Architecture of Imagination

Architectural digest
Tokyo International Forum Competition

Tokyo International Forum Competition, Tokyo, Japan. (1989) Artist/Designer: Rafael Vignoly. From nearly four hundred entries worldwide, Rafael Vignoly's design for this project, the first ever such competition held in Japan, was selected as superior by a distinguished panel of jurors which included Pei , Maki, Tange, Gregotti, and Erickson. Some of the earliest concept impressions for his winning scheme are recorded here and expose an extraordinarily visual design imagination at work. Loose and immediate, these sketches are the very embodiment of design "process."

Columbia University School of Law

Columbia University School of Law. (1994) John E. Fernandez. Architects: J.S. Polshek and Partners. Watercolor. Economy and directness are the key to the great effectiveness of this sketch grouping; they are a concise graphic "walkthrough" of essential design elements which include volume, mass, and the effects of light.

George Mason University

George Mason University, Prince William Institute Biosciences Center. (1993) John E. Fernandez. Architects: J.S. Polshek and Partners. Watercolor. This image is distinguished by a valid and strikingly effective graphic treatment which simultaneously depicts both the building footprint and the perspective view.

Disney Institute and Town Center Proposal, Osecola

Disney Institute and Town Center Proposal, Osecola. (1991) T.W. Schaller. Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox. Watercolor and pencil, each: 28cm 43cm A sense of kineticism and vitality inspired both this design development and its vigorous graphic representation. ''The resulting composition," wrote Pedersen of the design, "strives for an equilibrium between the whole and its diverse parts, the city and nature, collective memory and personal fantasy."


Silver Screen Junction. (1994) Steve Parker. Architects: Hellmuth, Obata, & Kassabaum Sports Facilities Group, Kansas City, Missouri. Various media, each: 25.6cm 25.6cm This developmental series of progress sketches by a gifted and facile architect/artist, Steve Parker, clearly demonstrates the value of hand-done drawing in the evolution of a design scheme.


Three Manhattan Waterfront Views: New York Waterfront Competition, The Municipal Art Society, New York City: (1987) Artist/Designer: Richard Lovelace. Charcoal on tracing paper, each: 20.5cm 25.6cm These views perfectly illustrate the need of the image used in a design competition to impart a story boldly and with utmost impact; the tale here, told primarily by a masterful control of the effects of light, is as much about the proposal's contextual impact and emotive effect as about any design specifics. It is a powerful and economic interpretation of form and space.


Merang Laguna Resorts, Malaysia. (1996) Christopher Grubbs. Architects and Planners: Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo, Honolulu, Hawaii. Ink on paper, a and b: 11.7cm 27.3cm; c, d, and e: 15.6cm 40.95cm In this fascinating series of lucid and accomplished sketches, we not only see a representation of process, but we can truly see process itself. We see a design evolving in perspective, evolving at home in its site, and before our eyes. Though undeniably more skilled than many, this artist/designer offers a most convincing argument for this book's major premise; that there is really very little substitute for the designer who can "think on paper."

The Chicago Tribune Building

The Chicago Tribune Building. (1925) Hugh Ferriss. Architects: Howells and Hood. Charcoal crayon on board, 36.8cm 31.1cm; Cour tesy of A very Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University in the City of New York. In 1922, The Chicago Tribune sponsored a design competition whose objective was to "secure for Chicago the most beautiful office building in the world." Arguably the most significant architectural competition in history resulted in nearly three hundred entries worldwide and a wealth of "paper" architecture, many examples of which resonate to this day. The magnificent design which emerged as victor remains among the world's great buildings but no less impressive is this drawing completed by Ferriss some years later in which light both dissolves and eludes form. Rather than seen, the building's presence is truly felt.

Chicago Tribune Competition

Chicago Tribune Competition. (1922) Artist/Designer: Harold R. Zook (18901949). Ink and wash on paper, 151cm 73.5cm; Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Robert H. Reingold through a prior gift of the Three Oaks Wrecking Company. Chicago architect Zook submitted this earnest but unsuccessful design to the competition which, if nothing else, displays the high level of design scholarship and draftsmanship that was once the norm.

The Royal Exchange, London

The Royal Exchange, London. (1840) Artist/Designer: Charles Robert Cockerell (17881863). Pen, pencil, and sepia wash, 68.6cm 127cm; Courtesy of The British Architectural Library, RIBA, London. Cockerell, along with Alfred Waterhouse, may well best personify the type of "old school" architect/ artists whose design and graphic abilities evolved from and sustained one another. In Cockerell's beautiful perspective of an unexecuted competition design, it is truly difficult to determine with which skill he displayed more facility.

Whitehall Terminal Competition

Whitehall Terminal Competition. (1994) Lee Dunnette. Architects: Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer. Mixed media. Again, this most gifted artist proves that the appropriate handling of any given medium is the key to an image's success. Thus, in this view, we know that a kinetic, bustling terminal is more than just a building; it is an atmosphere, it is an experience.

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