Saturday, November 25, 2017


Perspective views were an essential part of John Soane's design process.  Most of my analysis of Soane's architecture involves hard-edged, digital modelling, parametric components, typing into dialogue boxes.  Sometimes it's nice to step back and sketch by hand, see things from a different viewpoint.  This is also a quick way of examining alternative designs that he rejected along the way.  Here is a scheme for what is now known as Tivoli Corner, but based on a triumphal arch rather than the round temple at Tivoli.

Does the act of tracing over, approximating and stylising, lead to deeper insights than just studying the original drawing very carefully?  I like to think that engaging in a more physically 
active way affects how my brain processes what it is seeing.  But how about all the formal considerations that crop up, looking for a balance of light and shade, softening or intensifying the image for visual effect?  Could it be that while my conscious brain is off doing this other stuff, which really has nothing to do with Soane's design, subconscious processes are kicking in.  Is this the equivalent of Archimedes taking a bath or Einstein going for a walk in the park.  Take a break from the deliberate search for an answer, and suddenly ideas start popping into your head as if from nowhere.

This next one is the same triumphal arch but with a decorative niche replacing the functional gate.  I'm using a slightly different shading technique this time which emphasizes the separation of the freestanding columns from their background.


And here's a different version of the attic storey.  I rather like this, with a flat dome instead of the double scroll. Doesn't seem to have gone anywhere though. He reverted to the double scroll later when the triumphal arch gave way to the circular temple idea.


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