Opening Lines: Sketchbooks of Ten Modern Architects

Opening Lines: Sketchbooks of Ten Modern Architects, an exhibition drawn from the Drawing Matter collection, with additional loans from selected architects, is dedicated to architectural sketchbooks in practice and on display.

Niall McLaughlin (*1962) Detail of a brain, Alzheimer’s Respite Centre, Dublin, c. 1999, Coloured felt pen on paper, Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, © The Architect

The exhibition presents a variety of sketchbook and sketch practices by architects whose built work has been largely formed through drawing by hand on paper. In parallel, it explores the parameters of displaying sketchbooks, considering how an object intended to be held and leafed through can be presented within the requirements of a museum setting. The project therefore considers the content and materiality of sketchbooks both within an architect’s oeuvre, and in the context of institutional display.

Hans Poelzig (1869-1936), Gefallenendenkmal, 1922, Charcoal on tracing paper, 255 x 325 mm , Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, © Estate of the Architect

The sketchbooks represented are the work of Hans Poelzig, Le Corbusier, Alberto Ponis, Adolfo Natalini/Superstudio, Álvaro Siza, Tony Fretton, Marie-José Van Hee, Peter Märkli, Níall McLaughlin and Riet Eeckhout. The sketchbook practices range from impromptu sketches in a pocket-sized format to the transformation of the sketchbook on the drawing board, and from the systematic sketching of details in numbered volumes to the complete replacement of the bound book by a simple folded sheet carried on site.

Peter Maerkli (*1953), La Congiunta, c. 1992, Ballpoint pen on squared paper, 110 x 140 mm, Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, © The Architect

The exhibition features around 80 drawings and 140 sketchbooks, both bound and disbound, and employs film and audio interviews, virtual and analogue facsimiles to display each individual’s practice.

It is curated by Dr Tina di Carlo and Dr Olivia Horsfall Turner, with Niall Hobhouse.

The exhibition is accompanied by a series of online articles at and by monographic publications on the sketch practices of Alvaro Siza, Adolfo Natalini, Tony Fretton and Niall McLaughlin.

Concurrent with the exhibition a symposium with Nigel Coates and Níall McLaughlin will take place on 30th of June at 3:00 pm at AEDES Network Campus
Berlin: We kindly ask you to register for the symposium and the guided press tour.

Download the information related to this event here.

Marie-José Van Hee (*1950), House, c. 1990, Graphite and coloured pencil on tracing paper, 205 x 298 mm, Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, © The Architect

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Cite: "Opening Lines: Sketchbooks of Ten Modern Architects" 28 Jun 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
Álvaro Siza (*1933) Évora, Quinta da Malagueira Caderno 1, 1977, Ink on paper, 300 x 210 mm, Image Courtesy Drawing Matter, © The Architect


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