After first browsing through “Des Jacobi Barozzi von Vignola Grund Regeln” the theme of organization popped into my head. Not only is the book meticulously organized within its structure but also in its content. The structure and visualisation of the book makes a clear statement that its purpose is not to create something new, but rather to gather and deconstruct existing styles of architecture, neatly breaking them down into simple pieces to be reproduced.
The first part of the book is filled with text describing and analysing different aspects of architecture of the corresponding style and epoch. Describing proportions and geometries the first part aims to create an overview of what is to be expected of the book and the following drawings. In the second, significantly larger part the book analyses the aforementioned attributes in a graphic way. It does so in the same structural order of the text that precedes it. This detailed documentation of the characteristic of architectural elements gives the book a similar feel to the one you get from a dictionary, the ruthless listing and documentation of features.
Diving deeper into the drawings, which make up a majority of the book, I observed a trend in always displaying an object in both its real appearance as well as a much-simplified schematic version, one to observe the details, the other to explain its proportions and basic geometric features. This schematic view is often displayed in form of tables and graphs giving off an air of simplification driven to its maximum, eliminating everything that is even remotely unnecessary to getting the essence of what is being displayed understood. The more detailed drawings not only give you a depiction of the architectural element but observe the relations between textures and shapes. Observing the dialogue between detailing in terms of proportion and geometry “Des Jacobi Barozzi von Vignola Grund Regeln” creates an intricate yet cold feeling description of architecture. These drawings are mostly accompanied by legends that describe the different components of the drawing in a very efficient way, simply noting their nature without elaborating on their purpose or character.
It is clear that this book aims to catalogue and organize that which already exist, to become a dictionary for the architecture of the past. And for a dictionary it fulfils its purpose. It is not a book to be read for entertainment, but something you take out of the shelf if you already know exactly what you are searching for.
Keywords: deconstruction; organization; collection