This page was last updated on 22 August, 2017.
1. Ideal buildings
While everyone has his/her own preferences commonly accepted ‘beautiful’ and ‘looks great’ often follow certain rules and those rules very often can be simplified into:
Golden Ratio = GR = 1.61803398875
I won’t dwell long on the human proportions because many find that insulting and very few are exactly those proportions. But it seems those who are generally considered most beautiful are the most average people.
For most people the ratio is a little bigger or smaller but the ‘beauty group’ is exactly the average. The Golden Ratio.
Just like the perfect human body is partly preference so is architecture. The buildings generally accepted as most beautiful are stuffed with GR.
Take a simple window. What does look best? Square? Rectangle?
If rectangle what ratio the short and long sides should be.
The answer as you guessed is the Golden Ratio.
Short side x GR = long side.
If the ratio of the window deviates to much from that ideal, many people will say ‘something isn’t quite right’. Of course the perfect window has to fit in the overall picture of the building. For example a 1ft x 1.6ft window in a huge wall won’t qualify for a price in architecture
1a. Parthenon -
Total height x Golden Ratio = total width
‘Roof’ height x Golden Ratio = base height
Base height x Golden Ratio = Roof height
The ratio found in the total building height is also found in the details
Zooming in to more detail we also find the GR in the base of the roof.
Pillar width x Golden Ratio = space between pillars.
‘Pillar’ x Golden Ratio = area with ‘statues’
1b. Eiffel Tower -
As you can see the GR is found at several point vertically, but also horizontally the GR is found.
Width of top platform x GR = width lower platform
Width lower platform x GR = width of the feet.