Museum of Natural History is an exemplary example of an Oxford structure employing Gothic-influenced themes. Since Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished in Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages, you would expect to discuss a cathedral. However, even though the Gothic era had ended some three hundred years prior, Henry Acland’s visually stunning as well as artifact-rich neo-Gothic Oxford University Museum of Natural History is captivating in capturing the very spirit of Gothic architecture. Despite running over budget by almost 300% and having a few incomplete areas such as the inner archway, the Museum certainly stands equal to its earlier predecessors when it comes to its Gothic styling. The architecture of The Oxford University Museum of Natural History is based on Gothic themes and this assertion will be supported by the examination of its pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses, all of which constitute the primary characteristics of Gothic design.
Contrary to the modern connotation of the word “Gothic,” the original Gothic style was developed to bring
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Interestingly, the Gothic design beat the Renaissance design “not so much for the actual design, as for the relative value of Gothic Architecture” (Acland). In addition, one important caveat was that the building needed to “readily len[d] itself to extension in any direction, as enlargement was called for” (Acland). Acland believed this principle was “the character of every period of good Gothic.” Nevertheless, the outcome of his Gothic choice is visually and architecturally spectacular. The successful combination of pointed arches, ribbed vaults and unique flying buttresses resulted in the creation of one of the most prestigious Gothic structures in
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