As a young man, Marcel Smets travelled to Venice with his girlfriend in order to avoid military service in Belgium. This trip set the seal on the rest of his life. He was enormously impressed by the beauty of Venice, the architecture, the art and the surrounding lagoon. Not only did he decide to become an architect there and then, he also asked his girlfriend to marry him.
The beauty of Venice, which viewed from a great distance is shaped like a fish, is represented three-dimensionally in his spatial manuscript. The geological structure of the landscape and the lagoon are depicted realistically and in minute detail. In the lid of the manuscript there is a transparency of the same image.