Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Meaning of the Optical Corrections of the Doric Temple in a Nutshell

In my book: “The Optical Corrections of the Doric Temple” I have tried to show that the true meaning of the corrections is the intention to make the temple a unity although it was composed of many, so it would correspond with the ideal of the Doric polis, which was: a heroic autarkic unity composed of many equal, heroic and autarkic individuals. The most important component of the temple, the Doric column, is an entirely autarkic building component. Because of its round form, its tapering and entasis, its flutings and its capital, it cannot be connected with any other building component horizontally without violence. The most important problem facing the architect of the temple was: how to make a unity out of a row of these autarkic building components?
In the above pictures we have two versions of a Doric temple front. The first one is depicted without any corrections, featuring thus the corner solution suggested by Vitruvius. It is easy to see that the tapering and entasis of the columns make the temple seem to fall apart on the upper level. The second picture with the corrections shows clearly the gathering and uniting effect of the corrections. The corrections were the most important tool of the architects to make the temple the true symbol of the city-state.