• A designer’s (Architect’s) principal language is through his drawings. 
  • Drawings express his intentions clearly and are the means by which he discusses with the Client, the Contractor, the Consultants and the Authorities. 
  • Designs of specialists and consultants can be planned and co-ordinated on the basis of the Architect’s drawings. 
  • They enable quantities of materials and prices to be estimated, tenders to be drawn up, work to be planned by the Contractor and to be carried out at site. 
  • Also drawings are internationally readable.
Drawings are presented on the following standard sizes of sheets:
  • A0 – 841 X 1189mm
  • A1 – 594 X 841mm (Half of A0)
  • A2 – 420 X 594mm (Half of A1)
  • A3 – 297 X 420mm (Half of A2)
  • A4 – 210 X 297mm (Half of A3)
These sizes are proportional, leading to a simple reduction and enlargement – sheets may easily be folded to a smaller size – as it is easier to handle in the office and on site. Drawings generally are preferred on the smallest standard sheet size compatible with clarity. Drawing sheets larger than A0 are avoided as they are too big to handle at site.
Architectural Design deals with the design of a building structure and an Architect prepares different types of drawings to explain his design such as:

  • It is the top view of an object. In case of Buildings, the building is imagined to be cut horizontally at any level, and viewed from the top.
  • The top view of the cut building is called a Floor Plan since you can see the floor of the building along with the wall thickness and the windows.
  • In this plan the inner room (horizontal) dimensions, wall thickness, window sizes are indicated. Floor plans will also include details of fixtures like sinks, water heaters, furnaces, etc. Floor plans will include notes to specify finishes, construction methods, or symbols for electrical items.
  • It is the vertical view of a building seen when you are standing in front of it. It is different from a perspective view in that, an elevation is only two-dimensional while a perspective is three-dimensional.
  • An elevation indicates the heights from floor to floor, the window cill height and window lintel height, as well as the overall height of the building.
  • Normally since a building has 4 sides, four elevations (one for each side ) are sufficient to explain the design.
  • The building is imagined to be cut vertically to reveal the interior and the resulting vertical view is called the Section.
  • The section indicates the room heights, door window heights, staircase details, lift details etc and it is useful in explaining the interior building design.
The 3 Dimensional view showing at least two sides of the building is called a Perspective view. There are different types of perspective, like:
  • Birds-View Perspective, wherein, you can see the building from above just as you would see it if you were a bird in the sky. This perspective is useful for seeing an entire complex of buildings as each and every one of the buildings can be seen. But the disadvantage is that you can only see most of the top of the building. So for a clear view of the building from ground level you need to see a Worms-view Perspective as described below.
  • Worms-view Perspective- In this perspective, you can see the building as if you were standing right in front of it. This perspective is an almost real picture of the building. But the disadvantage of this perspective, is that in case of a huge residential complex, you can see only one building of the large complex. To see all the buildings of the entire complex you will need individual perspectives of each building.
An architectural model is a tangible (physical) 3-dimensional representation of a structure built to study aspects of an architectural design or to communicate design ideas to clients as it gives an almost realistic view of the proposed building.

Architectural models are used by architects for a range of purposes:
  • To study the design - Quick, models are made by Architects, to study the interaction of volumes, or to get an idea of how they appear from different angles which helps to explore ideas.
  • For selling the design - Models are an efficient method for exhibiting and selling a design., since many people, including developers and would-be house buyers, cannot visualise a design in three dimensions (3-D) from two-dimensional (2-D) drawings. 
  • For explaining the design - A model is useful in explaining a complicated or unusual design to the building team.
  • As a show piece - Models are also used as show pieces or replicas in the reception of a prestigious building, or as part of a museum exhibition.

There are different types of models depending on the requirement of the Client. The models range in detail from very simple, formal, massing models of just a few cuboid blocks up to detailed interior/exterior models complete with furnishings and landscaping. Some of the types of models are:
  • Exterior models- of buildings which usually include some landscaping around the building.
  • Interior models- are models showing interior spaces with finishes, colors and furniture.
  • Landscaping design models- are models of landscape design representing features such as walkways, small bridges, pergolas and vegetation patterns.
  • Urban models- are models built at a small scale representing several city blocks, even a whole town or village and such. Urban models are a vital tool for town/city planning and development.
  • Construction models- show isolated building/structure elements and components and their interaction.
  • Virtual architectural models- Over the last few decades, virtual models using CAD (Computer Aided Design) allow visual fly-throughs or walk-throughs. While virtual tours are undoubtedly useful, they are still limited to images on a computer screen and lack the sensory impact of a physical model.
Common materials used for years have been wood blocks, balsa wood, basswood and other woods. Nowadays, architectural model builders use materials such as Taskboard, cardboard, polystyrene, foam, foam board, a variety of plastics and wooden-plastic composites.
A number of companies produce ready made 'scenery elements' like furniture, vehicles, people figurines, trees, street lights, bushes and other features. These serve not only to beautify the model, but also to help the observer to obtain a correct feel of scale and proportions represented by the model.

This post is about the architectural design drawings and models that an Architect prepares for explaining his design to the client. After obtaining the Client's approval, the Architect needs to prepare detailed  architectural design drawings for the Consultants, Contractors and the building team. Read about it here:


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