The Lost Meaning of Classical Architecture

  1. 在偉大的建築意匠中,不管是東方還是西方,我們可以體會到─建築物(building)不僅只是建來安頓身心,而且還提供一個可以提昇心靈的場所,讓心靈脫離內在、外在的禁梏,和大自然起聯繫、共鳴。偉大的建築通常有一種共通的特色─它不僅是生活起居作息的"Vacancy",更是令心靈伸展、呼吸、提昇的"Space"。當人類意識到建築物的上下四方見變成一種束縛時,建築物的風格就開始要轉變了。
  2. 不管是東方還是西方,古人很早就意識到個人身心(小宇宙、內宇宙)和外在大自然(大宇宙、外宇宙)的關連。都有把身體比喻為宮殿、國土的說法。古希臘人更是以建築物的造型設計、尺度、比例,模擬理想的身體的結構。羅馬人繼承希臘的規模,再創造出圓頂穹窿(dome)、拱頂(vault)、和大會堂(basilica)的空間世界。DomeVault激發一種向上躍升的仰望、Basilica則顯示對人間事務規劃的理性。
Do you know the function of a Greek temple?
Do you know the similarity between the geometric pattern in the 8th B.C. Dipylon Vase and the facade of a Greek temple?
Do you know the meanings of the three orders?

The function of a Greek temple

The original function of the Greek temple is for sacrificial ritual. The temple is built for the keeping of the statues of god or goddess. The sacrificial ritual takes place outside of the temple (not inside!). People burn their offerings outside the temple.

The facade of a Greek temple is designed to give the pilgrim an impression of a rank of worshipers elbowing sacrificial objects on their heads toward heaven.

Do you know the similarity between the geometric pattern in the 8th B.C. Dipylon Vase and the facade of a Greek temple?

Compare the left figure [detail from 5.1] with the right figure [5.18], we may find many similarities. The detailed pattern from a Dipylon Vase shows a burial ceremony. The standing figures look like the columns in a temple facade.

From this comparison, we may see how the Greek see man's position in the universe (standing on the earth, worshiping with sacrifice to the heaven). In other words, man is the column of the world.

In most case, the ratio of a temple and later for a church is derived from the proportion in a human figure. The Greek view: Man is the ratio of the universe.

The meanings of the three orders: The Development of the Three orders: (Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian)



Left: The impression of an Ionic column. Francesco di Giorgio, Colonna stolata.

Right: The impression of a Corinthian column. Francesco di Giorgio, Origin of the Corinthian order. From the Saluzziano Codex, Giblioteca Reale, Turin, folio 24v.




The origin of the capital of a Ionic column. Francesco di Giorgio, Head within capital. From the Magliabecchiano Codex, folio 33v.
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Francesco di Giorgio, an Entablature design. From the Saluzziano Codex, folio 21r.


Edited on 1998/3/13