Vitruvius Pollio Book 1

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Vitruvius Pollio, Book 1 in Ten Books on Architecture

In chapter one of Vitruvius’ book on architecture, he emphasizes on the importance and qualifications required of an architect. The extensive knowledge in several different fields of study is necessary when designing a building. An architect must understand the reason why certain ideologies are implemented. According to Vitruvius, the fundamental principles of architecture depend on order, arrangement, eurhythmy, symmetry, propriety and economy. Furthermore, these can be summarized as firmness, commodity and delight. Firmness denotes something that is well made and has a structure. Commodity means a design should have a function, a usage. A building’s function can be categorized into its primary space and its secondary space. The primary space will be the main function of the building. The secondary space is what makes the building usable. Delight signifies that a design must have beauty. This involves order, arrangement, eurhythmy and symmetry. For example, in a design, each component is considered separately as well as proportionally to the whole. It requires an arrangement and an adjustment dependent on its character. The foremost concern of architects, says Vitruvius, is the art of building, and he divided building into two parts. The first, and foremost, is the construction of towns and cities, and of public buildings. There are in turn three classes of public buildings. Buildings for military defense, such as walls, tower, and gates. Religious buildings such as shrines and temples, and utilitarian buildings such as meeting halls, harbors, markets, colonnades, baths, theaters, and promenades. The second of these is building for private individuals, for example, private houses and public housing. All building, governed by that sense of propriety that takes into account its purpose, "must be built with due reference to durability, convenience, and beauty."

Vitruvius begins to analyze the...
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