I have to tell you. I think these ole Byzantine people are just big copy cats. Architecturally they continued the Late Roman and Early Christian style with pride, but they did became distinctive with their own unique take on architecture with the building of the Hagia Sophia (divine wisdom). Basilicas and centralized plans still are the norm, however they eventually introduce the use of a square plan with a central dome. Here are some traits closely associated with the Byzantine.
#1: introduce the pendentive – a triangular curving form allowing construction of a square floor plan with a dome over top.
#2. building types are churches mostly however they did toss in a few bath houses and hippodromes.
#3. plans for churches are symmetrical, ordered, and often complex.
#4. materials: brick, concrete, iron for arches, cover bricks in stucco, marble or stone.
#5. columns: unfluted with an inverted pyramidal impost block
#6. begin making round windows for domes, gabled or sloped ceilings.
#7. interior focuses on color scheme: gold, green, red, and blue. Everything is a massive “show off”, over the top in elaborate display.
Below are photos in order of: Hagia Sophia’s exterior, Hagia Sophia’s interior, examples of Byzantine capitals, and Saint Mark’s.
Thanks for reading,