The Working Drawing

The Architect's Tool

Edited by Annette Spiro and David Ganzoni

The Working Drawing

Edited by Annette Spiro and David Ganzoni

Distributed for Park Books

328 pages | 262 color plates, 77 halftones | 10 x 13 | © 2013
Cloth $130.00 ISBN: 9783906027319 Published February 2014 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe
Large-scale working drawings are one of the fundamental tools in architecture, crucial from the early stages of creation up through the actual construction of buildings. Surprisingly, however, there has been very little published analysis of this tool. The Working Drawing fills that gap, drawing on a vast collection of working drawings held by the Department of Architecture of ETH Zurich.

Annette Spiro, who assembled and categorized the collection itself, here presents one hundred highlights, with the assistance of coeditor David Ganzoni. The drawings featured span more than five centuries, cover a range of architectural tasks, and display a striking array of representational techniques. All the drawings are presented in full-color via large-trim spreads or fold-outs, accompanied by full catalog information and actual-size detail shots. The buildings featured range from masterpieces such as St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to contemporary classics by Peter Zumthor, Diller + Scofidio, and more. Twelve essays by renowned authors thread through the volume, giving context and analyzing the different approaches. The result is a landmark volume, sure to be of value both to students and to practicing architects.

The Working Drawing, an Alphabet of Its Own

Annette Spiro

A-M Plan Collection: Arranged in 12 Chapters, Texts by Annette Spiro

A. Building Manual

B. Building Process

C. Material

D. Building Elements

E. Hidden Structure

F. Tools

G. Measurement and Numbers

H. Numerals and Symbols

J. Catalogue

K. Distance

L. Space

M. User

I-XII Essays

I. Archive of the Working Process: Means of communication between drawing table and building site

David Ganzoni

II. Plan and Image: Possible roles in the design process

Hermann Czech

III. The Work of the Architect: Peter Zumthor’s working drawings

Philip Ursprung

IV. Lines on Paper: The enduring language of architecture

Tom Emerson

V. Working/Drawing: The tension between hand and computer drawing

Jonathan Sergison

VI. Craftsman to Draftsman: The Albertian paradigm and the modern invention of construction drawings

Mario Carpo

VII. Future Plans: From visual representation to digital code

Stephan Rutishauser

VIII. On the Development of the Building Plan: Knowledge transfer, demonstration of ideas, or instructions for building?

Automation of the drawing technique and copy method in plan production around 1900

Uta Hassler, Daniel Stockhammer

IX. Contemporary Witnesses: The implementation plans for Sustenstrasse

Urs Primas

X. Planned Myth: The building plans for Eero Saarinen’s TWA terminal as marketing tool

Kornel Ringli

XI. The Axono-Metric Plan: On the objectivity of the architectural drawing

Ákos Moravánszky

XII. Viewed from a Step Back: Possibilities for representation

Philipp Esch



Review Quotes
"The Working Drawing collects one hundred diagrams from the desks and archives of renowned architects, including Le Corbusier, Jean Prouvé, Herzog & de Meuron, and Lina Bo Bardi. Meticulous credits note the paper format, drawing technique, scale, location of site, and date of each image. Interleaved gatefold spreads and a concluding selection of essays further expound upon this craft as it has evolved through time. Seen in total, the iterative blueprints form 'an alphabet of [their] own,' writes Spiro. 'Like language, the plan, too, is a means for understanding.'"
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