3 Essential Qualities of Architecture

Topics: Vitruvius, Architecture, Construction Pages: 1 (404 words) Published: November 1, 2010
“Beautiful forms and compositions are not made by chance, nor can they ever, in any material, be made at small expense. A composition for cheapness and not excellence of workmanship is the most frequent and certain cause of the rapid decay and entire destruction of arts and manufactures.” Such word could never be truer like the one s spoke above by Josiah Wedgwood. Firmitas, utilitas, and venustas!! What do these words mean? Solid, useful, and beautiful are the definition of such words, spoken by none other than the glorious Vitruvius Pollio. These words were mentioned in Vitruvius famous book De Architectura where he describes his views on architecture and the three qualities that structures must have. Vitruvius believed that architecture was also an imitation of nature; just as animals build and construct their habitats, human also do the same to build and construct their habitats from the natural elements and material that the Earth provide. However, when considering a building in Pollio eyes they must posses the three qualities. So what does he actually mean when he describes “solid” as a quality? Well a building is considered solid when it can keep its form firmly instead of jerky or diffusing. In addition it must be firm, strong, dependable, substantial, and sound. The second quality mention by Vitruvius in his book De Architectura is “useful.” For a building to be considered as useful it must be capable of being serviceable, helpful, and beneficial. It also has to have practical utilities with in its facility. If the build can’t be use or serve a purpose of usage then it can’t be considered as “useful” in the way the Roman Architect Vitruvius Pollio views. The third and last quality that Pollio mentions is beauty or the building being “beautiful.” For a building to be considered as “beautiful” in Pollio’s mind the building must be very pleasing to the ear, eye, and mind. Such beauty can be used to express approval or and pleasure. In addition, such...
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