Alphabet as a Pretext. Representation and Architecture Starting from J.D. Steingruber

  • Stefano BrusaporciEmail author
  • Francesco Maggio
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1140)


Johann David Steingruber (1702–1787) realized in 1773 the “Architectural Alphabet” (original title “Architektonisches Alphabeth bestehend aus 30 Rissen”), that is a compendium of imaginary buildings with plans shaped according to all the letters of the alphabet. Moving from the analysis of the tables, aim of the paper is to present a reflection on these drawings, both according to their own historical and aesthetical graphical characteristics, and in relation to Steingruber personality. The Alphabet does not present buildings that may be realized, but the author develop a sort of “architectural grapheme” to underline a style and a way to think and reflect on the architecture. It is finger exercise, aiming to demonstrate the designer ability. The figure of a refined designer appears, whose work relates to the Late-Baroque culture, when the XVII century tradition interrelates with the rising of the age of Enlightenment.


Steingruber Architectural Alphabet Architecture History Drawing Project 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil, Construction-Architectural and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of L’AquilaL’AquilaItaly
  2. 2.Department of ArchitectureUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly

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