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The architectural guidebook: from Palladio to pod

  • Alan Day (a1) and Vaughan Hart (a2)

Extract

In 1554 the Renaissance architectural master, Andrea Palladio (born Andrea della Gondola, or ‘di Pietro’), produced two little-known guidebooks to the city of Rome. These were unillustrated texts, one of which described the ancient wonders of the city while the other concentrated on the later medieval churches. Guidebooks of this kind had existed since medieval times but Palladio introduced a new kind of structure to the guide by organising the material into logical routes which the tourist could follow. Since then architectural guidebooks have proliferated and the introduction of photography and high quality graphics has changed their appearance significantly. However, in many respects things have not altered a great deal. Architectural guidebooks still present a view of a city which is that of a single individual (or small group of authors) and the selection of the material determines what is deemed to be of significance. Some guides, such as those by Nikolaus Pevsner, attempt to present the buildings in as neutral a way as possible in order to give the work a degree of objectivity but, nonetheless, the visitor is still being presented with a particular view of the city.

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The architectural guidebook: from Palladio to pod

  • Alan Day (a1) and Vaughan Hart (a2)

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