Symmetry as an ideal of integrity
Symmetry as an ideal of integrity

The symmetry of a work of architecture, being at the same time a property of both the process of perception and the structure itself, as a kind of community escapes definition.

Examples of contradictory symmetry estimates can be continued. Analyzing symmetry in architectural structures, one becomes convinced that there is no single version, and only their totality, difference and even inconsistency can bring us closer to understanding the motives of creativity leading to symmetrical schemes.

Symmetry as an idea in the Platonic sense, as a professional ideal of integrity, beauty and harmony remains an eternal standard in the mind of the architect, the degree to which the question of personal choice, the peculiarities of compositional thinking, aspiration, adherence to a particular philosophy, and in many ways, perhaps, artistic taste, skill approaches him.

Most of the time we don’t like symmetry. The pomposity that inspires a sense of depression, or the deliberate simplicity and clarity of the external appearance, completely contradicting the complex function of the structure, etc., causes protest.

Symmetry as an ideal of integrity, beauty and harmony remains the architect’s standard

Sometimes you forget about symmetry, distracted by plots and reflections, often caused by its presence. Let us recall here the converging rhythms of perspective, or for the mirror world of reflections of architecture in reservoirs, or the artist’s face in the mirror. These reflections are both imaginary and real, but they are not accidental. They are a symbol of the conventionality of any repetition, imitation, and at the same time they are a kind of symbol of the creative will of the artist: he wants to repeat his work “in nature”, so that the building looks into the mirror of water before it appears before the viewer. So the painter, placing his portrait on the canvas, begins to communicate with the viewer even before meeting him.

The multifaceted symmetry helps us to comprehend both the creative credo of the artist and the “angles” of perception. It sets up a wave of understanding, organic empathy in the world of “artificial work”, which embodied the difficult laws of reality.

This role of symmetry can be likened to the gesture of an outstretched hand. Or else. In this “all acceptance” is the humanity of symmetry, its “irony, full of love.”

The concept of symmetry can have meanings different from its usual geometric modifications. For example, symmetry as a measure of orderliness can characterize the structure of professional thinking and be interpreted accordingly as the principle of composition and, more broadly, the principle of image, building a picture of the world from the standpoint of rational or intuitive perception. The boundaries of the concept of symmetry in architecture are not delineated by its role as graphic invariants of composition.

Since the initial premise of this work is the recognition of the possibility of a multi-valued interpretation of symmetry in architecture, we should first try to reveal this ambiguity contained in the concept itself.

First of all, we are talking about the general scientific concept of symmetry as the sum of knowledge with which architectural symmetry correlates.

The general idea of symmetry in the system of modern knowledge is not limited to understanding it as a property of the object being studied, but actively extends into the field of abstract constructions and theories that characterize the scientific picture of the world.

The rhythms of the world around us are flawed. They are subject to variations caused by internal causes or accidental. It is never possible to predict with certainty how great the similarity between a crystal or a plant and their ideal form will be, but on average crystals or plants more or less repeat their ideal form, and crystals to a greater extent than plants, due to the incomparably greater complexity of living systems. “This statistical interpretation of symmetry embodies what we know about the role of chance. Symmetry becomes a kind of benchmark that everyone strives to achieve. It seems to serve as a master drawing, which nothing reproduces to the smallest detail. The theory of symmetry can be considered a triumph of the human mind. It involves perceiving order in a chaotic universe, studying the forms that ordering can take, and using the results of these studies to give meaning to what we observe. In science, as in art, symmetry can be likened to a geometric substrate on which nature and life draw their variations,” writes M. Seneschal in the book “Patterns of Symmetry”, dedicated to the first-ever symmetry Festival, held in February 1973 at Smith College, USA.

Today’s scientific thought is characterized by a wide range of understanding of symmetry, the possibility of applying its ideas to the analysis of relations of any order: formal, meaningful, concrete, abstract, visual and illusory. Therefore, the problems of symmetry sometimes have an unexpected outlet in various areas of theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

In the exact sciences of mathematics and physics, the degree of symmetry acts as the main classification feature, ordering not only the subject of research, but also the fundamental concepts of these disciplines. Crystallography and crystal chemistry build descriptive morphological and structural classifications based on symmetry, combining crystals into genetic series according to one or another set of characteristics.

In general, the science of living things connects a wide variety of evolutionary processes with symmetry. Thus, symmetry, represented by the laws of spiral construction, etc., correlates with dynamic growth factors.