not an easy book

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The Partheon of Athens.   Fig. 1. Ground plan.   Fig. 2. View of west front (restored).   Fig. 3. Cross-section of front porch.   Fig. 4. Longitudinal section of front porch.   Fig. 5. Horizontal curvature of geison.   Fig. 6. Vertical curvature of the podium.   Fig. 7. Jointing of entablature: a. Architrave, b. Frieze, c. Geison.

The recognition of complexity in architecture does not negate what Louis Kahn has called "the desire for simplicity." But aesthetic simplicity which is a satisfaction to the mind derives, when valid and profound, from inner complexity. The Doric temple's simplicity to the eye is achived through the famous subtleties and precision of its distorted geometry and the contradictions and tensions inherent in its order. The Doric temple could achieve apparent simplicity through real complexity. When complexity disappeared, as in the late temples, blandness replaced simplicity.
Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966), p. 25.




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