Vitruvius covered the whole range of architectural concerns when he coined the phrase “Utilitas, Venustas, Firmitas” around 15 BC. Utilitas (utility) refers to convenience and commodity of use. Venustas (beauty) naturally involves the aesthetics. Firmitas (stability) refers to the strength of construction. Vitruvius further expands on firmitas by stating, “Durability will be assured when foundations are carried down to the solid ground and materials wisely and liberally selected.”
Stephen J. Baker
Stephen J. Baker, AIA, PhD, is a registered architect who has served the Catholic Church for over seventeen years in architecture, preservation, and liturgical furnishings. He is also a full-time instructor at the University of Colorado Denver and is currently working towards his PhD in Design and Planning at the University of Colorado’s College of Architecture and Planning. His dissertation is on the history of Catholic sacred architecture of Colorado.