Title: L’expérience de l’architecture militaire
Author: The Martins
Publication Date: 1687
For the third task of ‘friends with an old book i tried to find the topic which makes the book ‘L’expérience de l’architecture militaire” special or interesting.
Of course, as the title already claims, it is about military architecture. But it isn’t only a simple description of an architectural style. It should be used as a guide how to build military architecture. It includes the knowledge of materials, transport systems, coatings of foundation and calculation of angles of inclination.
It is explained not only through text but also various illustrations which are precise and highly detailed.
So i tried to search with Alice, books which can be used as guidance for architecture.
I searched for “architectural guidance”. But the requested books mostly had to do how architecture builds paths and streets which guide the visitors in certain directions.
I decided to look for more general topics regarding the book. I went with the search term “military architecture 1600” and found a book which seemed interesting. It doesn’t approach military architecture in the same way as des Martins’;
Lewis Mumford – The Culture of Cities
First published in 1938 it is described as ‘A visionary survey of urbanism from the Middle Ages to the late 1930s’. It is a call for communal action to ‘rebuild the urban world on a sounder human foundation’. In some parts he describes how belligerent impulses demand expression, how the buildings of the imperial metropolis serve as an appropriate background for war ceremonies and that the architecture of imperialism is a monotonous reflection of the military bureaucratic mind.
In comparison to des Martins it isn’t a guidance to improve military architecture but describes how architecture reflects the spirit of the time with regard to military bureaucracy.
Rem Koolhaas – Elements of architecture
This book is the latest and heaviest product of Irma Boom and Rem Koolhaas collaboration. Which is a big contrast to ‘l’experience de l’architecture militaire’ which is really small and handy. It addresses the basics of building such as doors, windows,walls, chimneys or balconies. Well-founded basic research to understand essential architectural elements and laws of buildings. So in a way it is, as des Martins’ book, a manual or guidance.
Overall it was a challenge to find book with parallels to ‘l’experience de l’architecture militaire’ because the ways Des Martins describes military architecture also through really particular drawings is really unique.
Author: Ronja Iten