The Aesthetics of Proportion

in Hans van der Laan and Leon Battista Alberti 

Tiziana Proietti 

“AISTHESIS”, VIII, N. 2, SPES, FLORENCE, 2015, PP. 183-199 

This essay offers a comparison between Dutch Architect and Benedictine monk Hans van der Laan (1904-1991) and Renaissance architect Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472). 

Both Alberti and Van der Laan wrote a treatise on architecture directly referring to Vitruvius’ De Architectura. Both designed their few buildings only at the end of their lives and dedicated the rest of their lives to the search for the essence of architectural practice. Both made use of Vitruvius’ six terms ending up with the production of relevant terminological innovations intended to influence the following practice and theory of proportion in architecture.  Both based their proportional and architectural theory on an investigation of how the human eye perceives the world. Both trusted science.

While comparing the two architects, it emerges the shared idea that the act of seeing is at the same time physical (sensing) and intellectual (understanding).

This essay offers a comparison between Dutch Architect and Benedictine monk Hans van der Laan (1904-1991) and Renaissance architect Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472). 

Both Alberti and Van der Laan wrote a treatise on architecture directly referring to Vitruvius’ De Architectura. Both designed their few buildings only at the end of their lives and dedicated the rest of their lives to the search for the essence of architectural practice. Both made use of Vitruvius’ six terms ending up with the production of relevant terminological innovations intended to influence the following practice and theory of proportion in architecture.  Both based their proportional and architectural theory on an investigation of how the human eye perceives the world. Both trusted science.

While comparing the two architects, it emerges the shared idea that the act of seeing is at the same time physical (sensing) and intellectual (understanding).

The Aesthetics of Proportion

in Hans van der Laan and Leon Battista Alberti 

Tiziana Proietti 

“AISTHESIS”, VIII, N. 2, SPES, FLORENCE, 2015, PP. 183-199