What is Golden Ratio in Architecture and How do Architects use it?

The scrummage for making everything visually pleasing is now a thing all over the world. The struggle can be found in the ancient times as well. Every minute thing around us is built with keeping many aspects and it is said to be following a proportion. From designing a building to composing a beautiful image on your camera to the structure of the human body, everything under the wide blue sky is built with certain principles. A diverse mix of these principles can be addressed as the Golden Ratio.

Golden Ratio

The most obvious example for the golden ratio is the ‘Shanku’ (Conch). We all have collected these cone shaped shells in our childhood and never knew that this thing had this kind of an aspect to it. The top side of a Conch is exactly shaped like the golden ratio. It is exactly designed using the ratio.

From art to music, the shape of the leaves to the buildings from the antiquity, the golden ratio is supposedly said to be present. Many people argue that the buildings that are considered as the miracles of world is beautiful because of they are built on the golden ratio. We humans has incorporated it in everything.

We dive in to the details of the golden ratio in this article.  

What is Golden Ratio?

Mathematically speaking, the ratio is a special number that is approximately equal to 1.618. The renowned German mathematician, Martin Ohm was the first one to use the term ‘goldener schnitt’ (golden section) to describe the golden ratio in the year 1835. It is closely related to the Fibonacci sequence of numbers.

If you’ve ever come across the idea of ’rule of thirds’, you must be familiar with the golden ratio as well. Positioning of the major objects in a design is the core of Golden Ratio. If you apply the rule of thirds to a proportionate rectangle, you will get a value of approximately 1:1.6.

Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Sequence in Greek Architecture

Golden Ratio has been in use for at least 4000 years. Many people argue that the ancient Greek architects used the golden ratio to build the legendary pyramids. To determine the pleasing relationship between the width and height of a building, the Greek architects used golden ratio. The Greeks have derived the golden ratio from the Fibonacci sequence of numbers; 0, 1,1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21; a naturally occurring sequence of numbers that can be found on every nook cranny of the nature.

From the great pyramids to the Parthenon, the Greek architects has used the golden ratio to attain perfection in the structure. The golden ratio has been applied for the making the building organic looking and more composed to look at.

Golden Ratio in Modern Architecture

Every time you see a building with evenly spaced columns, that can be considered as a building that’s built on proper ratio calculation. Though modern architecture is all about form and function, the buildings should be pleasing to look as well. Applying the golden ratio while designing will help the building to gain some beauty. The golden ratio can be used while making the floorplan, spacing out the windows, and the positioning of the door. A building’s balance and its height play a major role in the look and feel. A design correctly proportionate to the golden ratio has the space to accommodate even minute details.

We know that no buildings will be shaped as a perfect rectangle. It will be changed to our preferences, the landscape and many other factors. The golden ratio will include a space to accommodate a golden. You can always set this golden triangle to be shaped into whatever shape you like. The end result will be a perfectly proportionate building.

As the technology is much more advanced now, architects of the modern days are not using the golden ratio much. But still the golden ratio can be seen on the buildings that we build today. Structures of the modern days are based on many design principles including, light, color, material, etc. If a building is built right with keeping the above said factors in check, that’s a nod to a perfectly proportionate building and by that, it is qualified to be a building made with the golden ratio.

Ratio in Other Relevant Areas

The idea of golden ratio can be found on many other important areas as well. Photography, graphic designing, web designing, etc. are some of the prominent topics.

Golden Ratio in Art

golden ratio in art

This idea can be seen in the art of ancient times. In the renaissance, artist Da Vinci used the golden proportion in his art. We can see the ratio work its magic on his world-famous art pieces, the Last Supper, Mona Lisa, etc.

The great Italian painter Raphael’s art work the ‘Triumph of Galatea’ is another. You can use this ratio in the portrait to achieve harmonious composition and balanced look.

Golden Ratio in Photography

golden ratio in photography

In photography, you can use this ratio as a helpful tool to create harmonious and visually pleasing compositions and frames. Placing the object in the dead center of an image is considered to be boring in photography. Apparently breaking this ratio is even more eye catching.

The Ratio in Graphic and Website Design

This phenomenon can help you figure out the size of your font you should use for the headers and body copy on the website. This technique can also help you to design logos that are visually pleasing and technically brilliant. Leveraging this can bring out an UI that grabs the user’s attention in an instant.

To sum it all up, the golden ratio is an amazing phenomenon. Whether animals of humans, the ubiquitous nature of this idea is absolutely fascinating to a point that it can be utilized even in the most basic aspects of our life. From a wall poster to the complex human body, this ratio is vital.


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