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Proportion (architecture)

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Title: Proportion (architecture)  
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Subject: De architectura, Modulor, Proportionality, Fred Baier, Bauhaus in Budapest
Collection: Architectural Terminology, Architectural Theory
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Proportion (architecture)

In classical architecture, proportions were set by the radii of columns.

Proportion is a central principle of architectural theory and an important connection between mathematics and art. It is the visual effect of the relationships of the various objects and spaces that make up a structure to one another and to the whole. These relationships are often governed by multiples of a standard unit of length known as a "module".[1]

Proportion in architecture was discussed by Vitruvius, Alberti, Andrea Palladio and Le Corbusier among others.


  • Classical architecture 1
  • Le Corbusier 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5

Classical architecture

In classical architecture, the module was established as the radius of the lower shaft of a classical column, with proportions expressed as a fraction or multiple of that module.[2]

Le Corbusier

Commemorative coin illustrating Le Corbusier's Modulor

In his Le Modulor (1948), Le Corbusier presented a system of proportion which took the golden section and a man with a raised arm as the scalable modules of proportion.

See also


  1. ^ James Stevens Curl (ed.), Oxford Dictionary of Architecture, 2nd ed. (Oxford, 2006), 606-607.
  2. ^ James Stevens Curl (ed.), Oxford Dictionary of Architecture, 2nd ed. (Oxford, 2006), 496.

Further reading

  • P. H. Scholfield (1958). The Theory of Proportion in Architecture. Cambridge University Press.
  • Hanno-Walter Kruft (1994). History of Architectural Theory. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 9781568980102.
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