The Ten Books on Architecture, 1.3

Vitruvius  translated by Joseph Gwilt

« Vitr. 1.2 | Vitr. 1.3 | Vitr. 1.4 | About This Work »

Of the Different Branches of Architecture

3Architecture consists of three branches; namely, building, dialling, and mechanics. Building is divided into two parts. The first regulates the general plan of the walls of a city and its public buildings; the other relates to private buildings. Public buildings are for three purposes; defence, religion, and the security of the public. Buildings for defence are those walls, towers, and gates of a town, necessary for the continual shelter of its inhabitants against the attacks of an enemy. Those for the purposes of religion are the fanes and temples of the immortal gods. Those for public convenience are gates, fora or squares for market-places, baths, theatres, walks, and the like; which, being for public use, are placed in public situations, and should be arranged so as best to meet the convenience of the public.

2All these should possess strength, utility, and beauty. Strength arises from carrying down the foundations to a good solid bottom, and from making a proper choice of materials without parsimony. Utility arises from a judicious distribution of the parts, so that their purposes be duly answered, and that each have its proper situation. Beauty is produced by the pleasing appearance and good taste of the whole, and by the dimensions of all the parts being duly proportioned to each other.

« Vitr. 1.2 | Vitr. 1.3 | Vitr. 1.4 | About This Work »