As I went through the book for the fourth task, I particularly looked at the text in the first 30 pages. I tried to decrypt what its function could be. After looking at the rest of the pages as well, I noticed that, from start to finish, the author tried to structure the book as clearly as possible. He began with a preface and proceeded to talk about different theories related to the five orders. After that, he made a list of contents, though he did not only write down the subtitles but added a little text to each one. This little text provides the subtitle with context and information.
the subtitles are different variations and combinations of elements in the classical order (like for example arched pillars). Every variation/subtitle gets its own page in the content-list. This fits the clear structure of the whole book and adds to its clarity.
Besides the list of contents, there are some short texts, pictogram-like depictions and tables with numbers. This allows the reader to access different kinds of data in a short amount of time.
Subsequently the main content of the book begins: the illustration of the variation introduced in the list of contents.In this main part of the book, the elements of the classical order are arranged chronologically, according to the content list. They are no longer described by a text but illustrated in proportional and exact drawings. These drawings show either a horizontal projection, or an elevation of the elements.
The drawings include measurements and proportions necessary to replicate the classical elements.
The illustrations are very uniform and clearly represented.
The reader can decide whether he only wants to look up a specific measurement (which he can quickly find thanks to the list of contents), whether he wants to provide himself with information, or whether he wants to compare two or more similar elements of the classical order. The reader can find very fast what he is looking for, thanks to the clear structure of the book.
At the time of its publication, the book was the only way to look something up. Architects back then had the same desire as they have today: being able to look something up as quickly as possible. Because there was no internet, it is obvious that there was a need for such a reference book. Those reference books still exist today but I suggest that because of the mass of information we get from the internet, those books have already or could eventually become less important.
Keywords: list of contents, chronology, uniformity, reference book