Period: c19th

The Meaning of Lines

The Meaning of Lines

By Laura Bonell and Daniel López-Dòriga

A series of seemingly abstract lines occupy the whole space of the paper. Each of them is formed by a thin black line that defines the geometry, accompanied by a thicker, semi-transparent brown line, which highlights it. Written annotations are placed on top, sometimes following the drawing’s wavy shape like… Read More

Anna Atkins: Laying Out the Blueprints

Anna Atkins: Laying Out the Blueprints

By Nicholas Herrmann

They began to bloom on websites a couple of years or so ago – stretching out on social media, unfurling in the arts sections. Pale alien shapes suspended in deep blue: something like lightning flattened in a flower press; a sleeping creature emerging from a cloud of coral; a spectral… Read More

Soane’s Temple Stye

Soane’s Temple Stye

By Rosie Ellison-Balaam

A temple for pigs? for swine? for hogs? Not a temple to worship them in, nor a temple for them to be sacrificed in. A temple for them to live in. These are not the pigs which invented their own form of latin, or those powerful Orwellian pigs, but normal… Read More

Drawing, Collaging, Rendering

Drawing, Collaging, Rendering

By Cameron Lintott

When the ‘hard-line drawing’ has become so synonymous with the image of the architect it is easy to forget that the convenience of the everyday pen is relatively recent. For most of the long history of the world’s second-oldest profession, pen, paint and ink were reserved for competition boards or… Read More

Collection of Sections

Collection of Sections

By Allen Keith Yee

The following drawings and commentaries have been excerpted from Visual Discoveries: A Collection of Sections (Oro Editions, 2020). The publication surveys the use of section drawings in the histories of architecture and other professions, from the 17th century to the present. More information on the book can be found here.… Read More

William Heath Robinson ‘Tightening the Green Belt’

William Heath Robinson ‘Tightening the Green Belt’

By Laura Freeman

On 22 March 1921, The Times reported on ‘the urgent need of a green belt being preserved round London.’ It was the first recorded use of the phrase. By the time William Heath Robinson came to makes sketches for ‘Tightening the Green Belt’ (c.1935–47), the urban ring o’ roses was familiar enough… Read More

Startha Éagsula: David Leech Architects on Barthélemy Enfantin

Startha Éagsula: David Leech Architects on Barthélemy Enfantin

By David Leech

The colourful ink and pencil drawing of Barthélemy Enfantin seeks to establish a set of rules for a new open metropolis. Without site, set out in all axes, and with the edges of the drawing alluding to a non-determined repetition, it was possibly drawn for continuous reuse and translation. Like… Read More

Sigurd Lewerentz: Siting the Axonometric

Sigurd Lewerentz: Siting the Axonometric

By Stan Allen

One way to think about an axonometric drawing is as a perspective with the vanishing point at infinity. This means that the lines of projection are parallel, which assures dimensional consistency. Early treatises, for example, spoke of parallel projection as analogous to shadows cast by the sun; not, strictly speaking,… Read More

A New Administration Center For Los Angeles (1936)

A New Administration Center For Los Angeles (1936)

By William Hamilton

Excerpted from ‘Architect and Engineer’ 1936 January by William Hamilton.

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

Soane’s Designs for Combe House, Continued

Soane’s Designs for Combe House, Continued

By Pierre du Prey

When Drawing Matter recently reproduced a preliminary ground plan for Combe House near Gittisham, Devon, by John Soane, I had a moment’s sudden recollection. Ptolemy Dean’s penetrating analysis of this precious if battered sheet of paper – entirely in the astonishingly fluid and energetic hand of the architect – set me to search… Read More

The Birds’ Morning Hymn (1929)

The Birds’ Morning Hymn (1929)

By Robert Lorimer

From a letter to The Times of April 18, 1929: At this season of the resurrection of Nature — that ever-fresh miracle — one thing happens that even keen bird-lovers seem hardly to appreciate to the full. I mean the birds’ Morning Hymn. We have all heard vaguely about ‘Bird… Read More