Thursday, December 5, 2013

Palladian perfection

Seeing the Boston Restoration Hardware flagship store all lit up at night like a golden treasure gives me goosebumps—it's so gorgeous! If you're a regular reader of this blog you know I lust over all thing RH. 

This photo of the store got me thinking about the Palladian architecture of the building, and I remembered a great book I once read called Palladian Days, about an American couple who buys and restores one of the few original homes that was designed by Renaissance architect Andreas Palladio in the Veneto region of Italy. Only a handful of these 16th-century villas by Andrea Palladio survive, but his symmetrical style will live on forever. 

Palladio used the mathematics of the golden ratio—the true Golden Section spirals, or the myth of the nautilus shell—which above all uses symmetry, proportion, and harmony.

Fibonacci spiral approximates the golden spiral using quarter-circle arcs inscribed in squares of integer Fibonacci-number side, shown for square sizes 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and 34. It's sort of over my head now but when I was an art student in college I used to understand it!

Below is a sketch by an ancient Greek 
that illustrates this golden ratio.

 It's the same golden ratio that Leonardo da Vinci 
used when proportioning out his Vitruvian Man. 

Below are books of 
Palladian architecture.

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