Category: drawing histories

Benjamin Wistar Morris and a new Metropolitan Opera House

Benjamin Wistar Morris and a new Metropolitan Opera House

By Janet Parks

A recent acquisition of six drawings by the American architect Benjamin Wistar Morris reveals his long involvement with one of the most important urban projects of the twentieth century. Morris’s role in this project was a highlight of his career although he has not been widely associated with it. A… Read More

Opportunism

Opportunism

By Richard Hall and Emma Rutherford

While declaring explicitly architectural intentions (especially in the beginning), the enthusiastic appropriation of technologies and techniques peripheral to architecture has been a constant theme in OMA’s work. In 1976, Elia Zenghelis commented on the role of the telephone in their design process. [1] The photocopier and commercial printing would open up… Read More

William Dickinson’s Pocketbook: Rethinking Drawing & practice in Early C18th England

William Dickinson’s Pocketbook: Rethinking Drawing & practice in Early C18th England

By Elizabeth Deans

During the upheavals of the Civil War, Westminster Abbey had functioned as the church of the state for the Commonwealth. Upon the Restoration of Charles II, the Abbey resumed its historic role as the coronation church for English monarchs. [1] Parliament voted towards restoring the fabric, reinstituting its monarchical function… Read More

Robert Adam: The Long Gallery at Syon

Robert Adam: The Long Gallery at Syon

By Stephen Astley, Adriano Aymonino, Markus Lähteenmäki and Frances Sands

On 18 December 2015, Frances Sands and Stephen Astley took out two leather-bound volumes from the Robert Adam Archive and laid them on the long table in the first-floor library at Sir John Soane’s museum. Adriano Aymonino and Markus Lähteenmäki, the initiators and editors of the Soane Oral Project, joined… Read More

Fernando Higueras: The Volcano, The Flower, and The Dromedary

Fernando Higueras: The Volcano, The Flower, and The Dromedary

By Guillermo S. Arsuaga

From eighteenth century primitive huts to the rise of barn living in the 1970s, buildings have served as the conceptual boundary between primordial formlessness and the organised world. But what if architecture begins with the very nature that it was invented to exclude? In 1971, the Madrilenian architect Fernando Higueras… Read More

The Evolving Role of Drawing

The Evolving Role of Drawing

By Nicholas Olsberg

This text was first published in The Architectural Review in 2013. Carlo Scarpa, in a famously infamous gesture, opened all his courses in design at the University of Venice by demonstrating the art of sharpening a pencil. That was the precise point, he claimed, from which all architecture proceeds. And… Read More

‘For the curiosity of the article’: Excerpts from Architectural Drawing (1870)

‘For the curiosity of the article’: Excerpts from Architectural Drawing (1870)

By William Burges

The following introductory text and drawings are reproduced from William Burges’ Architectural Drawing (1870). Each of the drawings has been chosen for its graphic interest or for the content of Burges’ commentary – which covers the problems of surveying buildings, the limits of nineteenth-century book printing, and his personal curiosity in… Read More

The Ruined Temple and Oberrealta Chapel

The Ruined Temple and Oberrealta Chapel

By Zachary Torres

The plans of the Ruined Temple and Oberrealta Chapel were drawn nearly two hundred years apart, and yet they both speak to the Ruskian timelessness of the ruin. The temple and chapel are representative of their respective ages, with the former alluding to Romanticism’s longing for a pastoral past free… Read More

Entering the Imperial Palace

Entering the Imperial Palace

By Will Jennings

‘What a subject for John Martin!’ exclaimed a passer-by, as the hungry flames flickered up York Minster. Maybe they had in mind his apocalyptic painting The Fall of Nineveh, exhibited that same year at the Western Exchange on Old Bond Street and reproduced widely as a mezzotint print. Unbeknown to… Read More

What’s a Bludder Sketch?

What’s a Bludder Sketch?

By Declan Quirke

In October 2020, as a timid foreigner in the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design, shuffling through hundreds of important-looking drawings, I stumbled across a funny little sketch in whose lines I found some humanity. It was made by Bengt Lindroos in 1981, and is an imagined view of his… Read More

The Cornice: The Edge of Architecture

The Cornice: The Edge of Architecture

By Maarten Delbeke

The following essay was first published as the introduction to ‘The Cornice’, GTA Papers 6 (2021). It is one of the outcomes of the work done in preparation for the exhibition The Hidden Horizontal: The Cornice in Architecture and Art, which was on show at the Graphische Sammlung of ETH… Read More

Postmodern Australia: Robert Pearce’s Drawings for Edmond and Corrigan

Postmodern Australia: Robert Pearce’s Drawings for Edmond and Corrigan

By Yvette Putra

Writing in Cities of Hope (1993), the historian Conrad Hamann relates that, on mentioning to Robert Venturi the name of the Australian postmodernist architect Peter Corrigan, the first words from Venturi’s mouth were ‘Oh God! Corrigan!’. Yet it must be made clear that to Corrigan, and to his wife and… Read More