not an easy book

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Michelangelo's enormous rectangular opening in the attic story of the rear facade of St. Peter's are wider than they are high, so that thye must be spanned the long way. This is perverse in relation to the spanning limitations of masonry, which dictate in Classical architecture that big openings, such as these, be vertically proportioned. But because one usually expects vertical proportions, the longitudinal spanning expresses validly and vividly the relative smallness.
Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966), p. 31-2.




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