Marcus Vitruvius Pollio was a Roman architect and engineer at the time of emperor Augustus. In his book ‘De Architectura‘ he distinguished three basic principles for building projects and town planning: Utilitas, Venustas and Firmitas.
- Utilitas: the first quality Vitruvius distinguished is ‘usability’. Buildings and towns must be made so that they can be used for the purpose they’re designed for.
- Venustas: secondly, ‘beauty’ is a fundamental item for buildings and town design.
- Firmitas: to make sure the build environment stands the test of time they must ‘durable’, deliberated and solid.
In his Dutch book ‘Logische Ruimte, eenduidige en authentieke stedebouw’ (‘Logical Space, unambiguous and authentic urban design’) Voorhorst enriches the three basic principles with a fourth: Claritas (unambiguous).
Not only the usability, beauty and durability are fundamental design items, also the unambiguity is one. Voorhorst defines the course to make an urban design easy to use.
– Vitruvius: “De Architectura” translated to Dutch by T. Peters , Athenaeum – Amsterdam.
– E.M. Voorhorst MA: “Logische Ruimte, eenduidige en authentieke stedebouw” , Uitgeverij Stili Novi – Utrecht.