"Pulchra sunt quae visa placent"

"Those things are beautiful, which when seen, are pleasing."

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologicae, 13th Cent.

Integritas, Consonantia, and Claritas translate as Integrity, Consonance, and Clarity.  These three qualities constitute what makes something beautiful.  Stella Maris Architecture has chosen Beauty as the pursuit and discipline of the firm.  This is not novel.  Beauty as a standard of creative practice dates back to the ancient Greeks.  'The Canon' by the sculpture Polykleitos - a sculpted model of the male body exemplifying perfect proportion - was a standard of perfection and beauty in the creation of sculpture.  In philosophy, art and nature are qualified according to Beauty:

"to be beautiful, a living creature, and every whole made up of parts, must...present a certain order in its arrangement of parts."

Aristotle, Poetics, 4th Cent. BC

In the Medieval Ages, rediscovery of Greek scholarship revived and expanded the understanding of beauty; and by the inspiration and pen of the aforementioned Saint, are its three constituent qualities defined:

"There are three requirements for beauty.  Firstly, integrity or perfection - for if something is impaired, it is ugly.  Then there is due proportion or consonance.  And also clarity, whence things that are brightly colored are called beautiful."

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologicae, 13th Cent.

How are these qualities of Beauty a discipline for an architecture firm and method of producing a superlative result for a client?  Take an example of a military academy to illustrate.


Integrity is a comprehensiveness in design and process.  Integrity disciplines the method of arriving at the final program and design.

If the military academy was absent exercise facilities in its design process and building, that would signify a neglect of Integrity, for such an academy can not be said to be complete without a means of achieving physical fitness for its students.


Consonance or Proportion is a harmony between the parts of the building program and an ordination of those parts to the ultimate purpose of the building.  Consonance disciplines the rationale in the arrangement of the design.

Therefore, if the same military academy contained a portion designated for the training of ballet, that part would be an intrusion to the efficient functioning of surrounding parts and would be in dissonance to the final purpose of the academy.


Clarity is a radiance of the essence of the building.  Clarity in practice is a remarkable concept for a project achieved in removing what is superfluous and emphasizing what is essential.

Concluding the example of the military academy, clarity would be lacking if the language of the building employed forms and colors of another building type such a golf course or day spa.

For the reason that a beautiful work of architecture is based on sound principles of discipline is this firm committed to Beauty as a principle and at the same time committed to deliver exceptional service to its clients.

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