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Debate on the Presence/Absence of the Vitruvian Triad in the Current Architecture and Urban Design

Vasile ZOTIC1, Diana-Elena ALEXANDRU1
1 Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, Centre for Research on Settlements and Urbanism, Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA
Pages: 129-142

Abstract. In a context of general resignation of the Vitruvian triad in architecture and urban design we try to uncover and debate on the current act of building not rationally led but driven by on the spot decisions and subjective needs. Since Soundness, Utility and Beauty have been mainly considered the ideal combination that can lead to the creation of symbols and not simple constructions satisfying stringent needs, the main aim of this study is to highlight the importance of the Vitruvian triad and its ABCs in urban architecture and design, as well as the effects of changing shares of one of the dimensions on the aesthetics and functioning of the buildings. We start from the identification of the optimal combination of all three dimensions Soundness, Utility and Beauty reflected in the worldwide architectural heritage. However, our approach lies between illustrating the dissolution of the triad and identifying its reasoning, emphasizing on the most visible triggered effects in practice. Architecture represents the cultural field whose progress is most visible in time, and whose representatives are the universal symbols of ideas, knowledge and art, as the work of man surrounded by nature. In the end, we advocate for maintaining the presence of the Vitruvian triad for its purpose of fulfilling the role of architecture which is to create humanized environments that would fulfil the need for living still considering creative aesthetics as indispensable supplementary need.

K e y w o r d s: Vitruvian triad, architectural patterns, urban design, triad dissolution, triggered effects