WRIT TEN BY
Edited by Will Jones
Metropolis Books, 352 pp.,
You get an instant feeling for an architect’s
sensibility and personality in a way that you
rarely do from a finished building.
A new Metropolis Books title is proof that architects
still draft their ideas by hand.
Do architects still sketch by hand in this era of computer
drafting and digital fabrication? You bet. Architects’ Sketchbooks presents hundreds of examples from 85 contemporary
practitioners, including big names like Norman Foster,
Shigeru Ban, Rafael Viñoly, and Will Alsop, as well as dozens
of lesser-known contributors. The result is a gloriously messy
and invariably entertaining hodgepodge of drawings (and
a few paintings and models) that run the gamut from bizarre,
inscrutable, and cartoonish to fanatically precise and
detailed. Foster, for instance, uses captions and call outs
to explain the finer points of an imaginary design (“Timber
is the ultimate material in terms of sustainability!”). By
contrast, Alessandro Mendini arranges continued on page 68
“For me, the process
is often more fascinating than the
end result,” Narinder
Sagoo, of Foster +
Partners, writes in
the book’s foreword.
Below: Sagoo imagined
“the cow as a city”
in this 2004 sketch.
Sketch, courtesy Foster + Partners; book cover, Magda Biernat