I chose the concept of clarity because the same clear structure runs through most of the book.
It covers a variety of topics. From geometric calculations, to case studies of various houses, to a detailed discussion of the five orders. Scamozzi is also very clear about what is right and what is wrong.
The various sections are divided as follows:
A preface usually followed by a detailed explanation of terms and definitions.
The latter are very helpful, because you get an overview of what it is about and get to know the terms that are used. The definitions are also very important, because one clearly learns what he understands by the respective terms.
This is followed by the actual discussion of the respective topic. The text is structured in a very clear and understandable way. This clarity is supported by a large number of illustrations. The page structure is mostly the same. The left part of a double page is provided with text and on the right side there is an illustration complementing the text. The text is provided with characters (capital letters and numbers) which refer to individual parts of the illustration. This makes for a pleasant and clearly understandable reading experience. The page structure allows one to always jump back and forth between the text and the illustration, so one can always check the understanding of what one is reading against an illustration and vice versa.
The main part of the book is clearly the part about the five orders. In great detail, Scamozzi describes the proportions, structure and scope of the various orders. The previous parts of the book on geometry and case studies are intended to provide a basis of understanding for this discussion. In all these topics, there is an absolute truth for Scamozzi. As soon as something does not correspond to this truth, it is architecturally reprehensible.
He also clearly emphasizes his reference. In his texts on the five orders, Scamozzi refers strongly to Vitruvius, and not infrequently lets his disfavor for modern architects be heard. In the Conclusion he writes:
“Plusieurs ont fait aussi porter les Entablemens par des Satires , Harpies , & autres animaux monstrueux , sans qu’il soit possible de rendre raison d’un tel usage; & ce qui est le plus ridicule, c’est que par une indécence sans exemple, ils ont porté leurs caprices jusques dans des lieux saints, où les ornemens doivent convenir au sujet: cette licence dont Vitruve se plaint, fait voir que toujours il y a eu des Esprits qui ont pris un autre chemin que celui de la raison.”