The book, “Cours d’architecture, ou Traité de la décoration, distribution &construction des bâtiments”, written by Blondel, Jacques-François, was meant to be an encyclopedia book to guide architects at that time. The book did not focus on a specific theme but rather covered various topics. Therefore, in the beginning, it was hard to find a particular topic to look up to. The name and content of the Book indicate that the courses can be mainly divided into two parts: principles of ornaments and constructions. Therefore, I decide to search for other books that are also encyclopedic on those themes.
Firstly, I try to search rules and ornament under the topic architecture. The results show all kinds of books about architecture theory. Like the book Modern Architectural Theory from Mallgrave. It talks about why and how ornaments can be used in modern architecture, rather than abandoning them completely. This book emphasizes decorations again, just like the book from Blondel.
However, I realize the key words are still too broad and I need to narrow down a bit. I search rules and proportion under the topic ornament. This time there are only a few about modern architectures, but many about gothic, baroque, Renaissance, or more ancient architectures. In Payne’s book Renaissance and Baroque Architecture, he wrote that in the late 17th century, the form and proportion of roman antiquity was increasingly questioned. Blondel’s book was written around 1771 and his idea might have been affected by such ideological trend.
Afterwards, I search construction with key word principles. Construction is also an important aspect of Blondes’ book, in which he discussed a lot about detailing and structure. The book Constructing Architecture from our Professor Deplazes come out surprisingly. Just like Blondel, Professor Deplazes also talks a lot about technical construction principles and consider construction an unbreakable aspect of architecture. However, this book is much more scientific than Blondel’ book from 18th century.