Proportion & Scale

1. Golden Section

The golden section refers to proportions of parts to one another and to the whole. The progressions – 3 to 5 to 8 to 13 to 21, and so on – are considered pleasing ratios or proportions as they relate to one another and roughly equate the theory of the golden mean. Further, these increments can be translated into sides of rectangles, called golden rectangles that form the basis for a study of good proportions.

2. The Orders

A classical order is one of the ancient styles of classical architecture, each distinguished by its proportions and characteristic profiles and details, and most readily recognizable by the type of column employed. From the 16th century onwards, architectural theorists recognized five orders. The orders' origins come from Ancient Greece, later; they were used and modified by Romans. Each style has its proper entablature, consisting of architrave, frieze and cornice.

3. Renaissance Theories

The Renaissance style places emphasis on symmetry, proportion, geometry and the regularity of part as they are demonstrated in the architecture of classical antiquity and in particular ancient Roman architecture, of which many examples remained. Orderly arrangements of columns, pilasters and lintels, as well as the use of semicircular arches, hemispherical domes, niches and aedicules replaced the more complex proportional systems and irregular profiles of medieval buildings.

4. The Modular

Modular is a general systems concept, typically defined as a continuum describing the degree to which a system's components may be separated and recombined. It refers to both the tightness of coupling between components, and the degree to which the "rules" of the system architecture enable (or prohibit) the mixing and matching of components.

5. The Ken

The Ken is the interval between the pillars of traditional-style buildings. The word is translated in this case in English as "bay". In this case the bay is a measure of proportion rather than length. Traditional buildings usually measure an odd number of bays, for example 3x3, 5x5. A type of temple's gate called romon can havedimensions going from 5x2 bays to the more common 3x2-bays down to even 1x1 bay. The Zen butsuden in the illustration measures 5x5 Ken across externally because its 3x3 Ken core is surrounded by a 1-Ken aisle called hisashi.

6. Anthropomorphic

Anthropomorphic is a word which literally means "human shaped". It is used to describe a concept called anthropomorphism, or ascribing human characteristics to non-human beings or objects. Typically, this is used in reference to deities, which are usually given the form of humans. However, the word can apply to any non-human thing, including animals, plants, and inanimate objects.

7. Scale

Scale is an overall size, such as the largeness or smallness of a room, object or pattern. Scale deals with actual and relative size and visual weight. Scale is generally categorized as small or light, medium, large or heavy, or grand.