Article Review: Vitruvius Le Corbusier Loos

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Architecture

Vitruvius, Le Corbusier, Loos

Vitruvius: from Book I of the Ten Books of Architecture

What sorts of information do we learn about Vitruvius and his career from the Preface? How does he come across as a person to you?

Vitruvius has had a long career in architecture. It is a subject that he has been interested in for a long time. He has been a loyal supporter of Caesar and his father before that. He kept his writings about architecture to himself for a long time in fear of not being received favorably by Caesar, but has now seen a good opportunity to reveal them to him. He wrote down his ideas on architecture in order for Caesar to have a plan to be more successful and he is happy to finally be able to share these with him.

What is Vitruvius's formula for a successful career as an architect? Is this formula valid for architects, or for other types of professions?

Vitruvius's formula for a successful career as an architect is one of education. He feels that an architect should be equipped with knowledge in many different subjects. He feels that knowledge is broken down into practice and theory. Those who have the natural ability to carry out the practice can not do so successfully without the understanding of theory. Theory, he says is the ability to demonstrate and explain things that can only be done by way of education.

3. What are Vitruvius's criteria for good architecture? Do they still apply today? Are they all equally important, or do you think some deserve a higher priority than others?

Vitruvius's criteria for good architecture includes: order, arrangement, eurythmy, symmetry, propriety and economy. Order has to do with making sure that the separate parts all fit together to make the whole. Arrangement is putting things in their proper place. Eurythmy is the beauty and fitness. Symmetry is a proper agreement between the different parts and the whole scheme. Propriety is the perfection of style and economy has to do with the proper management of the materials involved. All of these criteria still apply today, as they are all important to the success of the overall project. Some of these criteria are more important than others. For instance, in today's world economy would be a top priority with arrangement not being far behind.

Le Corbusier: "The Engineer's Aesthetic" from Towards a New Architecture

1. Why does Le Corbusier think it's bad for people to live in old-fashioned houses? Do you agree? How does he see houses as a sort of "tools" and why is it important to throw away "old tools"?

Le Corbusier sees houses as tools because they were one of the first things that people built for themselves. Man's tools are seen as stages of civilization. With each progression in the tools that one has the more progress they have made for themselves. He says that old tools should be thrown out and replaced with new ones in order to manifest ones health. He feels that people should waste their energy and health on bad tools and to him old houses are bad tools.

2. Why does he think Architecture can be found in the telephone and in the Parthenon? Explain what this might mean, and whether you agree.

He thinks that these things are architecture because they are things that are contained within a house and to him are extensions of the house. He says that engineers produce architecture because they invent things that have personality and thus take on the characteristics of the person (architect) that built them. I agree with this that when people invent or design something it often has the characteristics of the inventor in it. Most new things come to fruition because of a need or want that the inventor had so why would it not be logical to think that ones invention would be an… [END OF PREVIEW]

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