Elemental Design

January 23rd 2014 Comments: 1

I posit that what sets the graceful and beautiful apart from the awkward and homely does not have a price tag attached to it at all. Any thing of great loveliness possesses three magnificent qualities: composition, balance and proportion, none of which cost a dime. To the common eye, this … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Driveway

Drawing to a Conclusion: The Art of Architecture Part 3

October 15th 2013 Comments: 17

In my last two posts (or soapboxes, I suppose), I discussed the art of hand drawing in architectural sketches and development drawings. This series concludes with the topic of construction drawings. Construction drawings are the technical drawings in the practice of architecture. They’re the documents that convey to the builder … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Architectural Process

Drawing to a Conclusion: The Art of Architecture Part 1

October 1st 2013 Comments: 4

As an architectural firm, we’re a bit of a dinosaur. That is, we still vitally practice the art of hand drawing. We apply this archaic craft throughout our design process – from initial sketches to the construction drawings. And, we aren’t planning on changing that anytime soon. Most modern architectural … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Architectural Process


July 23rd 2013 Comments: 5

I polled Bobby McAlpine and Ray Booth and asked them what beautiful Gotham spaces haunted their memories.  Expectedly, their choices mirrored some of my own.  In no particular order, here are our top ten: The Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art The combination of … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Travel

Staff Postcards

May 14th 2013 Comments: 1

On his sojourn this year, Charlie’s painterly eye was caught by some of Rome’s more deceitful architectural masterpieces. Here are a few of his correspondences: 18 April 2013 Good Morning! “Virtual Reality” One of the most intriguing aspects of Roman architecture is it’s theatricality. The line between reality and illusion … [read more]

McAlpine Journal: Travel

Wall to Enthrall

June 12th 2012 Comments: 8

“If you see a wall that needs something on it, let me know.” Those were the parting words of our friend and host last fall as Mark Montoya and I left the villa he and his sister have on the Amalfi coast of Italy. And, so began one of the … [read more]