arq : plan, Stan Allen, Helen Mallinson, Niall Hobhouse

Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, attr. Illustrations to Vitruvius Book III, Chapter 2, 1530–45, DM  2939R – Drawing Matter

Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1484–1546), Illustration to Vitruvius Book III, Chapter 2, c. 1530 – 1545. Pen and dark brown ink on laid paper, 150 × 250 mm.

arq & Drawing Matter

To launch the collaboration with Drawing Matter, and in continued celebration of arq’s recent twenty-first anniversary, the first issue of Volume 22 opens with a collection of twenty-one pairs of plan drawings. Stan Allen, Niall Hobhouse, and Helen Mallinson chose the images in an intense one-day session. As Allen reflects: ‘The architectural plan is a paradoxical sort of object, an instrument that should be rendered obsolete by the act of construction [which] nonetheless remains the most intensive and compact description of an architectural idea.’ Ranging across the work of Louis Kahn and Superstudio, Charles Barry and James Stirling, John Soane and Karel Lodr, the selection reflects on ‘plan’ as both verb and noun: as a tool directed towards an outcome, awaiting construction and inhabitation; and also as the retrospective reconstruction of existing architectures towards education and knowledge. Allen goes on to argue, ‘the conceptual power of the plan as a working instrument is […] its capacity to function simultaneously as an analytical and projective device, poised between past histories and future possibilities’. In a similar spirit, at arq looks forward to the future possibilities of including past histories from Drawing Matter’s collection in the pages of the journal. 

- The Editors, arq

James Gowan, East Hanningfield isometric green 2, c. 1976 DM 2786.3 IN SET – Drawing Matter

James Gowan (1923–2015), Housing for East Hanningfield: isometric, 1975 – 1978. Black ink and green gouache on paper. © Estate of the architect.


For a copy of the article please go to the Cambridge Journal site arq vol. 22 or, for the abstract, to Drawing Matter: Plan. We also suggest: on a broad overview of plans in the collection and an additional article by Stan Allen.