clarity – detail – structure
Most of the elevations shown in Vitruvius Britannicus are symmetric, which is very pleasing to the eye. The floorplans however give you a different view on the buildings and stand in contrast to the façade. Not every room has the same requirements so it is no surprise that there are different sizes of rooms. The symmetry in the elevations deliver clarity and make the façade seem calm. Elevations which cover a whole spread are the most satisfying to look at because they show the perfection of the work the best. The pages are like butterfly wings, which are mirrored in the center but show the same pattern. The clarity can also be seen in the layout of the book, where mostly only one page in a spread is covered.
The eye for detail is incredible. Campbells drawings are very precise, whereas the shadows provide depth, which make some parts seem to pop out the page. Again, the floorplans show something completely different and are kept very minimalistic; unnecessary things were left out.
The drawings also show you which material the buildings are made of so you can distinguish for example between stone- and brick walls. It also gives you an awareness for structure of the buildings and you can see whether a wall is very solid or not. Another feature of the drawings are the decorations on the wall or the pilasters which divide the façade.
Campbell achieves to not only show the reader a drawing but also letting him understand it through a description, which comes with every floorplan, section or elevation. The drawing which gives you a visual impression of the building is accompanied by a text describing background information, when the building was built and who the architect was.