Architectural Research Quarterly: Plan

Adolf Loos (1870–1933), plan and section, Tristan Tzara House, 1925. Ink on paper, 342 × 345 mm. DMC 2947.1.

Volume 22, Issue 1

pp. 8–40

This issue of arq introduces the new collaboration with Drawing Matter.

To launch the collaboration, and in continued celebration of arq’s recent twenty-first anniversary, this issue opens with a collection of twenty-one pairs of plan drawings. Stan Allen, Niall Hobhouse, and Helen Mallinson chose the images in an intense one-day session. As Allen reflects: ‘The architectural plan is a paradoxical sort of object, an instrument that should be rendered obsolete by the act of construction [which] nonetheless remains the most intensive and compact description of an architectural idea.’ Ranging across the work of Louis Kahn and Superstudio, Charles Barry and James Stirling, John Soane and Karel Lodr, the selection reflects on ‘plan’ as both verb and noun: as a tool directed towards an outcome, awaiting construction and inhabitation; and also as the retrospective reconstruction of existing architectures towards education and knowledge. Allen goes on to argue, ‘the conceptual power of the plan as a working instrument is […] its capacity to function simultaneously as an analytical and projective device, poised between past histories and future possibilities’. In a similar spirit, at arq looks forward to the future possibilities of including past histories from Drawing Matter’s collection in the pages of the journal.