Architects create visual masterpieces on our streets and on paper. Their drawings – known as elevations – give real-world representations of future projects. Today, we will draw from the University of Florida’s Digital Collections to learn more about these detailed artworks.
Each elevation usually shows a structure’s external appearance from one side. These drawn images include each side of a building – north, south, east, and west. Architects visualize structures from the ground level upwards – as seen in the above example from Demesa-Sanchez House (also known as the Spanish Inn) created by Fisher & Shepard.
Most architecture involves more than simple rectangular and square shapes. So architects also highlight specific parts of buildings – such as spires and arches. In the example above, architects John Carrere and Thomas Hastings outlined some of the ornate features of Memorial Presbyterian Church‘s tower and doorways. What shapes do you spy in the elevations shown so far?
Dimensions can create interesting effects in art as well as in architecture. In elevations, architects usually use two-dimensions (2-D) – hight and width. Variations in line weight and the addition of shadows give the illusion of depth (3-D) in the flattened imagery. Can you spot where the architects attempted to make their elevations look 3-D in these examples?
Like the architects seen above, you too can explore and test your spatial and visual ideas in an elevation. Try your hand at sketching your house – or dream house – and share with us what you come up with. Need some more inspiration? Visit the University of Florida’s Architecture Archives for additional elevation examples.