Category: project & building histories

Raymond Erith On Soane at Tendring Hall

Raymond Erith On Soane at Tendring Hall

By Pierre du Prey

The following notes were composed by Pierre du Prey to accompany his gift of the sketches pictured above to Drawing Matter, 16 September 2020. The circumstances surrounding two detailed sketches by Raymond Erithof the John Soane gate lodges at Tendring Hall, Suffolk, remain stronglyimpressed on the tablets of my memory.… Read More

The Empire State Building: Elevators (1931)

The Empire State Building: Elevators (1931)

By Bassett Jones

The following was first published as ‘The Empire State Building: Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, Architects: VIII. Elevators’, Architectural Forum (January 1931). Drawing Matter would like to thank Nicholas Olsberg for sending us this text. Digital copies of Architectural Forum’s series on the Empire State Building can be found at usmodernist.org.

Trees Make A Plan

Trees Make A Plan

By Sylvia Lavin

In 1546, Antonio da Sangallo the Younger died of malaria while working in Umbria about 100 kilometres north of Rome. Unlike Claude Perrault, who in 1688 also contracted a fatal infection as part of his work – the source of his malady is said to have been a camel he… Read More

Paul László: Hertz Fallout Shelter

Paul László: Hertz Fallout Shelter

By Christine Bolli

The mid-century architect Paul László knew what it was like to live in uncertain times. He served in both world wars, first for his native land and then for his adopted country. He was Hungarian-born and schooled in Vienna, and his earliest notable achievements were in Germany. László began to… Read More

Just Begin: The Convent Sainte-Marie-de-la-Tourette

Just Begin: The Convent Sainte-Marie-de-la-Tourette

By Stan Allen and José Oubrerie

‘The first line on paper,’ Louis Kahn once said, ‘is already a measure of what cannot be expressed fully.’ This captures perfectly the anxiety of beginnings: not what is to be expressed, but everything that will be left out, and an inevitable sense of loss over all the unexplored possibilities.… Read More

Dating Siza: The Malagueira ‘Cupula’

Dating Siza: The Malagueira ‘Cupula’

By Manuel Montenegro

The unbuilt half-dome (referred to by the architect as the ‘cupula’) at the Quinta da Malagueira is the subject of a protracted design process that has lasted for over four decades. At the start of 2020, Álvaro Siza sent a drawing of the half-dome to Drawing Matter accompanied by letter… Read More

OMA in Scheveningen

OMA in Scheveningen

By Willem Jan Neutelings

Scheveningen is a reef on which different architectonic and urban visions have run ashore. – Rem Koolhaas [1] What a surprise to see this 40 year old drawing! I made it as a young collaborator of OMA in Rotterdam in 1982. It is an analytic sketch in ink and color… Read More

Venice Biennale (1985)

Venice Biennale (1985)

By Dario Passi

The third edition of the Venice Biennale in 1985, ‘Progetto Venezia’, directed by Aldo Rossi, had two major themes: the priority given to the moment of planning and the comparison with the Venetian landscape. For the 1985 exhibition, architects were invited to display their designs for the ‘requalification or the… Read More

Notes on Port Royal, Jamaica

Notes on Port Royal, Jamaica

By Paul Cox

My parents Oliver and Jean Cox were devoted ‘Jamaicophiles’, having worked on many projects in the country since the 1960s. One of the most enduring and absorbing was a proposed redevelopment of Port Royal as a renewal and upgrade of the historic city, rebuilding and restoring while making an interesting… Read More

Philip Johnson on Mies (1974)

Philip Johnson on Mies (1974)

By Philip Johnson

The Berlin Building Exposition of 1931 was the largest of its kind ever to be held. With Teutonic thoroughness every material, every method, every theory that had to do with building was shown in the Exposition. The result of this thoroughness, plus an extraordinary lack of funds for proper presentation,… Read More

Soane: Energy and Frustration

Soane: Energy and Frustration

By Ptolemy Dean

This seemingly benign-looking plan is in fact a thrilling drawing. It shows Sir John Soane’s cerebral struggles in attempting to resolve a number of key competing design elements in the planning of a country house. The drawing exudes energy and frustration. The challenge of designing buildings symmetrically is hard work… Read More

The Story of the Pool (1978)

The Story of the Pool (1978)

By Rem Koolhaas

In the appendix to Delirious New York, Rem Koolhaas’s retroactive manifesto for the island of Manhattan, the tacit logic of ‘Manhattanism’ is set free from its origins in the form of five architectural projects: The City of the Captive Globe, Hotel Sphinx, New Welfare Island, the Welfare Palace Hotel and the Floating Pool. Four of these… Read More