Back to Page Authors: Karim Mohamed Mohamed Ali Elzamek, Khaled Dewidar, Eslam Abdelkhalek

Keywords: architectural eras, diversity, politics, presidential palaces, symbolism of power

Abstract: Architecture is considered very expressive to what it wants to portray. It plays a major role when it comes to the portraying of the political power of a country to the outside world. Whether is it by the size of the building, the age of the building or even the exterior and the interior finishing of the building, all of this can either reflect political power or weakness. Therefore, architecture and politics have a correlated relationship between one another and if they are not utilized well together, this may cause a rapid downfall to the political strength of a country. The power of architectural symbolism also has no rules since architecture is very diverse nowadays and has changed a lot throughout the different eras. These different eras can include the Roman era, the Greek Era, the Gothic Era and a lot more. Some eras got revived after they fell and some didn’t. One of the major architectural buildings that is supposed to emphasize power and political strength are presidential palaces. A lot of people correlate the word president with power so derived from that concept, presidential palaces portray power to the nation it serves. Power in architecture may be correlated with heavy and bulky structures. This misconception is what makes it clear that a lot of people do not have a clear understanding how architecture symbolizes power. The symbolism of power in architecture differs from time to time. Some political parties of different eras thought that heavy and bulky architecture would show power, and some did not. This shows you how diverse the symbolism of power, or the symbolism in architecture in general, can be. The aim of this paper paper is to elaborate what is actually meant by the symbolism of architecture, describe the different ways a building can symbolize something, explain how architecture and politics are correlated, how architecture can symbolize power, explain the different ways different eras symbolized powers in their buildings, give a historical background about presidential palaces, do a comparative analysis between the presidential palaces that belong to the different dominant civilizations throughout the different historical eras and how they emphasized power.