'A highly concise guide to the meaning of proportional systems from Plato to modern times...Padovan has much to offer all architects, not only in respect of what they design, but also of how they see the world as a whole.' - Architectural Review
'There is much to enjoy in this book, most particularly the comprehensive and accessible account which is given of the philosophy, mathematics and practical application of the use of mathematical proportion during the various ages of classicism.' - The Journal of Architecture
'...rich, clear and memorable...Padovan takes us on a fascinating journey through Western Civilisation, from Pythagoras onwards to today, to meet the scientists, philosophers and architects - not forgetting the historians and commentators - who have contributed to mankind's beliefs about proportional ordering.' - Architects Journal
'Padovan presents an eminently readable review of the entire literature of philosophy and geometry as it relates to architecture.' - Architectural Science Review
About the Author
Richard Padovan lectures at the School of Architecture, University of Bath. He has worked as an architect throughout Europe and published extensively. His translation of Van der Laan's Architectonic Space appeared in 1983 and he is the author of Doms Hans van der Laan: Modern Primitive (1994).
This handbook provides readers with a well-illustrated and readable comparative guide to proportion systems in architecture, setting out the mathematical principles that underlie the main systems and illustrating these with examples of their use in historical and modern buildings. The main body of the text traces the interplay of abstraction and empathy through the history of science, philosophy and architecture from the early Greeks through to the two early twentieth-century architects who made proportion the focus of their work: Le Corbusier and Van der Laan. The book ends with a reflection on the present and future role of proportion in architecture.