We have just added a new index called 'Artists & Makers' to our Home Page menu in addition to 'Contributors'. You can now see whose drawings are on the website. Click to see the thumbnails, and then to the individual drawing page. At the bottom, under 'And Elsewhere...', are links to the various places that feature the drawing – as a Drawing of the Week, in a Line of Enquiry, in a publication, etc. You may notice that on the website we are also showing selected drawings in a larger format.

François-Joseph Bélanger, Wall Elevation Hôtel Dervieux, c. 1789.

Francois Joseph Belanger, Hotel Dervieux wall design 1789, DM 1333 IN SET

This drawing is one of more than twenty alternative designs for a room in the Paris mansion built for Anne-Victoire Dervieux opera dancer and, from 1794, the architect and designer Bélanger’s wife. Bélanger imagines for Dervieux a scheme of ‘Etruscan’ arabesques loosely inspired by the archaeological excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii. Compass, ruler and pen were used to delimit and subdivide the decorative field; ink, watercolour and gouache were then applied to work up the fine detail of trellis, tablets, terms, arcades, dancing figures, birds, griffons, fine scrolls and floral patterns, caught within boldly coloured frames. – Olivia Edmondson

Stephanie Macdonald, Tonnara di Scopello, 2013.

Stephanie Macdonald, Tonnara Di Scopello, 2013 IN SET

This drawing was made with a chinagraph pen over the course of a holiday afternoon. It started out roughly, as a quick sketch, but time stretched out as more people filled the page. I like using chinagraph as it can be sensitive to great softness and also very dark lines. I like its texture – it is a very direct medium and you cannot alter its mark once it is on the page, and so it forces you to look carefully and commit to the line you are making... This is essentially an interior view: the buildings, rocks and unruly foliage hold the space, and the people fill this large external room. My imagination is often drawn to the architectural interior, be it a house, a garden, a city or a concrete beach. How it is used in both unexpected and planned ways, and what is enabled, which ultimately is always about the individuals’ lives and their connections to each other. The buildings here are a backdrop, like the rocks, to the fizz of people. – Stephanie Macdonald, 6A Architects

Michael Webb, Plan of 90 Deg. and Elevation of 450 Deg. of Circular Car Ramp, Sin Centre, 1975.

Michael Webb, Sin Centre Car Ramp Section, DM ? IN SET

In his drawings for the Sin Centre, Michael Webb constantly returns to the parts of the project that are to do with movement – the undulant mechanical escalators and the complex vehicle system through which cars enter and flow through the building on ramps that loop around, cross over and intertwine with one another. The four drawings shown here are studies of these. The first two are beautiful elevational drawings that examine the morphology of the ramp arrangement. One delineates its geometry as it spirals through one and a quarter turns; the other, a montage, then pulls this apart to show how the elements of the continuous system interlock to choreograph the movement of cars. As the curves are banked, the top surface becomes visible in the drawing, a dark tone marked with the graphic punctuation of parking bays. – Mark Dorrian

James Gowan, Housing at East Hanningfield, 1975 – 1976.

James Gowan, Section through house with mech serv, 1978, DM ? IN SET

What we might call the ‘image’ of the East Hanningfield scheme is given by the large round windows which mark the façades of each dwelling. The window also becomes the key compositional element of the drawing, where circular-framed details and the radius of movement of doors, windows and ladders are given particular prominence. The drawing seems to be a comment upon building elements, rather than a demonstration of how they go together. Gowan took pains to show how each element should be considered on its own terms without considering what the constructional relation between elements would be. Yet, graphically, the drawing exhibits a rather beautiful coherence, in this way mimicking the picturesque organisation of the whole scheme. – Charles Rice

Superstudio, Un Viaggio nelle Regioni della Ragione, 1966 – 1968.

Superstudio, Viaggio nelle regione della ragione, 1966-8, DM 2130.15

The ideas are presented through a distinctly narrative pictorial device, a storyboard, where fundamental forms and their transformations lead to the creation of both single objects and complex volumetric composition. These objects are then placed in landscapes in views using a central perspective which, together with the strip of images, creates a feeling of a cinematic movement. The simple compositions, in which a road heads onward towards infinity, act as the backdrops for this conceptual journey where perspective functions as the means making the newly conceived objects part of our world of order and reason. – Markus Lähteenmäki

Jessie Brennan, A Fall of Ordinariness and Light, 2014.

Jessie Brennan, 2 Fall of Ordinariness and Light, 2014 IN SET

In these record drawings, the genre’s pivotal position between retrospection and prospection is accentuated. Although the four images apparently show the destruction of Robin Hood Gardens, when viewed in reverse, they suggest its resurrection. A crumpled drawing can be unfolded in a way that a lost building cannot be restored. The series reflects on the documentary potential and purposes of record drawing itself. – Olivia Horsfall Turner

Pier Vittorio Aureli, The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, 2001 – 2014.

Pier Vittorio Aureli, Marriage of Reason and Squalor, 2001-14 DM 2068.3 IN SET

The set of drawings is an investigation into what, in the absence of a better definition, I’ve called ‘non-compositional architecture’. Since the very beginning, I’ve conceived of these drawings as something to be executed by the simplest of means, and all starting with a 50 × 50 cm sheet of paper on which I draw with pencil and ink a building with no specific programme. Each of the resulting building plans then emerges according to the following constraints: choose the simplest geometrical form (i.e., a square) and then work out its further articulation from the logic of the initial form. The organisation of plans and elevations must be the logical consequence of the first step. In addition, the spatial organisation of the proposed building must adhere in all its parts to the logic of the initial form, including its proportion, symmetries and internal relationships. – Pier Vittorio Aureli

Le Corbusier, Model fragment for Olivetti Centre, Milan, 1962.

Le Corbusier, Olivetti Centre model, 1962, DM 1440 IN SET

In the city of Rho, adjacent to Milan, Olivetti planned a massive research and calculation centre, with a community of 4,000 employees in tower blocks operating the huge labour-intensive calculating machines of the day, and with a cluster of social facilities, laboratory and research units, the elements that Le Corbusier explores in this study. The project illustrates how the proliferation of exurban office parks and new towns raised the possibility of imagining a break with the grid, colour palette, and other traditional urban patterns, in favour of a near-random disposition of near-sculptural ensembles. – Niall Hobhouse and Nicholas Olsberg

Andre-Marie Chatillon, Recueil de Dessins D'Architecture: Bourse et Greniers ou Magasins, c. 1814 – 1830.

Andre-Marie Chatillon, Recueil de Dessins D'Architecture p.15 DM 1601.15 IN SET

LEXICON presents two examples of the new urban vocabulary, evolving in France from Roman precedents, and of its impact on the world at large — a proposal for a French cemetery in Rome that echoes ancient forms; and a selection of model projects from the circle of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts that show the distinctive language developed for the different building types of a secular, civil society. André Châtillon, student of Charles Percier, Prix de Rome in 1809, opened a preparatory atelier for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1824. These prints are from a large series intended to serve as models for his students. They show the range of new public architectural types that appeared since the end of the eighteenth century, perpetuating the tradition of the generation of Boullée and Ledoux by staying faithful to simple geometric forms and the influence of the antique. – Basile Baudez

Philip Webb, Full size drawing for carved woodwork frieze for the Great Hall at Clouds, 1884.

Philip Webb, Clouds frieze drawing, 1884, RIBA IN SET

Philip Webb’s full scale drawing for the carving of the wooden frieze above the gallery of the hall at Clouds is an exquisite piece of draughtsmanship. But what make it so special are the small sketch and Webb’s instructions to the wood carver on the upper part of the sheet. These instructions draw attention to the limits of drawing, to what cannot be shown by means of drawing, and to what can only be communicated through language. Paradoxically, what Webb wrote – itself a short treatise on word/image relations in architecture – partly negates the value and purpose of his own drawing. – Adrian Forty

Álvaro Siza, On the Birth of the Column, Royal Academy Columns Sketchbook, 2013.

Alvaro Siza, RA Columns sketchbook, 2013, DM 2618.1 IN SET

When you exit the courtyard it is also the entrance to London, so I see my installation as related to the street as well as respecting the architecture of the Royal Academy. For instance, while I was standing in the courtyard I glimpsed a yellow bus through the archway and I had the perhaps crazy idea of painting the columns yellow. I see my installation as a continuity of a lot of movements – people visiting the exhibition, but also eating lunch, sitting in the courtyard for a rest, or to smoke a cigarette if it’s still allowed! – Álvaro Siza

Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine, Drawing model for a Music Room, c. 1803.

Fontaine music room drawing model

A fresh alternative to the intellectual and formal mannerisms associated with architectural drawings in the West since the age of Leon Battista Alberti, Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine’s drawing explores a simple, direct way of communicating a spatial proposition. To access his vision we don’t need to be familiar with the conventions of technical drawings. We don’t need to know how to read a plan or a section. We don’t need to be initiated. This is a type of drawing that can be understood and appreciated by everyone. – Ana Araujo

Drawing Matter

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