The Architectural Drawing
Architectural drawings of the past
An architect’s drawing can be a sketch that illustrates an initial idea or a technical drawing that demonstrates how a building will be constructed. Architectural drawings in the past were done on large sheets of paper with drawing boards.
LA studio circa 1956, MSU Quonset Huts. (1)
Free-hand drawing is still common today, but computer aided modelling has become more common for technical drawings (drawings that will be used for construction).
Free-hand drawing today
The introduction of the computer brought with it computer aided modelling / drafting. The biggest advantage of CAD was that it saved architects time. Manual drawings take a lot longer to change than CAD – which can be updated relatively quickly. At Dixon Wild we use both forms of architectural drawings, as both forms have their benefits. Freehand drawing can represent ideas quickly at the beginning stages of a project. While computer aided modelling allows for more accuracy when it comes to technical drawings – resource and building consent. We use the BIM software ArchiCad for our work.
The drawing table in our office, which our director Bruce uses.
Examples of hand drawn sketches.
Hand drawings from the Glenn Innes Urban Renewal Project
Hand drawn site plan for a Whangaruru bach
Mission Bay renewal proposal sketch
Hand-Drawn Drafting equipment
- Pencil, pen and paper!
- Drawing board, with T-square built in
- Scale ruler, which allows us to draw each plan to the correct scale
- Set Square, with 90deg angle to one side. These come in 45 degree or 30/60 degree angled edges. Set squares are placed on top of the T-Square (pictured) to draw vertical or diagonal lines.
Computer Aided Software (CAD or BIM)
At Dixon Wild Architects we use ArchiCad, which is a BIM (building information modelling) software. It allows us to demonstrate architectural drawings in 2D and as 3D spaces (in the computer). The 3D models that we create are useful for showing clients, as they allow the client to see what their project with look like when it is complete.
The render above was generated last year in ArchiCad.
The completed building. There were changes to the facade and roofing colours, but the overall form remains the same.
We can use ArchiCad to create digital illustrations like the ones below:
Illustrations created using photoshop and ArchiCad.
Sectional view of a bach.
Dixon Wild Architects Services
DWA use both free-hand sketches and computer aided drawings through-out all stages of the design process – from preliminary designs, to resource, building consent and construction drawings. We would be happy to present some of our work to you, just come in and say hi!
(1) Photograph credit: https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/state-of-the-program-look-how-far-we-ve-come
(2) More vintage photos: https://archinect.com/news/article/150078470/vintage-photos-remind-of-the-profession-before-autocad