Phidias, Euclid, Plato, Da Vinci, Dali, Le Corbusier… the work of these Masters continue to have modern-day relevance. A systematic study of sacred geometry and divine proportion enables us to apply their timeless concepts to contemporary architecture and design. This sacred geometry has unique symbolic value, and thereby enables the evolution of the human soul.
Vitruvius wrote: “Since nature has designed the human body so that its members are duly proportioned to the frame as a whole, it appears that the ancients had good reason for their rule, that in perfect buildings the different members’ sections/structural elements must be in exact symmetrical relations to the whole general scheme.”
Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man was based on this study, but it was also the basis for floor plans and decorative features in ancient and medieval architecture. The overlapping of the square and the circle in Vitruvian Man is also seen at Notre Dame Chartres (NDC), and very often called a mandala.
A mandala is the overlapping of squares and circles and is often referred to as the “floorplan of the universe.” The mandala is created from a religious standpoint. Its origins lie in Buddhism and Hinduism and the term was brought to the west in the 20th century to describe the western use of the overlapping shapes. Mandalas represent "cosmic truth" in the east, and in the west came to represent the intermingling of heaven and Earth and the creation of God.
The square or the Earth represents limited space, whereas the circle represents the boundlessness of the heavens. This could be interpreted as expounding upon the boundlessness of God and the limitations of man. The circle and the square are also used because they are symmetrical and balanced and God-like in their uncomplicated forms.
The mandala is a geometrical pattern that is repetitive in architecture across the world—Muslim mosques, Christian cathedrals, Buddhist stupas, Hindu temples…the principle of a structure built around a center is a recurrent theme in architecture. It symbolizes the metaphysical plan of a building, incorporating the flow and balance of natural elements. The sanctity of the mandala as a cosmic symbol augments its relevance in architectural plans.