From the very first moment, I was fascinated by the incredibly beautiful, detailed drawings of the churches in our book. They had such a convincing effect that I started my conversation with Alice in the course of this task with the topic of architecture and the terms «church» and «drawing». Both of them describe the appearance of our book in a rather formal and objective manner.
Regardless of whether I asked for church, sacred architecture, construction, illustration or dome, Alice always suggested the book «Modern Architectural Theory» by Harry Francis Mallgrave. After some time thinking about individual quotes, I noticed Mallgrave’s parallels to our book. In fact he covers a considerable range of the contents of our book. It is about the role of drawing, especially as a skill of an architect. Furthermore, various architectural theorists who have studied domes on churches are mentioned. The word «modern» in the book title is misleading in light of the fact that it is not understood as contemporary in our present sense but is applied to theories of various points of time in the past. In each case, these theories are explained closely in relation to building practice. In the «Argument» assignment it was noticed that our book resembles a manual that explains how churches should be built. Like Mallgrave, the manual like character shows the close link between theory and execution.
To get different answers from Alice, and thus address another of her brains, I next asked about contextual terms. While Alice’s suggestions regarding the year of publication of our book caused a dead end, the search for German architecture again led back to Mallgrave. Our book is written in German. Similarly, Mallgrave arguably focuses on discourses of formative architectural theorists in the Western world.
For even more variation in book selection, I switched from the search filter «explore» to «find» and began changing the topics of conversation with Alice. From churches to religion to plans, I eventually continued my search in the field of architecture. Under the search term «instruction» a single quote with the words «Vollständige Anweisung zu der Civil Bau Kunst» caught my eye because of the enormous similarity to the title of our book. The quote has been mentioned in the book «Renaissance and Baroque Architecture» by Alina Payne. In the context note it is written that it is actually another work by Leonhard Christoph Sturm, the author of our book, and thus the similarity of the book titles is not accidental. According to this, Sturm wrote a series of instructions on various building typologies. It is exciting that from further excerpts of Payne’s book it appears that she also strings together and analyzes within one book various treatises from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Moreover, again the precision of her descriptions of the works is striking and can be compared to the meticulous recording and drawing of the churches in our book.