Architecture as Profession: The Origins of Architectural Practice in the Low Countries in the Fifteenth Century [Paperback]

Merlijn Hurx (Author)

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ISBN: 9782503568256 | Published by: Brepols | Series: Architectura Moderna | Volume: 13 | Year of Publication: 2018 | Language: English 350p, b/w and col illus

Architecture as Profession: The Origins of Architectural Practice in the Low Countries in the Fifteenth Century


Fifteenth-century Florence is generally considered the cradle of the modern architect. There, for the first time since Antiquity, the Vitruvian concept which distinguishes between builder and designer was recognised in architectural theory, causing a fundamental rupture in architectural practice. In this well-established narrative Northern Europe only followed a century later when, along with the diffusion of Italian treatises and the introduction of the all’antica style, a new type of architect began to replace traditional gothic masters. However, historiography has largely overlooked the important transformations in building organisation that laid the foundations for our modern architectural production, such as the advent of affluent contractors, public tenders, and specialised architectural designers, all of which happened in fifteenth-century Northern Europe. Drawing on a wealth of new source material from the Low Countries, this book offers a new approach to the transition from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Period by providing an alternative interpretation to the predominantly Italo-centric perspective of the current literature, and its concomitant focus on style and on Vitruvian theory.

Table of Contents

    Professionalisation in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the ideal of the architect
    Economics and the position of the architect
    Design and construction
    Different sources, methods and approaches
    Approach and structure of the book
Chapter 1. The liberty to design
    Defining the architect
    Designs for different media
    Liberal arts and the guilds’ monopoly
    Patrons and guild authority
    Constelyk gemaickt, artistic quality as a licence
 Chapter 2. Urban building boom
    Urbanisation in the Low Countries
    City walls
    City churches
    Trade halls and town halls
    Princely residences
    Urban architectural rivalry
Chapter 3. The stone trade
    The need for stone
    Contracting building works
    Benefits of the market
    Expanding markets
    Innovations in the production process
    Managing the stone trade
Chapter 4. Quarrying at Brussels
    Stones and quarries
    Commercial importance and stone politics
    Brussels entrepreneurs in stone: Godevaert de Bosschere and Lodewijk van Boghem
Chapter 5. Profession of the architect
    Background and training
    Changing conditions of employment
    Evert Spoorwater and Rombout Keldermans
    Undermasters and methods of communication
    Engineer, manager, designer
Chapter 6. Communicating the design
    The drawing as planning instrument
    Innovations in architectural representation
    The design in words
Chapter 7. Strategies for ‘prefab’ architecture
    Plain architecture by prominent architects
    Repeated designs
    1. Money and measurements
    2. Projects by Evert Spoorwater, sources of table 5.1
    3. Projects by Rombout Keldermans, sources of table 5.2

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