Category: project & building histories

Banham in Buffalo

Banham in Buffalo

Brian Carter

[Our] main emphasis in this course has been on using primary sources in studying architectural history. By this I mean that we have been using the building itself as the first source of information about the history of the building.[1] Reyner Banham moved to America in 1976 to take up… Read More

Hermann Czech: Approximate Line of Action

Hermann Czech: Approximate Line of Action

Mikael Bergquist

Hermann Czech: Ungefähre Hauptrichtung (Approximate Line of Action) is on show at Fanz-Josef-Kai 3, Vienna, from 16 March – 9 June, 2024. On 15 March 2024, an exhibition on the Austrian architect Hermann Czech’s work opened in Vienna at the exhibition space Franz-Josefs-Kai 3 (fJk3). It is the first retrospective… Read More

­­­Constant’s Ladders as Mythic Entity

­­­Constant’s Ladders as Mythic Entity

Alison Bartlett

The ladder, a seemingly unexceptional instrument within the array of futuristic and utopian architectural schemes, sits front and centre; the protagonist of not only this drawing but of Constant’s almost two-decade-long project, spanning 1956–1974, entitled ‘New Babylon’. Propped somewhat haphazardly against a series of horizontally-connected and vertically-angled planes, it exudes… Read More

OMA: London—Foreplay

OMA: London—Foreplay

Richard Hall

This is the first post, in a series of six, titled OMA CONVERSATIONS. The series is the result of a collaboration between Drawing Matter and architect Richard Hall who, over the past two years, has conducted twenty-three in-depth conversations with key collaborators working with OMA during its formative years. Drawing… Read More

Helsinki City Theatre: Timo Penttilä on the real purpose of drawings

Helsinki City Theatre: Timo Penttilä on the real purpose of drawings

Gareth Griffiths

On his retirement in 1998 as professor of architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Finnish architect Timo Penttilä returned to Finland, where he soon made the decision to close his architectural practice. In this process he ordered his staff to destroy the entire office archive of drawings… Read More

Trevor Dannatt: St Mary’s Grove — Through the Door

Trevor Dannatt: St Mary’s Grove — Through the Door

Adrian Dannatt

This is the sixth part of Adrian Dannatt’s series of reflections on his family home, frequently remodelled and extended over 45 years from 1955, by his father, the architect Trevor Dannatt. Read the introduction to the series, here. Entering the house the first thing one sees is the entrance door to my… Read More

Masterplanning the University of London

Masterplanning the University of London

Bill Sherman

Legend has it that Charles Holden promised the University of London a building that would last five hundred years. While there is no hard evidence for Holden’s claim, his Senate House (1932–37) looks as permanent as anything built in modern Britain. A 19-storey tower faced with granite and Portland stone,… Read More

Branzi, Observed: Autocatalytic, Earnestly Jaded

Branzi, Observed: Autocatalytic, Earnestly Jaded

Julian Escudero Geltman

Andrea Branzi died on 9 October 2023 aged 84. The impact of one of his seminal works, No-Stop City, has been felt far and wide within architectural discourse. Since its production between 1967 and 1972, the drawings and collages of No-Stop City have haunted the camps within architectural academia that… Read More

Helmut Jacoby: The Amon Carter Museum

Helmut Jacoby: The Amon Carter Museum

Malcolm Reading

You can stand on the balcony of Philip Johnson’s Amon Carter Museum today and see the same view of Fort Worth that Helmut Jacoby drew up in 1960. Not much has changed. Apart from the fanciful New-Mexican art in the foreground (his invention), the same hot Texan sun, the same… Read More

Connor Street: Made by Many Hands

Connor Street: Made by Many Hands

Kieran Hawkins

The following text is the fifth and final in a series by architect Kieran Hawkins, Director of Cairn, tracing the design and construction of an extension to a Victorian House in East London, recounting the everyday realities of the project and, in the green text, the broader environmental issues incumbent on architects to address. The texts have… Read More

Nobuo Sekine: The Weight of Things

Nobuo Sekine: The Weight of Things

Nanase Shirokawa

‘A stone yearning for the sky.’[1] Such was the sort of rock Nobuo Sekine sought out at a quarry near Udine in the months prior to the opening of the 1970 Venice Biennale. A hulking, oblong piece of unfinished stone perched precariously upon a stainless-steel pillar, Sekine’s sculpture Phase of… Read More

Unveiling the Enigma: Jan Henriksson’s Örebro Riksbank, 1987.

Unveiling the Enigma: Jan Henriksson’s Örebro Riksbank, 1987.

Felicia Liang and William Wikström

Jan Henriksson playfully crafted an evocative scenography for the financial world of the 1980s, deviating from the pursuit of uniformity with various forms that break free as autonomous figures within a larger context. Two of Henriksson’s drawings for the Central Bank, Örebro Riksbank exemplify his unique position in 20th-century Swedish… Read More