Posts Tagged ‘Drawing’

Internal Elevations II

October 11, 2010 Leave a comment

An interrogation of the Interior

AD1 Longitudinal Section by Moe Kheir, 2010

AD1 Longitudinal Section by Liz Tjahjana, 2010

AD1 Longitudinal Section by Cat Doo, 2010

A Section is never just what has been cut, but is also what is behind the cut, namely, the Section’s Internal Elevation.

To interrogate, investigate, elucidate, explain, elaborate, and explicate the implications of the building’s interior through the sectional internal elevation.

To interrogate is to ask questions, to examine, to cross-examine, if not also to threaten and torture. To inquire about the interior of the building. What is it like being inside? What can be seen and felt? As noted in the first article on Internal Elevations, the space behind the section is equally if not more important than the sectional cut itself. To investigate, consider, and explore the activities, the configuration of furniture, the material relationships of the various interior surfaces, the areas and modes of lighting; these very aspects which contribute to the interior experience needs to be elucidated, explained, elaborated and explicated. The section exposes a building and provides detailed information about what is happening inside.

A longitudinal section not only highlights the building in relationship to the ground but can also – making use of the length – elucidate a narrative or journey along the length of the building, taking one through a series of circulation spaces, programmatic activities, views out (panoramic backdrops can be used as the background or sky of the drawing), and overall spatial-geometric arrangement. The longitudinal section, supplemented with the internal elevations, a narrative through the building, a sequence (highlighted in a series of cross sections), or a story, could be unraveled or be revealed within its workings.

Ambiguity of Spatial Depth vs Light & Dark

What is bright comes to the front, and what is dark goes to the distance.

Hence what is cut, that is, the structure, is normally the brightest as it occupies the most frontal of planes, and what is receding gets progressively darker into the distance. This way of drawing and perceiving however may conflict with the brightened and darkened patches of particular walls illuminated by natural and artificial light sources. To allow for this contradiction in what is light and what is dark, the walls, that is, what has been cut can be made brighter than the patches of light on the walls, so as to distinguish the ambiguity of lightness and darkness. The key is contrast and gradation, introduce and articulate shade and tone while keeping the distinction between front vs back and light vs dark.

Such a drawing of internal elevation hence brings about the dichotomies of Reality vs Projection and Realism vs Illusionism. A drawing of reality vs a real depiction of a drawn space, that is, a projection. An illusion of light, dark, and depth of space vs the actual lit conditions of a building.

Such an illusion introduces ambiguities of spatial depth, between foreground, midground and background. A space in the distance may be brightly lit, and could be deceptively pushed forwards towards the frontal picture plane. Likewise a darkened space in the foreground may be pushed backwards from the picture plane creating an ambiguity of spatial depth. These seemingly contradictory moves however can still be remedied through the control and articulation of brightnesses and darknesses, as mentioned previously regarding the use of contrast and gradation to keep things distinct.

It is this notion of the frontality of the picture plane which the illusion of spatial depth and its ambiguities come into play, through the advancing and receding of multiple planar surfaces in relation to the datum.

To further explicate the complications of spatial ambiguity, one can decisively and purposely edit, omit or merge the ground “mass” and/or the structural cut. This omission causes the blurring or dissolution of the “structure” and the “mass” of the ground to give the illusion or impression of the space being pushed back from the page – frontal surface or picture plane. As if the space beyond was three-dimensionally yet illusory receding from the page itself.



The Site Plan

October 11, 2010 2 comments

Establishing the Context

Design 9: Site Plan 1:500 at A1, drawn by Author, 2008 & Design 10: Site Plan 1:500 at A1, drawn by Author, 2008


The Aim of the Site Plan

The intention of the Site Plan is to show the building or project with its immediate context. This can be drawn at 1:500 but can vary according to what to how much immediate context needs to be shown. The Site Plan attempts to address the following questions and issues:

How does the building relate to the site and context? What are the landscaping and/or urban design decisions being made? How is the building connected to the wider fabric of the context, its environment, sun and wind? How have the features of the site and immediate context been addressed, in terms of, axes, views, main roads, driveways, carparks, trees, lakes and streams, and other landmarks?


The Location Plan

The Location Plan is done at a different scale to the Site Plan and attempts to show the project’s location with a wider context, in its relationship to a nearby city, or within a country or territory. The Location Plan can be done at 1:1000, 1:5000, or even 1:15000, depending on the scope and necessity of showing certain site features, such as roads, bridges, significant buildings or landmarks, or lakes, streams, and/or other artificial or natural elements.

The Contents of the Site Plan

A typical site plan should include:

  • North-Point
  • Scale
  • Street & Road Names
  • Roof Plan of the building/s, ie, the Top View, to be made distinct from the rest of the drawing, eg. through colour. Should be positioned more or less in the centre of the composition.
  • Labels of existing natural and/or artificial site features, such as parks, significant buildings, etc.
  • Labels, whether directly on the drawing as referred to by a numbered key, of the various aspects of the project, eg. carpark, the different wings or complexes, especially in the case of masterplans
  • Carparks should be drawn with the parking lines indicated to convey decisions relating to the total amount of cars to be accommodated and the circulation-traffic of the carpark
  • Cars, buses, and other vehicles as scale indicators at 1:500
  • Aerial Photograph to convey the surrounding built typology and grain as well as trees, parks and other natural/artificial features picked up by the aerial photograph
  • Topography, ie, Contour Lines, to show the relief of the land, sloping up or down, labeled with indicative contour heights, every 5m or 10m, etc.
  • Landscaping, new roads, access/drive-ways, pedestrian footpaths/paving


The Site-Masterplan

Design 7: Master Plan over Site Plan 1:500 at A1, drawn by Author, 2007

The Masterplan overlaid or juxtaposed/composited with the Site Plan attempts to show the scheme and its scope in relationship to its immediate context. The key to communicating this clearly is to distinguish what is existing with what is new, through colour or other graphic device.

The Masterplan figure should attempt to clearly show the various aspects pertaining to the entire scheme, the circulation, the entries, the carparks, the various built typologies, public spaces, courtyards, green spaces, and other landscaping features, trees, streams, lakes, gardens, etc. Existing buildings and other existing features should be included. Labels on/to significant features of the scheme.

Analytical devices can be included such as: circulation, access, pedestrian/vehicular movement, sun and wind, etc. But should not confuse the reading of the site-masterplan itself.




Redirect to Design 7 – Passive Housing Scheme,


Redirect to Design 9 – Investigations into the Interstitial: Drawings,


Redirect to Design 10 – Metaphysics of Light: Drawings,


Internal Elevations

September 9, 2010 3 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,

Redirect to Design 10 – Metaphysics of Light: Drawings,