AL_A, Detail: Making visible the invisible, above ground (Exhibition Road Project), 2017 IN SET

Farshid Moussavi’s brief for the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition asked for representations of the complexities of designing and realising buildings and structures. We illustrated this by overlaying each level of intervention in a different colour – from the existing V&A stonework in green, the services in purple, to the new build elements of piles, steelwork, etc. in red, the courtyard tiles in shades of blue – to bring to light the complexity of our design. With so much information, we used bright colours to ensure that the drawings could be read clearly as well as rewarding closer study. The drawings also communicate the very abstract notion that was central to our design, that of ‘making visible the invisible’. The pattern of the courtyard tiles is derived from a two-dimensional extraction of the complex three-dimensional structure that supports the courtyard, which is the gallery ceiling below. – Amanda Levete



Tony Fretton, Lisson Gallery 1, 84-7-1

The sketchbook reflects the possibility or the imagining of an architecture. This, of course, depends on what stage you are at in your career. These are early sketches, forming the bases on which my practice then proceeded: they were a fundament and so a reflection on a possibility before the issues of building had to be addressed. You have to investigate more broadly the capacity of buildings to be reticent and overt – that is, you have to investigate through drawing an architecture that looks at degrees to which a building can be expressive or inexpressive. So that is what the sketchbooks are about. I was looking for an architectural method. – Tony Fretton



Louis Le Vau (1612–1670), Chateau de Meudon, c 1656–7, DM 2652.c

This large elevation drawing with flaps allows us to witness his first thoughts for the garden façade. On the left and right part of the main sheet, the Renaissance castle is featured without modification. Only pencil strokes on a few windows suggest that the architect may have envisioned suppressing one out of two bays in the main building. In the centre, a large flap reveals a central pavilion based on an oval plan covered with a lantern dome, very close to the one built at Vaux-le-Vicomte in 1656. A second flap, located beneath this one, shows a rectilinear projected pavilion consisting of a loggia supported by free-standing Ionic and Corinthian columns topped with a pointed pediment and flanked by two bays delimited by pairs of quoins. This proposal recalls the solution adopted for the Paris Hôtel Lambert staircase pavilion designed by Le Vau around 1639-1640. A third drawing, lightly sketched on the main sheet of paper, divulges a variant of the latter project with aprons added on the second level and a curved pediment. – Alexandre Cojannot and Alexandre Gady, translated by Basile Baudez

Drawing Matter

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