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Sacred Geometry with Richard F. Sammons

Drawing Course with Richard Sammons
Sacred Geometry Sketch by Richard F. Sammons, S. Cataldo Palermo

Sacred Geometry with Richard F. Sammons
A Field Study – Lecture and Sketch Course

3 credits towards the Certificate in Classical Architecture (Core Curriculum – Proportion) | submitted for 3 AIA CES Learning Units


This course elucidates the genesis and practical implementation of geometric proportional systems, and how a well-proportioned building creates a physiological sense of ease, improving mental health outcomes and fostering community integration. By analyzing traditional compositions like Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic, we will begin to recognize such spatial relationships and their effect on communities. We will also seek to understand how the underlying geometry was employed historically and how these methods apply in considering a humane and healthy environment.

Recent scientific studies show that specific regions of our brains harmonize with the geometry and arrangement of the spaces we occupy. People tend to walk faster through dead spaces and awkward architecture. But when harmony exists in a building composition, people will slow their pace and feel physically and emotionally connected to their surroundings. This response proves that careful planning of sites and buildings will elicit a calming and rewarding experience. Since traditional building practices have often considered the sanctuary of their inhabitants, especially with sacred architecture, this course will help architects to implement these historically proven strategies during both the programming and design phases of a given project.

With the collapse of literacy both in words and numbers, builders reverted to simple graphic/geometric means to design and order their creations. The sophisticated practices of antiquity were simplified and refocused on construction derived from Roman work. Two initial branches sprouted into what we now recognize as the Romanesque and the Byzantine. Geometry was seen as the workings of the cosmos from which the ligaments and forms could be ordered as a reflection of the divine order in the microcosm.


  • Spiral Bound Sketchbook
  • 7″ X 5″ minimum, 10″ X 7″ preferred
  • Compass or Dividers
  • Straightedge
  • Mechanical pencil or lead holder

Recommended Reading

What you Will Learn

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Analyze classical Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic compositions with the appropriate methodologies. We will examine these classical compositions to recognize specific spatial requirements and their effect on the integration, harmony, and unity of communities.
  2. To manipulate geometric scales and gain a working knowledge of geometric proportional systems that will enhance designers’ observations about humans’ use of space.
  3. Gain an ‘eye’ for good conformation (the shape or structure of something) and understand the anatomy of the geometric forms.
  4. Learn the canons of composition and how humans interact with others, and analyze dimensions of public, social, and personal scale.



Richard Franklin Sammons is an internationally recognized expert in the field of architectural proportion, having taught at the Prince of Wales’s Institute of Architecture in London (now The Prince’s Foundation), Pratt Institute in New York, and the University of Notre Dame in Rome. He received his B.A. at Denison University and Master of Architecture at the University of Virginia. Mr. Sammons began his career with David Anthony Easton. He is a founding director of The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art and a founding partner of Fairfax & Sammons Architecture.

Fairfax & Sammons Architecture, with offices in Manhattan and Palm Beach, was established over thirty years ago. The firm reflects the ethos that the built environment’s legacy should be imbued with longevity in its approach to materials and practical elements, along with its relationship with the past and present. They have won over forty international and domestic awards, including several Palladio Awards, Stanford White Awards, and Addison Mizner Medals. Their work has been featured in The New York Times, Country Life, Architectural Digest, Southern Accents, Old House Journal, Period Homes, Traditional Building Magazine, and New Old House. The monograph American Houses: The Architecture of Fairfax & Sammons was published by Rizzoli International.

Mr. Sammons is a board member of the American College of the Building Arts and the Merchant’s House Museum. He is a member of the INTBAU College of Traditional Practitioners (ICTP), an international professional body for traditional architecture practitioners, under HRH The former Prince of Wales auspices. Mr. Sammons wrote the foreword for the re-publication of the book The Theory of Mouldings by C. Howard Walker. He also contributed to Get Your House Right along with Marianne Cusato, Ben Pentreath, and Léon Krier. The foreword was written by HRH The former Prince of Wales.

Earn an ICAA Certificate in Classical Architecture



Special thanks to Caoba Doors,
our ICAA FL Education Sponsor for Core Curriculum
credits towards the Certificate of Classical Architecture

Caoba Doors




With appreciation and gratitude to our


Patron’s Circle Sponsors

Alonso & Associates, Inc.
Cove Construction Group
Flower Construction

Event Lead Sponsor on Interiors

Sciame Homes

Lead Lecture Series Sponsor

Tischler und Sohn (USA) Ltd.

Henry Flagler Donors

Amanda Lindroth Interiors
Fairfax & Sammon
Gil Walsh Interiors
Shoreline Building Group
Window & Door Design Center of Florida

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December 9, 2023
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Free – $150.00
Event Category:


ICAA Florida Chapter
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St. Edwards Roman Catholic Church
144 N. County Road,
Palm Beach, 33480 United States