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Page:History of Architecture in All Countries Vol 1.djvu/45

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Sect. III.
13
INTRODUCTION.

us suppose the Diagram (Woodcut No. 2.) to represent a cotton-factory, a warehouse, or any very commonplace utilitarian building. The first division, a, is not only the most prosaic form of building, but is bad building, as no attempt is made to strengthen the parts requiring it, and no more thought is bestowed upon it than if it were a garden wall or a street pavement. The second division, b, is better: the arching of the upper windows binds together the weakest parts, and gives mass where it is most needed to resist the pressure or thrust of the roof; and the carrying down the piers between the windows gives strength where wanted. In this stage the building belongs to civil engineering, which may be defined as the art of disposing the most suitable


No. 2.

materials in the most economical but scientific manner to attain a given utilitarian end. In the third division, c, this is carried still farther; the materials are better disposed than in the last example, and, even without the slight amount of ornament applied, it is a better example of engineering. The ornament is not more than would be considered in some states of society indispensable for even the most utilitarian buildings. The cornice may be said to be required to protect the wall from wet; the consoles to support it; and the mouldings at the springing of the arch may be insertions required for stability. In the present day, however, even this slight amount of ornament is almost sufficient to take it out of the domain of useful art into that of architecture. The fourth division, d, is certainly within the limits of the province of architecture; and though it may be bad art, still the amount of ornament applied, all other things remaining the same, entitles this division to rank as a work of the fine art, architecture.