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Internal Elevations

September 9, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Explication of a critical implication of the Sectional Drawing.

Design 10 Cross Sections with Internal Elevations drawn by Author, 2008.

Design 09 Cross Section with Internal Elevation drawn by Author, 2008.

A Section is never just what has been cut, but also, if not more importantly, what is behind the cut, namely, the Section’s Internal Elevation.

When a section is cut and made through a building, what is being cut will be here-to-fore known as the “structure”, ie, it is the structure that has been cut, but this constitutes at times, plenty of information, and at other times, too little information about the building, especially its Interior.

With only the “Structure” cut-and-shown in a section, one gets a good understanding of the ‘form’ of the building when cut, but without the internal elevation one will have little idea of what is actually going on inside the spaces, the ‘activities’ will be completely invisible, unless one also considers and draws, if not also details, the internal elevations.

A section that only illustrates the cut, could be referred to as being “diagrammatic”, that is the structure, the floors, walls, roofs, foundations, etc. will only constitute towards a diagram of a building’ section. To provide a fuller understanding of the building that has been cut, one needs to include the internal elevations, the ‘stuff’ happening behind the structural cut, in order to lift it from the ‘diagram’ to become a more experiential holistic section.

Afterall, one does not necessarily experience the building in section, that is, what has been cut, but rather walks the floor’s surface, sees the surface of the walls and ceiling around him or her. The actual experience of the building is manifest by the surfaces not just the diagrammatic cut.

It is hence necessary to explicate the multiplicity of the manifolded manifestations of the walls, surfaces, and other objects behind the cut, constituting the internal elevation. Doors will be shown, if not also their frame, their materiality through texture, any divisions and glazed portions, and of course the door handle, any partitioning or change in the internal wall or façade will be included, the bricks or concrete blocks will be drawn, that is, the internal elevation will illustrate the choice of materials inside the space/building, and of course furniture and all its details, and people occupying the space/furniture will add to the richness of a sectional drawing. The section not only provides the tangible material and occupational cues but since the actual surface is being detailed, lighting, and its opposite, shadows, will start to inhabit the sectional elevation. Patches of brightness vs patches of darkness will occur on the internal sur-faces and start to tell one a story or a narrative about how the building responds to the outside environment, the sun, and its effects, cast into and onto the surfaces of the building. Lighting effects and phenomena can only be shown by means of the internal elevation, as these effects, if not due to fog or other volumetric effects, can only occur on the surfaces within the space.

It is such that the Internal Elevation enriches the Sectional Drawing, makes it more complete, provides additional if not more important information, and contributes to a full experiential understanding of a section through a building. The internal elevation provides information on the materials employed, the activities taking place inside, and the lighting phenomena occurring within the space and on the surfaces. Such aspects need to be considered, articulated, and worked into the section’s diagrammatic or structural cut to interrogate, investigate, elucidate, explain, elaborate, and explicate the implications of the building’s interior.


Redirect to Design 9 – Investigations into the Interstitial: Drawings, http://studioalterity.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/design-9-investigations-into-the-interstitial-drawings/

Redirect to Design 10 – Metaphysics of Light: Drawings, http://studioalterity.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/design-10-metaphysics-of-light-drawings/

  1. February 21, 2013 at 2:32 am

    “Internal Elevations Architecturality” ended up being a fantastic posting, can not wait to look at
    even more of ur posts. Time to waste some time on-line lol.
    Thank you ,Mellissa

  1. November 19, 2010 at 1:16 am
  2. November 21, 2010 at 3:29 pm

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