Jacques Francois Blondel’s architecture françoise is built up by a clear structure and dozens of chapters. The text is printed in one column and a usual font (not calligraphy), but the foots are split up in two columns and less big in size. One of the first things I noticed when looking through the book is the relation of text and foots per page: even though the text is written massively bigger, the foots make up to three quarters of the page.
The first pages contain the large full-title, which takes itself a whole page. The title pages are decorated with some pompous illustrations, a preface written by the author and a short homage to the king of France not penned by Blondel.
Due to its well-planned organisation, you won’t have troubles finding concrete subject or chapters: every page is numbered and has the title of the chapter printed on top. On the first pages of the book, there is a detailed index with all the chapters. Furthermore, the book is built up chronographically, which means the themes are already in a logical order.
L’architecture françoise is divided into four volumes. Together they contain over 500 illustrations on a total of 800 pages. There is a big variety of different details and architectural drawings of whole buildings. The details are integrated into the text layout, whereas most of the architectural drawings are printed on a double-page. Sometimes they are even on fold-out spreads to be able to loo at bigger illustrations of buildings. The images are not numbered. In my opinion they are as important as the text is. They are not essential but very good to simplify the written theories.
The book is an academic study ressource. It contains loads of information on French architecture and mostly gives advices and help on how to design new buildings.