Doctor’s Hippocratic Oath – Architect’s Vitruvian Virtues


What is the equavalent of doctor’s famous Hippocratic Oath to uphold their ethical standard? Architects have the Vitruvian Virtues, while not strictly an oath it does provide an ethos for what architecture must do. Vitruvius is what Hippocrates to doctors, being a principal figure in the history of architecture, due to his contribution of a ten volume book titled De Architectura or The Ten Books on Architecture.

Vitruvian virtues asserts that architecture must have three qualities of firmitas, utilitas, venustas – simply translated as structure, function, form. To be structurally sound and durable, functional and comfortable and finally aesthetically beautiful.

“All these must be built with due reference to durability, convenience, and beauty. Durability will be assured when foundations are carried down to the solid ground and materials wisely and liberally selected; convenience, when the arrangement of the apartments is faultless and presents no hindrance to use, and when each class of building is assigned to its suitable and appropriate exposure; and beauty, when the appearance of the work is pleasing and in good taste, and when its members are in due proportion according to correct principles of symmetry.” – Vitruvius Pollio,

De Architectura, Chapter III: Orders of Architecture

DWG / Rietveld Schroder House – Gerrit Rietveld



Rietveld Schroder House – Gerrit Rietveld

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The Rietveld Schroder House is one of few houses designed in Dutch De Stijl art movement, featuring primary colors and emphasis of horizontal and vertical compositions.

DWG / Fallingwater – Frank Lloyd Wright



Fallingwater – Frank Lloyd Wright

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Best residential work by the great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, designed above the falls and with the hearth centered on the bedrock where the Kauffmann used to picnic on. The cantilevered terrace over the falls is a significant structural feat, the workers were concerned during the removal of the scaffolding until Wright himself joined them.

Bucket List: Houses

This is a non-exhaustive bucket list of houses designed in the modern era that are judged in the following criteria;

Historical Significance:-
The house’s mark on the history of architecture through cultural impact.

Acclaimed Architect:-
The house designed by a well recognized architect and each architect is limited to a single entry.

Unanimously Beautiful:-
The house is unanimously acclaimed as beautiful in regards to form, context and craft.

The list might be updated and modified from time to time.

In no particular order;

1. Fallingwater / Frank Lloyd Wright
2. Villa Savoye / Le Corbusier
3. Farnsworth House / Mies van der Rohe
4. Villa Mairea / Alvar Aalto
5. Villa Malaparte / Adalberto Libera
6. Glass House / Philip Johnson
7. Douglas House / Richard Meier
8. Koshino House / Tadao Ando
9. House at Riva San Vitale / Mario Botta
10.  Upper Lawn Pavillion / Alison & Peter Smithson