Saturday, October 11, 2014

Das Zimmermannsbuch.

I purchased this book from Dictum about 2 years ago upon a recommendation from Peter Lanz.
The book is written in German which makes it a bit harder (for me at least) to read compared to an English text.
The illustrations of the book are spectacular, and there is a wealth of information regarding how buildings were made around the turn of the 19th century.
It is not you typical timberframing book, since the architecture which is covered is more Jugend or Art Noveau style than most other books I have seen.
Sadly a lot of the information in the book is obsolete, based not on how things are supposed to be done, but based more on how we choose not to decorate most buildings of today. There are several suggestions and instructions for towers to be placed on roofs for decoration purposes. I don't think a house with that kind of decoration have been built in Denmark for the last 75 years.

The book covers projects from both ends of the scale, e.g. construction of a small stand for a market and in the "slightly" larger end an example of a circus building made out of wood.

There are a lot of tables in the book concerning e.g. dimensioning of rafters and joists.

Every time I have read in the book, I am kind of saddened by the loss of decorative elements on most architecture today. But I am afraid the costs would be very high if something similar was to be made today.

The book is not one that is read cover to cover, but more used like a handbook or for inspiration. It can also be read as a document of an architectural period which is still visible in many old towns in central Europe.
I would recommend it just for the fantastic illustrations alone, but I have used it as a handbook as well during a project of constructing some stairs.

Dies ist meine erste Versuch um ein Bisschen Deutsch zu schreiben, Wenn es nicht ganz korrekt Hochdeutsch ist, dann möchte ich gern entschuldigen, aber meine letzte Lektion in Deutsch in die Schule war 1989.

Ich habe dieser Buch vor Zwei Jahren von Dictum gekauft. Es wurde mir empfohlen bei Peter Lanz

Die Abbildungen in der Buch sind ganz spektakulär und es gibt eine riese Menge von Information über wie Gebäude konstruiert war rund Jahr 1900.
Es ist nicht eine typische moderner Buch über Holzkonstruktionen weil das beschriebene Architektur mehr Jugend Stil ist, im Vergleichung mit andere Bücher die ich gelesen habe.

Leider ist ein große Teil von die Information in das Buch überflüssig, basiert auf wie man Heute wählt Gebäude nicht zu dekorieren. Es gibt mehrere Vorschlage und Instruktionen über wie man zum Beispiel Dachreiter und Türme gemacht und installiert.
Ich zweifeln darauf das es solche dekorative Elementen in die letzte 75  Jahre in Dänemark gebaut ist.

Das Buch umhandelt Projekte von der ganze Scala. Von Sodawasserhäuschen bis Zirkusgebäude, alles aus Holz gemacht.

Jede mal ich diese Buch gelesen habe wird ich ein Bisschen traurig wegen der Mangel auf dekorative Elementen auf Gebäude heute. Aber ich glaube das die Kosten für solch ähnliches Arbeiten heute wurde sehr hoch.

Dieses Buch ist nicht ein die man von Anfang bis Schluss lest, sondern mehr als ein Handbuch für Inspiration benützen.
Es kann auch wie ein Dokument über ein Architektonisches Periode, heute noch in viele Städte in Central Europa deutlich sichtbar gelesen werden.

Ich möchte das Buch allein auf Basis die phantastische Illustrationen empfehlen, aber ich habe es auch als Handbuch benützt, bei Konstruktion einen Treppe.


  1. Hi Jonas,

    thanks for the review. I've been thinking of getting that book since I found Das Holzbau-Buch. It's on the library of the University and the illustrations are beautiful. Also for sale in Dictum.

    And it gives you the same feeling of sadness and infinite loss in a mere 100 years. I live in Graz at the moment, and it's sad to see the difference between buildings from 1904 and 2004. No beauty or identity is left.

    Will get the book next time I order from Dictum.

    1. Hi Sebastian

      Glad you liked the review.
      The only problem I have with the book is that it always makes me want to build something large and complex.
      It takes a bit of time - tuning back to reality after reading the book.
      I can imagine that Graz is a town filled with beautiful old buildings.

      I always like to look up when I am in an old town like that. plenty of Gargoyles and stuff up there.


  2. What I most like from Graz is the doors. There are so many different styles and motifs.

    I have some pictures (and hope to more in the future) here

    My long term plan is go back to chile and slowly but surely build something great. Will start with a timber framed shop and some door carvings. Eventually, buy land and build a complete house, or if friends join, a small village. I guess that if you solve the food issue and get volunteer work, it cannot get so expensive to build something beautiful.


    1. I was in Chile some years ago, when I was apprentice on a reefer (refrigerated vessel). We went to Valparaiso and Coqimbo.

      Where in Chile are you planning to settle?

      Regarding doors, I am presently working on a new door for our stable at home. It will be in two layers, where the first layer are vertical boards, and the second layer will be 45 degrees sloping out from the middle of the door, like the gate on an old castle in my imagination.
      The project is temporarily on hold since I am at work for now. I forgot to blog about it before going to sea this time.


  3. We still don't know. I'm married to a German who hates the cold, so I need to convince her that the south is beautiful with all the trees and mountains. I did my phd in holland, in a small town, and I really miss to have a forest near by where to go on sundays. I think we will just travel around and when we find a place we like, we try to get it.

    My dad has a spare house in the mountains of Santiago, so we are moving there first. It's easier to find a job in Santiago also. I want to build a small shop there, for starters.

    Looking forward to see that door.