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Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture

Categories Architecture, Books

Essay, Pages 5 (1081 words)

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Essay, Pages 5 (1081 words)

The first chapter of the book comprises of the aspects of an Architect, the principles of Architecture and its departments. Even the idea of choosing the right site or location for a structure is also covered in this chapter. The second chapter, on the other hand, touches the origin of the very first dwelling, and the methods of building up a wall. The substances and materials cast upon structures during the early times, which are still used nowadays, are also stated as well.

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“The architect should be equipped with knowledge of many branches of study and varied kinds of learning, for it is by his judgement that all work done by the other arts is put to test”, was the very first sentence mentioned in the chapter. Yet, it is as if it has thoroughly explained the paragraphs that followed it. This subchapter is entitled as “The Education of the Architect”. Just by reading that title, it already gives you a hint on the topic.

This is literally about the knowledge and skills that one architect should uphold.

He should be knowledgeable in many fields; geometry, history, optics, drawing, arithmetic, philosophy, music, theatre, medicine and a lot more. It is necessary for him to be educated in these fieldsbecause of the very reason that, everything involved with architecture will rely on the architect’s judgement, plan and theories. He need not excel on all these fields; neither should he be ignorant of it all. It is so, because an individual cannot be a master of each and every one of it.

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It is hardly anybody’s capacity and ability to be able to conceive and understand all of the speculation and principles of these studies. The second subchapter is “The Fundamental Principles of Architecture”. There are 6 principles, namely: Order, Arrangement, Eurythmy, Symmetry, Propriety, and Economy.

The first is Order; it is defined as the adjustment of certain substances according to quantity. Secondly is Arrangement. It is the idea of putting things in a suitable sequence and adjustments according to the character of the work. Eurythmy, thirdly,is the adjustments of the members wherein they all correspond symmetrically. The next on is Symmetry. It is mainly described as the relation of the different parts to the whole work itself. Propriety, on the other hand, is said to be the perfection of style which comes when a work is authoritatively constructed on approved principles. And the last on is economy. It is the arrangement of components & materials according to cost, matters of construction and other aspects. The third subchapter is about the different departments of architecture; the art of building, the making of time-pieces, and the construction of machinery. The matter of building is divided in to two – construction of towns & public works for general use, and putting up structures for private individuals. There are 3 types of public buildings: defensive, religious, and for utilitarian purposes.

Examples of structures for defence are walls, gates and towers. Under religious purposes, are temples and churches. As for utility – baths, markets, theatres and many others are built for public use. Three aspects must also be met in the making of these structures, namely durability, convenience and beauty. “The Site of a City”, is the fourth subchapter. This is about the matter of deciding the proper place to put up towns and habitations. This is being based mainly on the climate of the vicinity. Is the place too warm? Too cold? Does this place have marshes? It is said that the ideal site is a healthy, temperate place and far away from marshes. Climate also affects the resources of the site; such as animals and source of food. This thereof, is a necessity for living among the inhabitants. The next subchapter is entitled as “The City Walls”. This focuses mainly on the protection of the city from attackers. The construction of thick walls and polygonal towers are the main defences from any form of assault.

The succeeding subchapter is about the laying out of the streets and alleys according to the remarks on the winds. The flow of the wind should be shut out from the dwellings to prevent air-borne diseases, thus, making the town healthful for the people. The last subchapter is “The Sites for Public Buildings”. After deciding the location, fortifying the city walls, and laying out the streets & alleys, the next step is to choose the place for public buildings — Churches, temples, harbours and structures that are of utilitarian purpose. In deciding, it is said that it is necessary to keep in mind the different fundamental principles in the arrangement of these buildings. The very first shelter was dated back in the Stone Age. The time when men were said to act like wild beasts in woods and groves. It was mentioned that the discovery of fire had led them to come together and started to construct shelters.

They started to build homes out of mud and twigs. And as time progressed, they learned to construct better kinds of huts with different kinds of materials. There are many substances in our surroundings that can be used to form different materials for construction. One of the many known materials is brick. Brick is made out of white and chalky or red clay, and somehow a gravel-like clay. There are three kinds of bricks. The first is called Greek Lydian, which is commonly used, and the other two are used by the Greeks for their buildings. Another substance used in construction is Sand. These are widely used in the walls of masonry that are used to mix into the mortar.

There are four kinds of pit sand: black, grey, red and carbuncular. The next one is Lime. This substance makes a solid structure when combined with water and sand. Another is Pozzolana. It is a kind of powder which is found around Mt. Vesuvius. When mixed with rubble and lime, strengthens buildings of all kinds. They become more durable when set under water, a likely reason why they are widely used in piers. The fifth is Stone. These are found in quarries and vary in quality. It was mentioned that the hard ones are found in lava quarries. In building walls, there are two styles. Opus Reticulatum and Opus Incertum.Reticulatum looks more decent, but it is more likely to fall apart because of its construction. Opus Incertum, on the other hand, may not look appealing, but is a lot stronger than reticulatum.

Cite this essay

Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture. (2017, May 29). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/vitruvius-the-ten-books-on-architecture-essay

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