Understanding Architectural Drawings

This selection of 22 drawings has been chosen as an introduction to the art of architectural drawing.

It explains what the drawings were for and how they were made. All the drawings shown are in the collection of Sir John Soane’s Museum, either those made by Soane and his assistants and pupils, or the work of other architects which Soane collected. He had one of the very best collections of drawings put together by an architect, which he used for his own work and to instruct the pupils and assistants in his office. Soane left his house, together with his collections, to the Nation as a Museum, which is why you can visit it today.

Architects today still make similar kinds of drawings to those in this selection, but now they mostly work on computers. These drawings are often the work of more than one person, as the skills needed to make different kinds of drawings are quite difficult to acquire and in a big architectural office people tend to specialise in one particular kind of drawing.

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Sir John Soane painted by William Owen in 1804Sir John Soane painted by William Owen in 1804

Working in Soane's Office

Types of Drawings

Uses of the Drawings

Learning from Drawing

Drawings for Clients, Exhibitions & Lectures