Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
century B.C. De Architectura provided one of the first sources of guidance for
building, containing 10 chapters, or 10 “books.” Codifying existing practice on
topics ranging from building materials to proportional relationships based on the
human body, the text served for centuries as an influential reference. Vitruvius
wrote of architecture as being an imitation of nature, and a central tenant of his
writing was the suggestion that a structure must contain three essential qualities:
firmitas , utilitas, and venustas .” Firmitas is translated from Latin as firmness or
strength, utilitas suggests commodity or usefulness, and venustas is a quality of
delight or beauty. These remain as core design criteria. Engineers emphasize the
first two, and architects give much attention to the second two.
Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Filippo Brunelleschi, and other key de-
sign figures of the Renaissance did not distinguish boundaries between the roles
of artist, architect, and engineer (see Fig. 1.1). The Renaissance master builder
represents the next step in the evolution of rationalizing the process with the
introduction of science and engineering principles. The emergence of architec-
tural treatises, increased physical challenges of larger spans, and a desire for an
increasingly rich aesthetic expression all contributed to the growing complexity
in navigating this pathway from conception to completion. The master builder
of the Renaissance played the roles of architect, engineer, material scientist, and
builder, simultaneously serving as the source of inspiration, technical resolution,
and delivery. Florentine architect Brunelleschi (1377-1446) was a seminal figure
Figure 1.1 Vitruvian Man ,
illustrated by Leonardo da Vinci.
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