The history of Western architecture is marked by ample attention to the concept of proportion, a concern that has affected both architectural theory (ever searching for aesthetic recipes for harmony) and architectural practice (seeking to balance loads and structure). In fact, the term proportion expresses a quantitative relationship between measurable elements and is therefore intrinsic to the geometric forms commonly employed in building designs. According to Western classical traditions, humans have always aspired to the perfection of natural forms; this helps to explain the enduring fascination with proportional systems in architectural design.

For a long time, geometry and proportion represented secret and sacred tools that assured formal coherence...

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