When Adolph Loos hailed engineers, in 1898, as 'our Hellenes' he may have been speaking far less metaphorically that we have so far suspected, since his fellow-Viennese Otto Wagner had already looked to engineers to restore 'powerful horizontal lines, such as were prevalent in Antiquity.' Similarly, to admire the ranked cylinders of a grain silo was not so great a feat of visual athletics to those who had been trained to accept the lumpish columniation
of the temples at Paestum.
Thus, in his tribute to the old South-Sea House, it is the complicated "interlacings" of entries in obsolete ledgers, "their sums in triple columniation
, set down with formal superfluity of cyphers" (3), along with time's further depredations - "layers of dust have accumulated (a superfoetation of dirt!) upon the old layers" (2) - that constitute the being of this venerable institution.