In this post I will be discussing one concept of the book “A Collection of Designs for Rural Retreats, as Villas” written by James Malton, who was a working architect. The main focus of the coming paragraphs is going to be the intended purpose of the work.
The frontpage with the main title “A collection of designs for rural retreats, as villas. Principally in the gothic and castle styles of architecture. With their Ichnography, or Plans, laid down to Scale; and other Appendages.” is like a summary that suggests that one of the main purposes of the book is the discussion of different designs and styles. The reader does not only have the opportunity to see the analysis and description of the style in the text and illustrations at the end. He can also see this design and style in the title, in which many different kinds of fronts were used.
Still, it is a mistake to think, that this book is only an easy-to-use education textbook which strictly says who something has to be build. A look at the introduction shows that there is more behind it. This book is like an observation that deals with historical context of different places as well as some general rules that seem to have been agreed to, in the art of the building. It is trying to explain that it is erroneous to think that a builder is the same as an architect (p. 3). This work is also dealing with a question what an architect’s title to a patronage is, for whom a villa or a castle is going to be build (p. 5). This question makes it clear that “A Collection of Designs” was written not only for the architects but also for their sponsors, because “nothing can more distinctly mark the character and taste of a man, than the kind of dwelling he shall chuse to erect for the place of his particular residence” (p. 5). So, the second purpose of this book is therefore to try to hint an architect as well as the patronage what style of architecture is suitable to various uses and situations (p. 10). These hints become even clearer at the end of the introduction, where Malton directly advises how an outline of the principal elevations have to be drawn, how plans should be attentively examined and what the true perspective views are to a very large scale (p. 14 & 15)
Context/ main title/ target group