Keywords: Massiveness,Beauty, Vitruvius
The book ” Inventioni d’ornamenti d’architettura di Michel Angello Buonaruotti e d’altri ” by Gio Francesco Baroncelli was published in Rome in 1666.
The book has exclusively drawings of façades, walls, ground plans and decorative elements. Baroncelli dispenses entirely with an explanation or description in the form of a text. As the title of the book says, “Inventioni d’ornamenti d’architettura”, G.F.Baroncelli deals with the introduction of ornaments into architecture and draws the possible examples.
The drawings of the interior and exterior walls and façade elements (ornaments) are very detailed and give a spatial effect through shading. (I) The floor plans, on the other hand, are conspicuous for their sparse simplicity.
What really interested me when I took a closer look was the interplay between the very harmonious, partly light-looking façades and the rather massive walls, which are only recognisable in the floor plan. Hence my concept:
The ornaments, decorations, hide the actual solidity of the building.
Baroncelli. has created a variation of interior façades, all of which face the entrance/exit. They differ a lot in their detailed elaboration, but they all have one and the same basic idea of construction: a middle part with a flat wall (for pictures?), a clear symmetry axis in the middle, on the side a construction of columns supporting a cornice and on top another row of columns in a smaller scale.
The structure of the façade is rather small-scale and hardly allows one to perceive the whole imposing piece at once, instead it also appears through the 3 dimensinaltiät as an essential supporting part of the building and architectural element and gives a lightness that can be explained by the playfulness of the elements and the beauty of the arrangement.
Vitruvius’s six principles can be seen in the depictions:
“ordinatio” dimensional order, “dispositio” conception or disposition of the building, “eurythmia” graceful appearance, “symmetria” symmetry, “decor” flawless appearance according to the conventional rules and “distributio” appropriate distribution of building materials.
Essential to my concept, however, are the three main requirements set by Vitruvius
Firmitas (strength), Utilitas(usefulness) and Venustas (beauty). These aspects also make up the buildings depicted. It is a play between solidity (firmitas) for the construction and the balance between beauty and utility in use.
All these buildings have a recognisable massiveness in the ground plan, but this is concealed by the venustas (beauty) and an impressive façade does not make one think of the massiveness behind it. The columns that emerge from the wall are relieved of their constructive task, but seem to be retained for the viewer as an architectural element in order to show a lightness with a monumental effect.