Researching my befriended book „Studio d’architettura civile“ by Ferdinando Ruggieri wasn’t all that easy at first, because it is majorly a collection of architectural drawings and doesn’t contain much text at all. To get some search results, I had to aim at comparable books, that revolved around architectural elements, ornaments and details, just as they are shown by Ruggieri. My research then lead me to following inputs to Ask Alice:
Searching for: Ornament & profile
Topic of conversation: architecture
Body: Xenotheka Library
A highly interesting book, which was shown to me as a result was „Elements of Architecture“ by Rem Koolhaas. This incredibly extensive piece of architecture literature could be described as a modern version of the collection put together by Ruggieri. Also Koolhaas describes a large variety of building elements and complements them with examples of historic and contemporary buildings. Whereas Ruggieri focuses on ornaments, windows, moldings and profiles, Koolhaas covers a vast range of elements, from floors, ceilings and walls to doors and stairs, on over 2000 pages.
Especially the section on stairs was fascinating to me and linked the treatise to another book. Koolhaas cites the German conservationist and author Friedrich Mielke and his numerous volumes of the „Scalalogia“ – the theory of stairs (scala = it. for stairs). Mielke’s works could also definitely be compared to the Studio d’architettura. They are certainly a lot more focused on the one topic of stairs, but treat it in a similarly precise and careful way as Ruggieri treats his topics. Also Mielke describes and documents the various staircases with great care in drawings and measurements. Not only does his collection include stairs, which he found around Germany, his place of living and teaching, but also important historic examples. A stair, which is covered extensively is the staircase in the Ricetto of the Biblioteca Laurenziana in Florence. This coincidence sums up the research very nicely, because Ruggieri too was certainly fascinated by this architectural design by Michelangelo. The whole design of the Biblioteca Laurenziana and its architectural details is the first project, which is contained in Ruggieris “Studio d’architettura civile”.