Battersea Power Station, X-Ray Isometric Projection, 2017

WilkinsonEyre, Battersea Power Station X-ray isometric, [date?] IN SET

This drawing presents a snapshot of the BIM model from the northern end of Battersea Power Station. Combined with a point cloud survey of the existing fabric, it overlays newer elements of construction with layers of the historic model. Careful selection of the information presented makes it possible to see into the building like an X-Ray and understand the essence of the composition. – Chris Wilkinson

Cedric Price

Bathat: Battersea Power Station, c. 1990

Cedric Price, Bathat, DM 1092 IN SET

Swiftly drawn in soft orange-red crayon, four upright fingers sit astride a flying platform. We instantly recognise the volume and mass of Battersea Power Station; but the weight has vanished with the walls. The uplift is palpable: thin red pen lines inscribe the geometry of the stripped back steels, but they appear to tether rather than support. Lines also appear beneath the indeterminate shag-pile carpet of urban stuff – old building, new development; the squat strokes have squared off ends that calibrate their own skyline of grainy elevations. Hovering, centre page, the severed power station appears beneficent; a city scaled ‘hat’ like the dome of St Paul’s. The scheme proposal was one of Price’s typically surgical left-field ideas, this time for a competition that addressed the newly listed Grade II status of the power station. The winner was Alton Towers for a historic theme park. Price’s counter-proposal demolished the tonnage of bricks, leaving the iconic chimneys hovering over the city and releasing the ground underneath for development. – Helen Mallinson

Andrew Saint

R. Norman Shaw, St Margaret's Church, Ilkley, 1878

Richard Norman Shaw, St Margaret's Church Ilkley, belfry, 1873–9, DM L2875.2 IN SET

The drawings also demonstrate Shaw’s relaxed, almost collegiate style of detailing his buildings, in which contractor and clerk of works played their part. That is quite different from the methodology of, say, Butterfield or Philip Webb, for whom drawings are rigid instructions, no more and no less. So on No. 8 (staircase to vestry) Shaw sketches in the plan of a door opening beside the finished drawing and writes: ‘Put a rebate to this door (a door to shut in) and send me exact dimensions and form so that we may get it drawn out in good time’. On No. 2 he writes: ‘Label to be same as some of the others or slightly altered’. On No. 4 he writes: ‘String like any of the others’.  The closest equivalent I know to these clear but easy-going instructions are some of the drawings in the RIBA collection for houses Shaw had built by a trusted builder, Frank Birch, on which he writes in similar vein: ‘The barge boards cornices etc to be all similar to Wispers – or Boldre Grange ­or any if our best specimens’; and on one occasion he exclaims; ‘Get some headroom in here somehow’! – Andrew Saint

Drawing Matter

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