The Starting Form – The Base Octagon
The starting form in the plant design is the plant octagon; this is the octagon formed at the outside corners of the eight towers, see folios 103:01 and 103:02.
The plant base octagon is a paper figure with no outlying physical structure.
Starting the plant design at the outlying plant octagon is a consideration overlooked by scholars in the past. Scholars like Heinz Götze have theorized that the geometric design started at the courtyard and progressed outwardly, with the towers being the last elements to be defined.
Starting the design at the plant octagon, which is the largest figure, results in a design that progresses from the outside toward the center. The towers are defined first, then the façade wall, next the room width, and finally the courtyard wall. The courtyard is a left-over space in this design model.
The proof that this new model is the correct one is in the story that follows, a methodology that is coherent with the scientific knowledge at the height of the Middle Ages, a logical progression expectable in a scientific design process, and a design that predicates the plant forms and dimensions with uncanny precision.