Category: project & building histories

DMJ – The Sound of Magma: Geographies of Infrasound, Vibrating Bodies, and Representing the Earth

DMJ – The Sound of Magma: Geographies of Infrasound, Vibrating Bodies, and Representing the Earth

Adam Bobbette

What does the inside of the earth sound like? Do continental margins have a signature key? Does magma whistle? These questions preoccupied the scientist Frank Perret in the early 20th century as he sought to develop the new science of volcanology. For Perret, though, listening to the earth was not… Read More

DMJ – ‘All the varieties of Nature’s works under ground’: the Geological Imagination of Alexander Pope

DMJ – ‘All the varieties of Nature’s works under ground’: the Geological Imagination of Alexander Pope

Yue Zhuang

In 1739, the English poet Alexander Pope transformed his grotto – a subterranean passage that used to consist of a cryptoporticus with architectural orders – into ‘a mine’. Minerals were encrusted into the walls in a manner that imitated those found underground. Previous scholars have considered this to be a… Read More

Oscar Niemeyer’s Cathedral in Brasília

Oscar Niemeyer’s Cathedral in Brasília

Ciro Miguel

For the past two years, our Writing Prize has attracted a large number of thoughtful texts from participants all over the world. This year we partnered with the Architecture Foundation to sponsor one of their three writing prize categories. The Drawing Matter category, titled ‘Architecture and Representation’, invited entrants to… Read More

Joan Littlewood’s Memos to Cedric Price

Joan Littlewood’s Memos to Cedric Price

Ana Bonet Miró

In this text, Ana Bonet Miró reflects on the memos written by Joan Littlewood addressed to her company of actors, and to Cedric Price during their collaboration on the Fun Palace project. For more on Littlewood and Price’s collaboration, listen to Ana Bonet Miró and Matthew Blunderfield in conversation for… Read More

The Work of Ernest and Esther Born: Models for the City House

The Work of Ernest and Esther Born: Models for the City House

Nicholas Olsberg

Ernest and Esther Born trained as architects at Berkeley in the early 1920s and worked with great distinction in all aspects of architecture and the allied arts, from graphics and illustration to display design and architectural photography. This project marks one of their first endeavours on returning to San Francisco… Read More

Queensway, Hong Kong

Queensway, Hong Kong

Sony Devabhaktuni

What I knew of Hong Kong before I moved here came from film and photography. It was a dense, post-modern city that in earlier decades had been characterised by its economic success. Since the turn of the century, the city has been pummelled by shocks and anxieties. Life in Hong… Read More

Heinz Isler Model

Heinz Isler Model

John Chilton and Paul Shepherd

This text was written by Paul Shepherd. The interjections, in italic, are additions by his friend and Heinz Isler expert John Chilton. If you go down to the woods today… Since our son was away on Scout camp all weekend, my plans for Sunday involved a much-needed lie-in and an… Read More

Drawing Conversations: Letters to Clients

Drawing Conversations: Letters to Clients

Paul Clarke

In October 1925 Le Corbusier wrote to his client Madame Meyer a remarkable letter about his proposal with Pierre Jeanneret for her villa. It combined drawings with a highly scripted text that carefully guided her through each space, from the entrance to the roof garden. Like the pioneers of early… Read More

Krier/Culot: Architecture, language and process (1977)

Krier/Culot: Architecture, language and process (1977)

Robert Maxwell

The essay by Robert Maxwell linked below was sent to Drawing Matter by Celia Scott earlier this year. It was first published in Architectural Design, March 1977, as part of a longer feature titled ‘The Role of Ideology’, which discussed the theme through the writing of the architect and historian… Read More

Lenin’s Tomb, the Second Version

Lenin’s Tomb, the Second Version

Niall Hobhouse and Markus Lähteenmäki

The following email exchange took place between Niall Hobhouse, founder of Drawing Matter, and Markus Lähteenmäki in July 2022. Dear Markus, Came across these here in the archive… from god knows where exactly. Thought you might have something to say – had forgotten that it was originally ‘dummied’ in wood.… Read More

Mies van der Rohe and the Universal Space Project

Mies van der Rohe and the Universal Space Project

Landry Smith

I must say that I was far more riveted by another Mies . . . who, in perfect International Style manner continued to insist on architecture and the production of truth as generated by a set of a priori and universalizing laws, and who was caught up in the entirely… Read More