What really surprised me about this book, was its elaborateness. With the internet containing most of the information I need, I rarely used an encyclopedia. The more it amazes me, how much effort Benjamin Hederich put into this book, to provide as many information as possible about different topics in architecture. I loved how well organized it was and how easy Hederich made it to the reader to search up certain topics.
There has only been one other edition of the book, published in 1756. This makes me think about the success of the book. Did it reach the broad audience it deserved? I don’t exactly now the situation in the 1730s, neither have I read the hole book, but maybe it was too conservative? Or it was quickly forgotten, with architecture being a fast-changing topic. But I could also be falsely interpreting the lack of second editions, and the book was very popular at its time.
The five orders und ancient architecture is a big topic in the book. I often think about the fact that ancient Greek architecture and its varied forms appeared again and again over hundreds and thousands of years and I’m always amazed at the fascination it exercises with people.
I loved reading in the book, looking at the different illustrations etc. It really surprised me that the book was in such a good shape, even after 300 years. I love these kinds of testifies to time. The task reminded me of some research tasks in the archives I had to do during my time as a “Zivildienstleistender” at the Denkmalpflege, every time It was a joy hold these old books and plans in my hands, telling about the time they were written in. I’m really lucky that I have got a book in German. I don’t think that I could have dived this deep into a book, if it was written in a language that I couldn’t understand.
The only problem was, that the font it was written in was quite difficult to read, but after a while I got used to it and it wasn’t that big of a problem anymore. A second problem was, that the language was very antiquated. But after I thought about this fact I realized, that that the book was almost 300 years old, and there were still expressions in it that I wouldn’t have assigned to this era and that seemed quite modern. In the end the similarities in language from now and then were way more surprising than the differences. I liked the format these tasks were delivered to us students. We had enough time to fulfill them with care, but they weren’t very time consuming, so it never really felt like a chore to do them. In contrary, they were a welcome distraction to our design classes and everything else. Plus, because they were given on a monthly basis, it was easier to get to know the book. The final task was a nice and surprisingly fun ending with the other people from the team, thanks to the open task.