Monday, October 6, 2014


"God created paper for the purpose of drawing architecture on it.  Everything else is at least for me an abuse of paper."  
Alvar Aalto

Architects usually present artistically finished drawings to their clients and to the builders who will bring the plans to fruition. But before the sophisticated and accomplished drawings come the doodles. Doodles that, if we are fortunate enough to see them, allow us a glimpse of art being born.  Look at this collection of early sketches compared with photos of the completed buildings and you will see how a vision is materialized

On the left is Erich Mendelsohn's other-worldly sketch that brings to mind H.R. Giger's Alien. On the right, the finished project, the Einstein Tower in Potsdam, a solar observatory which was his first public commission. It was built of brick due to a concrete shortage after the Great War.
Next is his sketch for the Universum Kino, the first modernist theater in the world. It was built in 1928 in Berlin and suffered bomb damage during WWII. Here you can see that it has been recently refurbished.

 Closer to the present is an example by Robert Venturi; first his doodle, and at right  the house.  It was built for his mother, I believe.  But one observer wondered where would she have a cup of tea?

The last example is by Boulder's own iconic architect, Charles Haertling.  His drawing reveals how easily organic shapes flowed from his imagination to the paper.  Remarkably, his imagined shapes took form in the beautiful Caldwell House at 415 Drake in Boulder.

Take out a piece of paper and try a drawing of your own.  What kind of structure can you imagine?

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