VitruviusThe Ten Books On ArchitectureTranslated by Morris Hickey MorganA Dover publication of 1960 originally published in 1914 by Harvard University Press Purpose: -A comprehensive tool for Caesar Augustus to enable his buildings worthy throughout the Empire, in great praise of Caesar. -For Vitruvius to rise to posterity In history -a return of gratitude for his pension Context / History: 1st Century BC -Vitruvius worked under Augustus’ Father -Worked building and repairing artillery -Found opportunity to write on architecture in retirement as not to interrupt Imperator Caesar Augustus
The Triad I. Strength, Durability, Firmness, Firmitas “foundations carried to solid ground” II. Convenience, Utility, Commodity, Utilitas “No hindrance to use” III. Beauty, Delight, Venustas due proportion and correct principles of symmetry Figure 9 p. 20 from: Architectural Theory Vol. 1 The Vutruvian Fallacy, David Smith Capon, Pub. John Wiley & Sons
Proportions“a correspondence among the measures of the members of an entire work” Vitruvian Man: -Book III, chapter I, part 2 -The guide for which interrelated measures were presented to the ancients from nature Perfect number 10; 6; 6 + 10, -ancients: 10 fingers -Plato: composition of 10 digits -mathematicians: 1/6 ; 1/3 ; ½ ; 2/3 ; 5/6 ; 6 -Vitruvius adds them together to get perfect number 16 Temples -Built to conform to symmetry and proportion. The column base is module when derived from proper division of width of each temple style. ex. Tetrastyle divided into 11.5 parts Hexastyle divided into 18 parts Octastyle divided into 24.5 parts 1part = column base width “Uomo Vitruviano” Leonardo Da Vinci, plate from p.2 of David Smith Capon
What still holds true Vitruvius states that man is imitative and teachable and supreme to all other animals. As is presented in the origins of the dwelling House. Fire gave comfort and man started to gather this gathering led to the building of shelters that were a joy of conversation and greater detail was added through time. Greater knowledge came as man learned from each other and from nature. The architecture that Vitruvius prescripts is highly dependent on nature from its site to proper proportions of the 4 elements in materials to the relation of human proportions in aesthetics and use.