The Ten Books on Architecture, 6.2.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 6.1.12 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 6.2.2 ›››

Gwilt translation

2Nothing requires the architect’s care more than the due proportions of buildings. When the proportions are adjusted, and the dimensions found by calculation, then it is the part of a skilful man to consider the nature of the place, the purpose of the building, and the beauty of it; and either by diminutions or additions to find expedients, by means of which the appearance may not be injured by the additions to, or diminutions of, the established proportions that may be necessary.

Morgan translation

2There is nothing to which an architect should devote more thought than to the exact proportions of his building with reference to a certain part selected as the standard. After the standard of symmetry has been determined, and the proportionate dimensions adjusted by calculations, it is next the part of wisdom to consider the nature of the site, or questions of use or beauty, and modify the plan by diminutions or additions in such a manner that these diminutions or additions in the symmetrical relations may be seen to be made on correct principles, and without detracting at all from the effect.