On the drawing in architecture | Santiago Carvajal

Sketch of the wall of Butantã House by Paulo Mendes da Rocha, 1964-66

In the different trades, there are indispensable tools for his development, without these it would be difficult and almost impossible that are carried out, these are the substance of the trade, perhaps can someone imagine a seamstress without thread and needle?

As well as the chalk is to the tailor, the lead and the level is to the bricklayer, the hammer is to the carpenter, the DRAWING is to the architect. The architect thinks across the drawing. Drawing, the architect tests his ideas of project. It draws, observes, is precise, corrects, returns to draw.

The moment in which it draws one, little by little, I plan to outline, one is revealing the construction of the project; one represents as the first witness of this creation, can see already, his successes and mistakes in project terms. The drawing not only stops to see the project to whom it it draws, but also it serves him, together with an attentive look and a capacity of judgment acquired, as tool that suggests one or other one I walk. It is the basic and indispensable instrument that allows him to develop the projects and to take decisions from his conception up to his construction.

To draw, it is to be immersed in a conscious act of construction, allows to reflect the relations between the materials, his measures, his unions, definitively, the assignment that every element has both in the structure of the building and in his spatial and visual configuration.

When an architect borders on the paper a formal annotation, a sketch, it is summoning everything to know necessarily, mechanics of the fluids, mechanics of the solid ones, machines and calculations that exist to realize that one.1

Paulo Mendes da Rocha.

The drawing in architecture does not have for what being a more or less picturesque motive, expecting to be hung on the wall; the drawing is a conscious fact of construction, where, the one who draws and projects, it leaves tracing, and therefore projected, the spatial and constructive virtues of a work. There is demonstrated this way, across the drawing, the level of comprehension and understanding on the part of whom it projects.

It is necessary to be conscious that the drawings ARE NOT AN END in yes, but an indispensable tool, so much for the personal understanding of the projects, since for the communication of a project to other persons, be clients, engineers or builders. In this respect, the drawing is the ONLY document that will allow a correct link between the different specialities involved in the project, be, sanitary, structural, electrical engineerings, like a design of furniture and interiors, etc.; for it each and every of them involved in the project must be in the aptitude to communicate across the drawing and to the needed level, to guarantee a coherence between the different information of the project.

Opposite case, the work of day after day with the involved ones in the project becomes tortuous and desgastante, being the quality of the project the one that suffers the consequences. To put special attention to the drawing of the project together with the involved professionals, it is not an option, is an indispensable requirement.

Santiago Carvajal. architect

Cuenca (Ecuador). octuber 2013


1 Cosac & Naify. Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Sao Paulo: Cosac & Naify ediciones, 2002. p. 7

Santiago Carvajal Ochoa

Magister en Proyectos Arquitectónicos. Profesor de la Universidad del Azuay, Cuenca Ecuador. Experto en el uso de herramientas BIM + CAD (ArchiCAD con dos licencias de uso) para desarrollo de diseño y documentación de proyectos, cursos impartidos en Cuenca, Quito y Guayaquil.

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