Understanding Architectural Drawings

Types of Drawings

This section show the different types of architectural drawings there are and what they are for. It shows the main four kinds of drawings: elevation, plan, section and perspective; together with more specialised kinds of drawings: bird’s-eye view and floor plan with laid-out wall elevations.

Some important buildings are shown: The Pantheon in Rome, one of the greatest Roman buildings to survive; Soane’s own country House, Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing and Lady Williams Wynne’s Room, St James’s Square, designed by Robert Adam, whose drawings Soane bought for his collection.

Elevation: The Pantheon

Elevation: The Pantheon


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There are basically four kinds of drawings which can be made to show buildings. An elevation like this one of the Pantheon in Rome (the best preserved ancient Roman building in the world built in the early 2nd century AD) shows the outside of the building as if you were looking straight at it: this one is of the front of the Pantheon showing the shape of the dome over the huge central space and the porch, called a portico, supported on columns.