concept keywords: construction, errors, symmetry
Written about 1625, the book “Trattato di Teofilio Gallaccini sopra gli errori degli architetti” translates to “Treatise of Teofilo Gallaccin About the Mistakes of Architects”. Gallaccini (1564-1641) was a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Siena and his tract was completed in the manuscript about 1625, but not published until 1767 in Venice. It expresses Gallaccini’s views on restraint in art and architecture, which brought him to the attention of proponents of neo-Palladianism.
It contributed greatly to the knowledge of errors in building construction and still remains highly pertinent today in its methodology of the classification of construction errors. This subject, which has interested the builders of every historical period, was systematically addressed for the first time, by structuring in three chapters with distinctions made between errors committed before construction, errors occurring during construction, and errors discovered in the phase of post-construction.
Taking a brief look at Gallacini’s life it is easy to recognize in him the perfect humanist, capable of studying simultaneously Medicine, Philosophy, Geometry, Mathematics, Mechanics, Military, and Civil Architecture. It is to the latter that Gallacini dedicates the book to which he indirectly reflects all the knowledge acquired through the study of the other disciplines. In fact, medicine allowed him to apply an experience-based, systematic and analytical method of diagnosis to buildings, learning from their diseases and defects in order to then be able to treat and prevent them in other patients.
it is possible to understand how the “Tratatto Degli Architetti” is produced in a fundamental historical moment in which the foundations of the various sciences related to modern construction and engineering were laid and for the first time sketched out in a relational manner. The architect’s profession became theoretically established, asserting itself and distinguishing itself in an increasingly autonomous way from the master builder’s profession of the medieval period.