The Aesthetics of Structure in Architecture, A study of force, form and aesthetic response.

tilitus; Firmitas; Venustas: Utility; Firmness and Beauty; was the triad of Architectural realisation postulated by Vitruvias in his seminal works De architectura: on Architecture. Utility or convenience where “the arrangement of parts is faultless and presents no hindrance to use”; Firmness or durability where “foundations are carried down to the solid ground and materials are wisely selected”; and Beauty where “the appearance of the work is pleasing and in good taste, where members are well proportioned according to correct principles of symmetry.” (Ten books on Architecture as translated by Harvard University press, 1914)

As we trace the developments in the history of Western Architecture, we are exposed to this unity in a very convincing fashion. Looking at classical orders, we are able to see that technology provided in a clear manner, the vocabulary for aesthetic articulation. Columns, arches, domes, vaults (see figure 1) the flying buttress; all technology geared towards providing structural support were able to be adapted as a source of aesthetic expression to such an extent as to become identifying elements within the orders in which they found expression.

Engineer, Pier Luigi Nervi in his book Aesthetics and Technology, (Nervi, 1966) attributes this intimate unity of aesthetics and technology to “an intuitive knowledge” by the builders of the construction processes of the Architecture they built. He argues that the builders of this pre-industrial age, having limited mathematical means of verifying structural stability, relied heavily on their experience with building materials and the observed behavior of these materials when subjected to forces. They were able to translate this intuitive knowledge into expressive technology which then became a part of the Architectural vocabulary for aesthetics.

A hypothesis by the scholar, Herbert Read, (1960) on the transformation of human artifacts, traces their development through three phases. First they begin as technical objects meant to fulfill practical needs.

Calendar

M T W T F S S
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30