Sectional Goodness

Before Wednesday’s studio, post three inspirational section drawings that the studio can learn from as we work on our own sections. Your section precedents can come from built work, competitions, student work, or any other source, but each drawing should be exemplary in at least two of the following ways:

  • Spatial Quality: combination of single and double-height volumes, sculptural volumes, spatial interconnectivity, etc. Ideally these are for projects in the 3-7 story range similar to ours.
  • Environmental Strategy: manipulation and use of light, air, water, etc. for experiential purposes as well as for performance.
  • Representational Technique: use of color and line work, how volumes and atmospheres are rendered, how context is represented, how environmental strategies are shown graphically.
    • Note: this phase will focus on the use of 2D sections, NOT section perspectives, so try to find 2D section precedents. One-point section perspectives (where the section view is parallel to the picture plane similar to a 2D section) are OK.

In your post, follow the format of this post:

  • Upload each section as a separate image (not a gallery).
  • Caption each image with the project title and designer’s name,
  • Write a description of what we can learn from this section, and provide a link to the where we us can learn more about the project. While Pinterest may be one good way to find images, it is NOT a source. Find an “original source” by the designer if possible, or from a publication such as ArchDaily.
  • Add tags precedents, representation, and section to your post.

Reid Building by Steven Holl, Glasgow School of Art by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

I just gave a lecture on this, but in short, I love how this section connects Holl’s building to Mackintosh’s, and to the environment. My favorite part is how sun angles are calibrated to specific moments and in the academic year, rather than equinox and solstices. More info on Steven Holl’s website

supergalaxy_futurecitieslab-01 (2)

Super Galaxy by Future Cities Lab

This is a really fun section that tells a lot of stories about what’s happening, inside and out. People are more than “entourage” in this section, they are characters that tell us about program, environment, and space. I also love this section because it’s so expressive about the relationship between material and volume–it shows pneumatic membranes that sag under the weight of water and people to enclose space. More info on Future Cities Lab’s website.


East Asian Library at UC Berkeley by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA).

This building has an incredible north-facing skylight that pulls light down central circulation shaft, which becomes narrower as it descends. The skylight is volumetrically sculpted in a way that reflects light differently to multiple spaces. Another thing to note in this section is the end condition of the floor slabs–dropped ceilings are necessary to conceal ductwork, light fixtures, etc., but where the floor meets a wall, it’s pulled back to expose structure and create an implied space beneath it. More info on TWBTA’s website.


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