Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Golden Section

The Golden Section self evident in organ steps at St. Mary's Studley Yorkshire UK

Proportion, space and scale are an important factor in many buildings, and the most successful of them are a balanced mixture of all three elements. Several theories of proportion exist to illustrate how the implicit form of architecture can affect our senses by creating a meniscus of tension. Interestingly, the principles involved with most systems are similar, perhaps hinting at an innate value system of proportion in all of us, across all cultures.

The best known of these systems is the Golden Section, which is based upon a Pythagorean theory of ratio. The Collin's Dictionary describes the Golden Section as ' the proportion of the two divisions of a straight line such that the smaller is to the larger as the larger is to the sum of the two'

The Golden Section is self evident in the Parthenon

Even in the C20th Le Corbusier developed his own modular system which is based upon the Golden Mean. Summerson in his brilliant book Architecture in Britain 1530-1830 - says his work 'is so successful as a modern form of architecture because it holds within its genius loci the strings of form which link it tothe buildings of a past tradition'

Andy Marshall is a professional architectural photographer. Most images can be downloaded 24/7 at Alamy

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