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Friday, February 4, 2011

110204 Understanding Architecture through Drawing - how about the Sydney Opera House?

A few things going on in my brain today and yesterday...
110204 Understanding Architecture through Drawing - how about the Sydney Opera House?
Yesterday: At work I was thinking how easy it is as an architect to design within the latest fads. Thanks to various blogs and my extensive magazine subscriptions I am getting lots of information about the latest and greatest...but how to design something that won't date? Hmmm
So at night I can home and pulled off a new book and started to read. It is Twenty Buildings every architect should understand by Simon Unwin. What I read in the introduction is worth writing in my book... so I did that tonight. (Tangential question: is do I have my own architectural voice?)

Today: I am working on a BIG sketch(more about this later) which includes the harbour bridge and the Opera doing a bit of research...what am I actually drawing? Yesterday I worked out accurately how many bays the Harbour Bridge has and how to draw it without looking at it(Confession:most of the time I just guess how many bays it has!)...It made me realise that I really don't know it or the Opera House very well. So tonight... I got another book off my shelf - Ken Woolley's wonderful new book on the Opera House.
I really what to read this book...cover to cover! I have never studied this building or even ever really looked at the plan.

Putting these two thoughts together...I need to start drawing the Opera House and studying drawings of it. I am not sure that I will suddenly discover if I have my own architectural voice by doing this ...but I will sure have fun!

BTW - I used to be addicted to cross hatching...when I am sketching and designing, cross hatching is a reflex action that helps me think through problems - for some reason tonight I felt in the mood for some.
BTW 2 - I am in a very serious mood for a Friday night aren't I? Maybe I need a Baroque sketch to finish the night off in style - it is after 11pm after all!


  1. It's good to think and draw accurately - but it's also good to just draw your impression

    I certainly agree that the only way to understand how a building really works is to try and draw it!

  2. This opera house reminds me a bit of the Denver airport. Not an architectural style I really like but it is definitely unique and I'm sure presented its own set of challenges to the architect and to the engineers determining its structure.