The Doric male, the Ionic female and their Corinthian daughter

24 August, 2017

"It is indisputable that the limbs of architecture are derived from the limbs of man.  No one who has not been or is not a good master of the human figure, particularly anatomy, can comprehend this."

Michelangelo Burronatti,  Renaissance Sculptor

This simple statement by a Renaissance master reflects my recent experience of making architecture.  In the last few years I have realised that the Workshop is interested in making architecture of people for people, this includes catering for their direct bodily experiences and perceptions of the physical world they inhabit.

If we take a look at columns being the limbs of humans, the Doric is more fuller like a male and the Ionic more slender like a female and the Corinthian column resembles their daughter with her pleated hair.  Today, I'm interested in what represents the modern day descendant of this load bearing family.  What column is relevant for a Workshop project to hold up a beam that supports a roof structure which supports a clay tile for shelter?  Can we represent a column as a straining muscle holding up a beam?  Ancient and Renaissance man used their corporeal experiences to make their architecture and to reflect the human body.  The body houses our minds in the same way that architecture houses our bodies.  The Workshop is less interested in formal abstractions, trends or isms and more interested in the flesh and blood of the architecture that our clients consume.  From Vitruvius to Alberti, from Wright to Zumthor, great architects have been preoccupied with centering humans and their bodies at the forefront of their architecture, and we intend to continue practicing in the same manner.