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Page:History of Architecture in All Countries Vol 1.djvu/60

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28
Part I.
HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE.

Even the same wall-paper (if of strongly marked lines) if pasted on the sides of two rooms exactly similar in dimensions, but with the lines vertical in the one case, in the other horizontal, will alter the apparent dimensions of them by several feet. If a room is too high, it is easy to correct this by carrying a bold cornice to the height required, and stopping there the vertical lines of the wall, and above this coving the roof, or using some device which shall mark a distinction from the walls, and the defect may become a beauty. In like manner, if a room is too long for its other dimensions, this is easily remedied either by breaks in the walls where these can be obtained, or by screens of columns across its width, or by only breaking the height of the roof. Anything which will divide the length into compartments will effect this. The width, if in excess, is easily remedied by dividing it, as the Gothic architects did, into aisles. Thus a room 50 feet wide and 30 high, may easily be restored to proportion by cutting off 10 or 12 feet on each side, and lowering the roofs of the side compartments, to say 20 feet. If great stability is not required, this can be done without encumbering the floor with many points of support. The greater the number used the more easily the effect is obtained, but it can be done almost without them.

Externally it is easier to remedy defects of proportion than it is internally. It is easier than on the inside to increase the apparent height, by strongly marked vertical lines, or to bring it down by the employment of a horizontal decoration. Turning, for instance, to the diagram No. 2 (page 13): if the two divisions c and d were on opposite sides of a street, and not in immediate juxtaposition, it would be difficult to make any one believe that c was not taller than d, and that the windows in the latter were not farther apart and inore squat than those in the first division; and the effect might easily be increased.


No. 3.
If the length of a building is too great, this is easily remedied by projections, or by breaking up the length into square divisions. Thus, a a is a long building, but b b is a square one, or practically (owing to the perspective) less than a square in length, in any direction at right angles to the line of vision; or, in other words, to a spectator at a' the building would look as if shorter in the direction of b b than in that of a a, owing to the largeness and importance of the part nearest the eye. If 100 feet in length by 50 feet high is a pleasing dimension for a certain design, and it is required that the building should be 500 feet long, it is only necessary to break it into five parts, and throw three back and two forward, or the contrary, and the proportion becomes as before.