The Rudiments of Architecture and Building

The Rudiments of Architecture and Building

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Excerpt from The Rudiments of Architecture and Building: For the Use of Architects, Builders, Draughtsmen, Machinists, Engineers and Mechanics

Two widely different arts at present bear the name archi tecture. The more common of them may be defined as the art of clothing or masking buildings, of whatever class, with scenic representations of the features of a superior class, erected in some past age. The merit of these works is of course to be estimated by the fidelity with which they adhere to the peculiar marks of the period chosen, and avoid those belonging to any other period or country. This art has now arrived at great perfection, in consequence of the many fine archaeological works in which specimens of the building styles of various ages and nations are delineated. Indeed, few things can be easier than this is now rendered by such engravings; in the absense of which, of course, verbal directions on this art would be useless, and whose presence renders them need less. With this art, therefore, the present little work has no concern.

There is another art, however, of the same name, more ancient, yet less known and practised at present, because more difficult and troublesome. This is the art of Building Well, - well as regards every purpose intended in building, and not only the actual fitness of a building or its parts to their several purposes, but also the fitness of their appearance thereto, together with the generally pleasing character of this appearance, and the correct or tasteful choice and disposition of such decorations (if any) as may aid in this object.

All that relates to the appearance of buildings and their parts has been termed architectural design, or sometimes 'architecture Proper,' as not being reducible to the principles of any other art; and it is perhaps the only branch of archi tecture in which, as a whole, those not professing the art can be expected to take an interest. The present treatise is in tended to confine itself to this, as far as it can be separated from the other branches, which, however, (especially as regards the branch of construction,) is not always possible.

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