The Ancient Roman Pons Aemilius (today called Ponte Rotto). Initially constructed in 179 BC, it is the oldest Roman stone bridge in Rome, Italy. In 12 BC, Augustus completely restored the bridge with a tuff and concrete core. Photo courtesy & taken by Patrick Denker
The Romans based much of their architecture on the domes. Domes permitted the construction of vaulted ceilings, and could cover large public spaces. The Pantheon in Rome has a concrete dome with an oculus opening to the sky. The light from the oculus moves around this space in a sort of reverse sundial effect. The oculus also serves as a cooling and ventilation method. During storms, a drainage system below the floor handles the rain that falls through the oculus.
The Western Roman Empire may have fallen more than 1,500 years ago, but its rich legacy of innovation and invention can still be seen today. The Romans were prodigious builders and expert civil engineers, and their thriving civilization produced advances in technology, culture and architecture that remained unequaled for centuries.
Researchers discover secret recipe of Roman concrete that allowed it to endure for over 2,000 years - See more at: http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/researchers-discover-secret-recipe-roman-concrete-020141#sthash.lKf4Mtq9.dpuf
Cross-section of an insulae (the Latin word for island). Concrete and brick building with wooden roofs. Built around small courtyards with shops and taverns on the ground floor and living quarters above.