Archi­tec­tu­ral Signi­fi­can­ce

Harm­o­ny of the Renais­sance

What is the visu­al, or other, effect of this por­tal? Is the­re a design prin­ci­ple? Is it the aes­the­tics and the design prin­ci­ple? Is it the aes­the­tics and the design cri­te­ria of the Renais­sance or is the con­s­truc­tion its­elf respon­si­ble for the spe­cial effect of the Bata­via por­tal?

Renais­sance Art (15th/16th cen­tu­ry) is regard­ed as the rebirth of clas­si­cal anti­qui­ty in terms of values, aes­the­tics and artis­tic per­cep­ti­on, as well as the new­ly dis­co­ver­ed repre­sen­ta­ti­on of per­spec­ti­ve. New values deman­ded a new view of man­kind. The earth is no lon­ger the cent­re of the world, but revol­ves around the sun. Man is at the cent­re of the spi­ri­tu­al world and is seen as the mea­su­re of all things.

The Bata­via por­tal was desi­gned accor­ding to the rules of the “gol­den ratio”. The num­ber Phi is an irra­tio­nal num­ber clo­se­ly inter­wo­ven with art and beau­ty. It has an infi­ni­te num­ber of deci­mal places. Phi 1.6180… is refer­red to as “the num­ber of crea­ti­on”, “the world for­mu­la”, “the gol­den num­ber” or the “divi­ne ratio”. The nume­ri­cal value is the core of the gol­den ratio. Divi­ding a distance “in the gol­den ratio” means that the length of the smal­ler sec­tion “a” rela­tes to the lar­ger sec­tion “b” in the same way as the lat­ter rela­tes to the length of the initi­al sec­tion “c”.

With simp­le, ide­al geo­me­tric shapes such as squa­res and cir­cles, the Ita­li­an Renais­sance revi­ved the for­mal lan­guage of anti­qui­ty and bor­ro­wed buil­ding ele­ments such as colum­ns, pilas­ters, capi­tals and tri­an­gu­lar pedi­ments. The Bata­via por­tal was also crea­ted in accordance with the­se design prin­ci­ples.

A por­tal is regard­ed as the cent­re­point of the Ita­li­an Renaissance’s faça­de design. The framing is a moul­ded reve­al with ash­lar work (Rusti­ca) with colum­ns. It is clo­sed off hori­zon­tal­ly by an archi­tra­ve and crow­ned with a tri­an­gu­lar pedi­ment. The wedge-shaped key­stone inser­ted at the hig­hest point of an arch makes the con­s­truc­tion self-sup­port­ing. The key­stone of the Bata­via por­tal — the fea­tures of which were ful­ly ero­ded over cen­tu­ries beneath the waves — pro­ba­b­ly depicts a lion’s head.