Are our buildings shaped by sacred numbers and hidden codes? Architecture begins with geometry. Since earliest times, architects have relied on mathematical principles. The ancient Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius believed that builders should always use precise ratios when constructing temples. “For without symmetry and proportion no temple can have a regular plan,” Vitruvius wrote in his famous treatise De Architectura.
The proportion Vitruvius recommended was modeled after the human body. He observed that all human beings are shaped according to a ratio that is astonishingly precise and uniform. For example, Vitruvius found that the human face equals one tenth of the total body height. The foot equals one sixth of the total body height. And so on.
Scientists and philosophers later discovered that the same ratio Vitruvius saw in the human body – 1 to PHI (1.618) – exists in every part of nature, from swimming fish to swirling planets.
Sacred geometry, or spiritual geometry, is the belief that numbers and patterns such as the divine ratio have sacred significance. Many mystical and spiritual practices, including astrology, numerology, tarot, and feng shui, begin with a fundamental belief in sacred geometry. Architects and designers may draw upon concepts of sacred geometry when they choose particular geometric forms to create pleasing, soul-satisfying spaces.