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.

Section: The Pantheon

Section: The Pantheon


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This is a section of the Pantheon which shows a slice through the building as if it were a cake cut in half. It shows the heights of spaces inside the building and how they are arranged. Note how carefully the shadows are drawn to give a real feeling of how the dome curves. The walls which have been cut through are coloured in pink – a colour which was often used in this way by architects. These drawings of the Pantheon were made in Rome in 1778 when Soane was a student.