Topics: Architecture, Aesthetics, De architectura Pages: 2 (542 words) Published: November 26, 2013

I believe Vitruvius’s theories were valid for his time, and proof of that are the many buildings and monuments that stood for many years, and some still stand to our days, in which he based his study. Most of these buildings, which now we call as part of Classical Architecture, were the pillars of antiques societies and set the standards that for a while served as architectural models. However, we have seen through time, especially in modern years, new architectural models and ideas that many times are not faithfully dictated by Vitruvius’s theories, especially when it comes to symmetry and proportion. For instance, the west side of the Art Institute of Chicago Building has a very symmetric neoclassical façade, although on the north side we see a very different, more modern, steel and glass façade. The north side of the Art Institute does not agree with the symmetry and proportion ideas brought by Vitruvius but this fact does not take the beauty or significance out of it. Beauty, as opposed to durability and convenience, is a very subjective idea. What some people consider beautiful, other may not. But at the same time there seems to be an agreement on what most people think is not beautiful. I do not believe there are rules to beauty but I think Vitruvius offered a valid path to achieve beauty in architecture. And this path was taken by many other architects that came after him which made Vitruvius’s theory even stronger. However, today we can see many other paths that architects had taken that look very different among themselves but in the end are very good examples of beauty. We could consider different styles in architecture as different paths to beauty. I would say Vitruvius offered a path to classical beauty in regards of architecture. In the last part of “Book 1” Vitruvius introduces his famous triad: durability, convenience, and beauty. The first two principles are very straight forward. The third one though, beauty, is more subjective and...
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