Marcus Vitruvius Venusta Analysis

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Introduction The idea of Architecture of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio’s treatise De architectura, known today as The Ten Books on Architecture defined the development of Western architecture as we know today. According to Vitruvius, a good building should satisfy the three principles of firmitas, utilitas and venustas. (Vitruvius Pollio, 2006). In translation, firmitas relates to the ability of a structure to stand up robustly and remain in good condition, utilitas that it should be useful and fulfil its purpose, and venustas, that is should delight people and raise their spirits. A simple but more concise translation of the three principles is strength, commodity and beauty. The first two principles, durability and utility are straightforward and rational objectives. They relate to the practical requirements that a building should meet in order to shelter and protect its inhabitants. It is the third principle, beauty, which appears to be more complex and raises some interesting architectural questions of significance to this paper. Venustas, relates to the ability of a building to ‘delight people and raise their spirits’ and appears as a much more complex architectural objective when compared to the practical nature of firmitas and utilitas. Norberg‐Schulz acknowledges the more complex aspects of our life‐world in his statement: “Our everyday life‐world consists of concrete ‘phenomena’. It consists of people, of animals, of flowers, trees and forests, of stone, earth, wood

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