Architectural Drawing for Homes & Houses

Architectural Drawing for Homes & Houses

Free ideas on architectural drawing and drawings, and practical geometry for homes & houses design.

Craftsman Style

When we mean to build,
We first survey the plot, then draw the model;
And when we see the figure of the house,
Then must we rate the cost of the erection,
Which if we find outweighs ability,
What do we then but draw anew the model? - from Shakespeare's "Henry IV".

¶ If the bard of Avon had been himself an architect, he could not have presented a clearer view of the practical elementary duties of the profession; and the flight of three centuries, so far from having impaired the necessity of the course indicated, has only rendered its terms more obligatory. As the requirements of living become more complicated with the growth of refinement, from the higher interest that obtains for the comfort and welfare of society, the difficulties of happy combinations and orderly arrangement are greatly increased; and this in some cases to such an extent that, without a realization on paper of the peculiar properties of the projected structure, such as its adaptation to the end in view and its aspect as a thing of beauty, there is a danger of running into inextricable difficulties before the accomplishment of the intended result.

¶ As order is a fundamental principle in all things of artificial origin, having their basis in reason, it follows that without it, human performances would exhibit a disorder only equaled by the minds that conceived them. And it is a remarkable fact, that nothing is more promotive of the development of an orderly mind than the study of figures and lines, and their delineation and disposal with regard to symmetry and relative beauty.

¶ Architectural drawing, embracing the representation of plans, elevations, and isometrical and perspective views, as a study furnishes a great field for niental improvement. Carpenters and stone-masons attain a degree of architectural knowledge unknown to other mechanics, which is accounted for by the fact that they employ more or less of the art of drawing to make themselves and each other understood; in almost all cases when full drawings are given for a building, a carpenter is intrusted with the superintendence, to see that they are fairly executed.

¶ We do not mean by this that every carpenter is an architect, or that it would be best for him to attempt to thrust into the already crowded profession, but that it is, in the first place, necessary for every mechanic to understand the principal conventional peculiarities of representation as practiced by architects; and, in the second place, that everybody (for in this country everybody has the chance) should study the elements of architectural drawing, "practical geometry", and this without regard to gender or occupation.

¶ Such knowledge, in the hands of the mechanic, enables him to carry out whatever ideas may come to him from the pencil of the designer, in compensation for which ability he is sure to receive a higher rate of wages than his less qualified competitors, and the applause that is always awarded to the intelligent over the ignorant.

¶ We do not think that the study of architecture ought. to be restricted to our own gender. Hear what an eminent writer says on this subject: "It is not", says he, "in order that they may be able to draw columns, for this is merely the means, not the end of the pursuit, that we would suggest the propriety of ladies applying themselves to what has hitherto never been included within the circle of female acquirements; but that they may thereby cultivate their taste, and ground it on something less baseless and shifting than mere feminine likings and dislikings."

¶ And when we consider how wide is the province, how influential the authority which the gender are apt to claim in such matters; how much, in all that regards ornamental furniture and interior embellishments, depends on the refined or trivial taste of our fairer halves, it must be acknowledged that to initiate them into such studies would not be an act of perfect disinterestedness.

¶ "Independently of its subsequent advantages, the study of the grammar of architecture, or, in other words, the elementary practice of architectural drawing, would be highly beneficial to the youthful pupils, inasmuch as it affords immediate application of the simpler principles of geometry; as it forms the hand to correctness, the eye to a scrupulous examination of forms, and, consequently, implants habits of careful deliberation and attention, as well as the seeds of taste."

¶ The foregoing is from the pen of a celebrated English author, who holds that "the improvement which in the last fifty years has taken place in landscape gardening, is; in a great measure, owing to the more general adoption of the art of sketching landscapes from nature, as a branch of female education".

¶ If the study of landscape drawing by ladies has led to the improvement of landscape gardening, why should not the study of architectural drawing on their part lead to the improvement of domestic architecture? We cordially indorse the suggestion here offered, and lay it before the fair portion of our readers, with the hope that it will meet with their hearty approval, and lead to a development of female talent in a hitherto untried enterprise. We do not mean that it will ever be admissible for ladies to assunie, to the full extent, the practical duties of the architect, such as intermixing with the workmen on the scaffold for the purpose of directing their operations, but that in the field of design and arrangement, they may stand on as high ground as their masculine competitors.

¶ In this work we show the ground plans, a term which may be explained as a horizontal section of a building taken at the level of the window-sill, or about two feet six inches above the plane of each floor. On account of the smallness of the scale on which they are drawn, the divisions of these are denoted by letters, facilitating convenient reference to the text, in which a full explanation is given. The elevation of every design is exhibited in perspective, by which the appearance of the building when erected is more accurately represented than by any other manner. Some of the designs we have lithographed in colors, a pleasing and effective method of representation, but less piquant and characteristic of architectural precision than the wood pictures, to which, by the way, we would call attention as indicating the progress of the art in this country. We have interspersed a few illustrative details which are of much importance to the practical man, and only regret that our limits do not permit us to enter more largely into that department of the architect's labor.

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