L’ordre, la décoration et la géométrie
The first thing that came to my mind when I looked at the book was the fact, that it’s very well structured. The texts as well as the pictures are always kept in frames and the only symbols you can see out of these frames are the numbers of the different pages and the short version of the correspondent title from the index. Another thing that I noticed are the parallels between the content of the book and its appearance/ design. In order to explain this more detailed, I’m firstly going to take a look at about what «cours d’architecture» is about: The principal topics of the book are «les ordres de Vignole», as well as some new drafts related to distribution and decoration, materials and construction of buildings. In short, it can be said that what the author writes about, is everything that has to do with the art of building; he looks at the five orders, the geometry plays an important role and he also writes a lot about decoration and things like that. The decoration can also often be seen in the different paintings which pop up throughout the whole book. So, when you look at the structure of the book, keeping in mind what I just pointed out, you can see many parallels between the appearance of the book and its content. For example the decoration: All texts are written in frames, but not just normal frames. There’s always a thick frame and a thinner one adapts to the outside frame. So, they are kind of connected and together they form one beautiful frame. For a reason unknown to me, this is not the case at the pages including the pictures; they only have one frame and there are no symbols outside of it. Maybe because it would be too much «decorated» or perhaps even confusing… Another sign that stands for the decoration are the little symbols at the end of a text. They are inside of the frame and I think that they work perfectly as a kind of fill-in; The size of the frame is on every page the same, but if these symbols had not been painted in there, the undermost part of the page would be empty. So, they decorate the page in some way. However, these signs could also have a functional meaning; the symbols let the reader know that one topic is over. It can be said that they contribute to the order/ good structure of the book. The book owes its well-structured appearance also to the different fonts: For example, when there’s a great amount of text on a page, the author divided the text in different paragraphs to simplify the reading-process and he also used a different font (size) to separate the topics (even more than they are already separated by the chapters).
Due to the facts mentioned above, I would say that the book «cours d’architecture» not only deals with orders and structures but is also very well structured and sophisticated itself. Furthermore, the decoration and the appearance play an important role.