Water and Architecture
The full title of the book “Architectura Hydraulica, Oder: Anleitung zu denen Brunnenkünsten” is about architecture with water and instructions for fountain-art. The first part of the title is written in Latin and the second one in German. Considering the author is called Caspar Walter, I assume that his mother tongue was German. However, it is a different German than the one which people are speaking nowadays. The first page of this book is an introduction to the topic and elaborates the different arts of water-architecture which are mentioned in the text. It discusses water wheels, horizontal water wheels, mills and other similar machines.
The book is structured in written information and in illustrations. The written part comes first and links to the illustration using “Tab.” and “Fig.” numbers. Each paragraph is linked to a part of an illustration. However, the paragraphs can be very small sometimes while some of the illustrations extend to two or even three pages. These are drawn accurately with very thin lines. The different figures are indicated so that the reader can look up its associated text and vice versa.
Architectura Hydraulica is quite a big and heavy book. Its cover is thick but also looks very old. The first few pages are empty or there is only few information on it. Since there are different versions of this book, there are also different cover versions. The scanned book online has a multicoloured cover with a pattern on one side whereas the book I physically looked at in the library consists of neutral leather.
In my opinion, Walter Caspar wanted to create a book which helps other people build architecture which contains water as an element. His book almost feels like a handbook except for its size and weight. Although I can not easily read its text, I somehow like the way it looks and feels.