Although they’re considered the most mechanical aspect of architectural renderings, I hold fast to the belief that there’s a distinct and pertinent art to these drawings. As a draftsman, I’ve found when you’re relying on your thoughts and hand to detail and relay graphic information, you’re in fact building the structure in your mind. Once the drawings are completed, you know that building inside and out. Every dimension, component and condition has passed through your conscious thought and has been made real. It’s now simply a matter of conveying that information to the minds and hands of the talented builders we’re honored to work alongside. I’ve been told by contractors that when their subcontractors review our drawings, they recognize the art that goes into them (as they rarely see hand drawn construction drawings) and their resulting work increases in quality. Our art genuinely boosts theirs.
CAD (computer aided design) has its place in the architectural practice where commissions demands duplication, repetition and cross referencing. Our efforts, however, are very different. I liken our endeavors to having a bespoke suit made. Everything is custom designed for our particular clients; we don’t keep a library of standard details on hand from which to pick and choose. Every piece is individually orchestrated to develop the symphony of the whole.
I rejoice seeing blueprints hanging in museums in exhibits on the old masters of architecture. In our daily efforts, I hope we’re carrying that torch (or pencil as it were) into the next era.
Greg Tankersley, for McAlpine Tankersley
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