What is Golden Ratio?

Different names have been used to define the Golden Ratio in the past and in the present. A few examples include Phi, the Golden Mean, the Divine Section, the Golden Proportion, and the Divine Proportion. Almost all of nature’s elements contain this golden ratio (1:1.618). The golden ratio can be found in nature in everything from the structure of the universe to the human body, clouds to flowers and leaves. Nearly all of the lovely things in the world around us have this ratio.

In nature, the golden ratio can be found repeatedly. Additionally, it has the power to balance and beautify elements. As a result, since ancient times, mankind have used the same proportion in mathematics, art, music, and building. Let’s make an effort to comprehend this proportion’s origins more thoroughly. In this article, we will talk about the assumptions and pioneering works about how the golden ratio emerged in architecture.

Photo by nic chi on Unsplash

How the Golden Ratio Used in Architecture?

Many people have asserted that ancient monuments have proportions that closely equal 1.618 but frequently rely on conjectural interpretations and approximate measurements. For instance, assertions have been made regarding the proportions of the golden ratio in Chinese, Olmec, Egyptian, Sumerian, and Greek vases, as well as Cretan and Mycenaean artifacts from the late Bronze Age. These predate the Greek mathematicians who are the first to be known to have studied the golden ratio by about 1,000 years. The historical sources, however, are sketchy, and because the analyses make use of various methodologies, it is challenging to compare them. For instance, it’s said that Stonehenge’s concentric circles have the golden ratio’s dimensions.

Photo by Ryan Searle on Unsplash

Examples of Usage of Golden Ratio in Architecture

One of the oldest and best examples of the employment of the Phi is the Great Pyramid of Giza (2570 BC). The pyramid’s height divided by one of its base’s sides yields a ratio that roughly equals Phi.

The Great Pyramid of Giza Credit: Importance of Golden Ratio in Architecture – The Arch Insider

Greek artists and architects were aware of or applied the golden ratio as a rule of proportion for aesthetics. The Acropolis’ construction is said to have begun approximately 600 BC, although the pieces allegedly showing the golden ratio proportions were produced between 468 and 430 BC. Greek goddess Athena had a temple called The Parthenon. It is said that a series of golden rectangles encircle the Parthenon’s facade, as well as other parts of it and elsewhere. The golden ratio was used on the west facade of the Parthenon. According to various analyses, the Parthenon and the Acropolis of Athens have a lot of proportions that resemble the golden ratio.

The Parthenon’s West Façade
Credit: List of works designed with the golden ratio – Wikipedia

The notion that the golden ratio was used in the design is contested by several more recent studies.According to Lothar Haselberger, the Didyma Temple of Apollo, which was created by Paionios of Ephesus and Daphnis of Mileto, had golden proportions.

The Didyma Temple of Apollo Credit: Temple of Apollo at Didyma | Turkish Archaeological News (turkisharchaeonews.net)

The Chichen Itza Castle’s interior design follows the golden ratio. The golden ratio connects the exterior areas to the inside space.

The Chichen Itza Castle
Credit: Chichen Itza Ruins | Ancient buildings found at Chichen Itza

The golden ratio was also used on Great Mosque of Kairouan in Tunisia. The plan, prayer area, court, and minaret of the Great Mosque of Kairouan are all said to have been created using the golden ratio.

Great Mosque of Kairouan
Credit: Kairouan (sacredsites.com)

Buddhist architecture had used golden ratio. According to Pile, the ratio between the diameter of the greatest circular terrace and the square base of the largest Buddhist stupa in the world is 1.618:1 at Borobudur Template in Java, Indonesia.

Borobudur Template
Credit: Borobudur travel – Lonely Planet | Indonesia, Asia
Borobudur Template
Credit: Borobudur & Dieng Plateau Private Day Trip from Yogyakarta (civitatis.com)
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