First I made a list of key words for the three written parts of my book (Introduction, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2). Amongst these words were mathematics, proportions, heights, distance, etc. but also others such as piers, columns, niches, windows, gates, obelisks, etc. I then started looking up some of these words. Some of them either had no interesting results, for example obelisks or heights and some others had too many results because they were too broad. Some brains of Alice also didn’t give satisfying results, for example the brain named Rousseau’s Friends or the Xenotheka one. The one that always gave really interesting results was the Alberti and Vitruvius one, that’s why I ended choosing two words from this library. For each of those words I looked at the book, read the passages talking about the topics and finally wrote my analysis.
1. Piers : Alberti, On the Art of Building in Ten Books 1988 (Brain : Alberti and Vitruvius Library, Topic : columns)
In the book of Batty Langley the word comes in the part talking about columns used in the context of openings. He explains with many details how the piers are to be designed when used on the sides of a gate. The way he presents it is mainly with the theme of proportion, explaining for example how to divide the height, or how to design a pier for each order, etc. There are five drawing plates that illustrate his words.
The way Alberti does it is partly different. He also talks about proportions of height and width, but what caught my attention was that he makes a point about bridge piers, which in my opinion is more current than gate piers and since I like bridges, I found it interesting to focus more on that part. Alberti says for example that the piers of a bridge should relate to the width of the river, but also that the current is the strongest in the middle, which means that there should be no piers in the middle of the river since it could impair the strength of the piers.
To sum up Alberti adresses the theme of piers for another use and talks about it in a more physical or ingenious way and less visual way as Langley.
2. Gates : Williams, Daniele Barbaros Vitruvius of 1567 (Brain : Alberti and Vitruvius Library, Topic : order)
In Langley’s book the gate doesn’t have a really big importance but still is interesting. He explains how to design a gate according to the place it leads to (gardens, avenues, courts, palaces, etc.) and then shows with five drawings the way a gate for a Palace can be designed. The five drawings are each made according to an order (tuscan, doric, ionic, corinthian and rusticated). There is another part briefly talking about gates, more precisely about the panels on the gates.
In the book of Williams, the focus is put more on the defensive role that the gates have. They have to be conceived in a way that when they are taken by an opponent inside, they do not provide safety to the traitor and injury to the citizens. That’s why they need to be secured. They also need to be closed from the outside and not be placed at the end of a street, so that the ennemy cannot enter and access the center directly, but has to walk along a wall where he can’t defend himself well.
To sum up Langley is more theoretical in the way he presents the theme of gates and Williams has a more practical way of talking about it, presenting real life application of gates.