Hosted by the Florida Chapter | 6 credits towards the Certificate in Classical Architecture (Proportion) | Submitted for AIA CES Learning Units
The purpose of this class is to impart the critical methodology and vocabulary necessary to understand and manipulate proportional systems in architectural design. It examines the numerous and often contradictory systems of proportion put forth through the ages from antiquity to contemporary times. Particular attention is given to the geometrical proportioning systems used in antiquity and found in the tradition of Gothic architecture, in contrast to the arithmetic systems of proportion used during the Renaissance. The intention is to give contemporary architects and designers a practical “working knowledge” of a subject that has been of central concern to architects working in many varied epochs.
“We shape our buildings and afterward our buildings shape us.”
- Winston Churchill
Buildings can affect our wellbeing, with recent scientific studies showing that specific regions of our brains are tuned to the geometry and arrangement of the spaces we occupy. This course demonstrates traditional buildings’ geometric proportional systems and indicates that a well-proportioned building creates a physiological sense of ease.
We will prove architectural variations are the most mentally engaging by analyzing classical, Gothic, Romanesque, and Byzantine compositions with the appropriate methodologies. When there is value in proportion, the viewer feels a sense of belonging, which provides comfort.
By gaining a working knowledge of geometric proportional systems, we will empower designers to implement these sound design choices that have stood the test of time. Studies have shown that people tend to walk faster through dead spaces of ill-conceived architecture. But when there is “delight” with a beautiful building composition, people will slow their pace and feel a physical and emotional connection to their surroundings. This response proves that careful planning of sites and buildings will elicit a safe and engaging experience. Since traditional building practices have often considered the safety of their inhabitants, this course will help strengthen and define the historical precedence.
Richard Franklin Sammons has a rich background in traditional period design and is an internationally recognized expert in the field of Architectural proportion, having taught at the Prince of Wales’ Institute of Architecture in London, Pratt Institute in New York, and the University of Notre Dame in Rome. Mr. Sammons received his B.A. at Denison University and Master of Architecture at the University of Virginia. He is a founding partner of Fairfax and Sammons Architects, established over twenty-five years ago, is an award-winning architectural design firm with offices in both New York City and Palm Beach, Florida.
Reference Text (Not required to read before course)
Note: copies of essential plates from books below and additional sources will be provided.
Ware, William. R. (1994 reprint). The American Vignola: A Guide to the Making of Classical Architecture. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.
Walker, C. Howard Theory of Mouldings (Classical America Series in Art and Architecture) W. W. Norton & Company (2007)
Patron’s Circle Sponsors
Woolems Luxury Builders | Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design | Gil Walsh Interiors
Henry Flagler Donors
Belt | Marmotech
Image: Classical orders, engraving from the Encyclopédie vol. 18. 18th-century French engraving.
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To register for a continuing education course hosted by the ICAA National Office, you can use the registration link noted on the program page, email [email protected], or call 212-730-9646 x112.
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ICAA Chapters manage course registration for their own events. While Chapter programs may be listed on classicist.org, you should check the Chapter website, or contact the Chapter directly, for the most up-to-date details including dates, times, pricing, and information on how to register.
The ICAA National Office does not offer recurring continuing education classes on a regular basis, but aims to offer future sessions of classes whose demand exceeded capacity. Core classes are generally offered annually or semi-annually.
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Most ICAA continuing education courses are suited to all artistic and academic backgrounds. Seasoned artists and novices alike have enjoyed and improved on their skills in ICAA classes. If a class has any pre-requisites or is recommended for a certain experience level, this will appear on the class listing on the ICAA website.
While Chapter courses may be listed on classicist.org, you should check the Chapter website, or contact the Chapter directly, for the most up-to-date details including dates, times, pricing, and pre-requisites.
Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) in architecture includes topics that relate to the structural integrity and soundness of a building or a building site. Course content must focus on these topics in order to provide HSW credits. For more information on ICAA classes that have been approved by the AIA for HSW credit, please contact [email protected]
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