Drawings and text by Howard Rideout, B.Arch., B.E.S., OAA, ASAI
This post is part of our summer 2018 blOAAg series, Summer Sketches: Capturing the Essence of Architectural Ideas.
I have been running my own architectural practice for eighteen years now and it has grown into a design firm with several international clients. Hand drawings are integral to my design practice as my firm is often tasked to envision the master plan of a large site. In these exercises I use my hand drawing skills to describe ideas in drawing form as they are articulated by clients. This immediacy, between concept and expression, is often what intrigues my clients the most.
In the project above I was tasked with envisioning a 1-kilometer long waterfront master plan for the Binhai District in Tianjin, China. This sketch was my concept illustration to describe how a small office tower element next to a large covered marketplace, floating above a reflecting pool, would create an international destination on this city’s waterfront. The project has been in development and will proceed to construction in the coming years as the city’s infrastructure is completed.
Hotel Concept, Shijiazhuang, China
Here, the client wanted a family oriented hotel. The formal characteristics of the design recalls an ocean liner moored at the shoreline of the small lake it will be situated upon. The large central atrium creates a fun space to remember. The poolside amenities include a large waterslide that starts at the upper floors in the enclosed atrium and brings swimmers out into the mid-level roof decks. The sun screen provides sun shading for the children playing outside.
Evolution of Sketches, Hotel Concept, Shijiazhuang, China
The image above shows my concept sketches in progress. You can see how I create many informal vignettes as I proceed through the design. The drawings create a film like story board describing how the hotel would be experienced by guests during their stay.
Sketch, Midland Cultural Centre
In this example my firm was tasked to design a new cultural centre in Midland. The firm was engaged in all aspects of this project from interiors to architecture to street design and landscaping. Quick sketches like these were helpful to clients to help them understand the complex character of a space. Within one drawing I can explain many of the unique spaces created to draw one into the space.