Sacred Geometry, primarily found in nature is the study of patterns that occur in the universe which are inherent to its existence. Certain symbolic and sacred meanings are ascribed to geometric shapes and proportions. Most evidently found in religious iconography, art, and architecture, the use of sacred geometry involves the study of mathematical principles which are followed in the making of “a divine structure”, a representation of the spiritual realm which brings us closer to god.
Instances of the golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence, and divine proportion are found everywhere in nature- be it in the hexagonal pattern of honeycombs, the spiral of a nautilus shell or the anatomy of human body itself. The principles of sacred geometry are not just confined to temples or monuments like in the older times, but now they are used in several contemporary buildings as well. It is believed that taking inspiration from nature or using sacred geometry in buildings leads to the development of a structure that is perfect in almost every sense.
Here we will discuss some examples of how sacred geometry has been used in some of the famous buildings/monuments in the world-
1. United Nations Building
Le Corbusier used the golden ratio extensively in his designs and specifically in regard with the scale of architectural proportions. He developed his own anthropometric system called Modulor based entirely on the principles of golden ratio and divine proportion. Since he centered his philosophy on the principles of harmony and proportion, many of his buildings reflect the usage of these principles. The United Nations building incorporates the concept of expanding the dimensions of each section by the golden ratio in its design proportions.
2. Farnsworth House
Mies Van Der Rohe incorporated the use of golden ratio in his design of the Farnsworth House. The proportion within the glass walls approximately lies within the range of golden ratio. Many of his other works also include the use of golden ratio implemented in different ways like in planning or elevation details.
3. The Eden Project, UK
Comprising of greenhouses within geodesic domes, The Eden project is made of hexagonal and pentagonal cells taking its cue from nature and implementing the use of the Fibonacci sequence in its design. There’s even more math to be found in the building structure, which is derived from phyllotaxis (the study of leaf patterns in plants), the mathematical basis for most plant growth. The structure pays an ode to nature by emulating the patterns that appear everywhere around us in one form or another, all following the same principles.
4. Parthenon, Greece
Dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, Parthenon follows the ancient Greek ideals of harmony, evident in its perfect proportions. The Parthenon’s facade, as well as elements of its facade, are claimed to be circumscribed by a progression of golden rectangles. The width to height ratio of 9:4 governs the vertical and horizontal proportions of the temple as well as other relationships of the building, for example, the spacing between the columns.
5. Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
Over 100 years in the making, Sagrada Familia is one of the most visited places in Spain. It also features a Magic Square within the Passion façade – an arrangement where the numbers in all columns, rows, and diagonals add up to the same sum: in this case, 33. The Magic Constant or M is the constant sum in every row, column and diagonal. Heavily influenced by natural elements, a key part of Gaudi’s architecture, Sagrada Familia links geometry, nature and organic elements in a seamless way.