Black and white photo of white building
Architecture,  Lens-Artists,  Themed galleries

Gallery: seeking geometry in architecture

Mighty is geometry; joined with art, resistless.

Euripedes

Architecture could be said to have begun with geometry. Since earliest times, builders have imitated natural forms, such as circles. Pattern can be found everywhere in nature, and nature knows what it is doing; geometrical shapes are not only pleasing to the eye, they provide strength.

The Greek mathematician Euclid of Alexandria is considered to have been the first to set out the rules of geometry in 300 BCE. Later, in about 20 BCE, the ancient Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius was the first to write down the proportions for how structures should be constructed, in his De Architectura, or Ten Books on Architecture. His rules continue to influence architecture today.

For without symmetry and proportion no temple can have a regular plan

Marcus Vitruvius

Let us follow Vitruvius’s lead and seek out geometry in architecture old and new, all over the world.

Diagonals

Black and white photo of zigzag windows
Diagonals: a modern building in Shoreditch, east London

Diamonds

Black and white photo of modern dome with crescent moon at the top
Diamonds: the dome of the Sultan Qaboos Mosque in Muscat, Oman
Black and white photo of diamond windows and reflections
More diamonds: a passer-by reflected in the windows of Seattle’s Central Library

Stars

Black and white photo looking up into a dome
Stars: inside the dome of the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi
Black and white photo of wooden shutters
More stars: window detail of an old merchants’ house on Muttrah Corniche in Muscat, Oman

Rectangles and honeycombs

Rectangles and honeycomb: the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi (also featured above)

Circles

Black and white photo of a slender tower
Circles: looking up at the Space Needle in Seattle
Black and white photo of oriental temple gable
More circles: roof detail of a temple in Kyoto, Japan
Black and white photo of an earth building
Yet more circles: the Earthship in New Mexico, near Taos

Circles and ellipses

Black and white photo inside a cathedral
Circles and ellipses: the famous scissor arches of Wells Cathedral

Curves

Black and white photo of white building with curves
Curves: the Guggenheim Museum, NYC

Lines and curves

Black and white photo of glass roof
Lines and curves: a shopping centre roof in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Parallel lines

Sepia photo of office block and bare tree
Parallel lines: tree and office block, More London (near Tower Bridge)

All shared for Patti’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #141: Geometry.

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