Fundamentals of Beauty in Architecture 






This one credit course will introduce the theory and practice of architecture from Antiquity to the present day. It will rely heavily on Ancient and Renaissance writings to develop a framework to view architecture.



Through the study of buildings as well as Ancient and Renaissance writings, we will explore beauty in architecture. The class will examine guiding principles in design such as proportion, nature, geometry, and number. It will also provide a framework to view architecture beyond ‘style.’     



  1. Architectural Drawings
  2. The Ancient City
  3. Introduction to Vitruvius
  4. Eurythmia, Symmetria, and Décor
  5. The Canonical Orders
  6. Our Roman Tradition
  7. Sacred Geometry and Numbers
  8. Geometry and Building Forms
  9. History of the Renaissance
  10. De Re Aedificatoria
  11. Beauty and Taste
  12. Nature and Design
  13. Proportion and Design
  14. Methods of Proportion
  15. Andrea Palladio



The classes will be a mixture of lecture videos and voice-over power points. Occasionally, a class will have a supplementary image included. These images will be referenced in the lecture videos.



In Classes 3-4 and 10-12, we will study the following books. It is important that students find whatever means possible of following along during the lectures.


The Ten Books on Architecture, by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio

(There are many versions of this book, I will be using the translation by Hickey Morgan, Dover Publications, 1960)


On the Art of Building in Ten Books, by Leon Battista Alberti

Translation by Joseph Rykwert, Neil Leach, Robert Tavernor, MIT Press, 1988



If you are looking to enroll in the Masters degree in Sacred Arts please complete the application and we will contact you shortly.


If you are a professor interested in joining our faculty or an institution interested in partnering please email our Provost:  


If you would like to Audit this class, then Contact Us here.

Sign up for
Pontifex University Course: A History of Architectural Design in the West-3 Payments of $100/month


Here is the class outline:

Course Introduction
Architectural Drawings
Lesson 1
The Ancient City
Lesson 2
Introduction to Vitruvius
Lesson 3
Eurythmia, Symmetria, and Decor
Lesson 4
The Canonical Orders
Lesson 5
Our Roman Tradition
Lesson 6
Sacred Geometry and Numbers
Lesson 7
Geometry and Building Forms
Lesson 8
History of the Renaissance
Lesson 9
De Re Aedificatoria
Lesson 10
Beauty and Taste
Lesson 11
Nature and Design
Lesson 12
Proportion and Design
Lesson 13
Methods of Proportion
Lesson 14
Andrea Palladio
Lesson 15