Key words: divided, framed, rightful place
The book; L’art d’appareil by Menand is covered in a brown case which reveals nothing about the book or its topic. No name, no number, no Design. Just a blank brown surface. If you skim through the first few empty pages, the concept is clearly visible. The book is divided into pages that feature text, and pages that only feature technical drawings. Never both. The pages filled with text appear very dense and high in information. The pages with the drawings in comparison, much lighter and less overwhelming. A clear pattern and chronology are being established by this unusual system, which leads the reader through the book. Therefore, Menand assures that the reader is focused on either the writing or the corresponding drawings. Following this system, the first page of the book is the Title, framed by 4 lines, which is a perfect representation of the composition in this book. Going through the rest of the book the regularity of the framed texts and drawings is clearly visible. Because of the rather thick framing, the paragraphs gain importance and establish themselves on the large page. This goes hand in hand with the thesis of Menand leading the reader through the book. It appears to be more grand and more important, appealing to the readers curiosity. The drawings, which are fabricated with delicate lines are coherent with the framing surrounding them. Everything appears to have its predestined place in the book and claims the space on the pages. Because of the high density of information, it seems like the many empty pages were put in to allow the reader to relax his mind and continue to the next pages with a clearer vision again. This system complements the idea of the very grand, heavy pages with text and the pages with light, airy drawings. The thought of everything having its rightful place is an allegory to architecture itself. Not only the information provided by this book is important, more so the structure of the book itself. The thoughtfully arranged position of the pages and the systematic framing around the paragraphs and drawings, make the book itself into architecture and therefore important. Interesting about this rather unusual technique is, that it is fairly uncommon nowadays to devote pages to either strictly text or drawings. The rules by which Menand structured the book can be applied to architecture and society with its own guidelines and boundaries.