February 02, 2021
Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism
I highly recommend Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism, which I have been reading again. It explores the work of Renaissance architect Palladio and was the basis of my senior seminar in undergrad. Congressional Resolution no. 259 of 6 December 2010 calls Palladio the "Father of American Architecture." His style partly inspired the design of the United States Capitol Building.
My seminar professor completed his masters thesis and most of his PhD with Rudolf Wittkower, the author. Wittkower's intention and the first result of the book was "to dispose, once and for all, of the hedonist, or purely aesthetic, theory of Renaissance architecture." (Sir Kenneth Clark, Architectural Review, 1951) In Part 4, Wittkower documents Palladio's application of musical theory in architectural proportion: "music is geometry translated into sound, and that in music the very same harmonies are audible which inform the geometry of the building."