Monday, January 5, 2009

A Vision of Correct Proportions

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
-Benjamin Franklin

The ancient Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (50 B.C.) did both. He designed aqueducts, highways and magnificent buildings that still stand 2,000 years later and he wrote books. He recorded battles and the interactions of principalities. He detailed grand plans for efficient city living; plans which lay buried under rubble in Alexandria but were dug up and hidden for thirteen centuries. In the 15th century, Leonardo Da Vinci read the ancient Vitruvius and incorporated his ideals to compose the Vitruvian Man. In that same century, a future conquistador also picked up Vitruvius and designed the first city with modern proportions, Cuenca in South America. Cuenca, establish in 1533, was the first city to ever be master-planned with a grid layout. It's cobblestone streets are wide enough to allow two lanes of car traffic today. Too bad Vitruvius never got to see his dream city come true.

No comments:

Post a Comment