Site matrixes and working drawings

Historically, and until very recently, the idea of site in architecture has defaulted to the ideal — a tabula rasa, or else a plinth concealing topographic “accidents”. Wanting to vindicate the importance of site in my early designs for interiors, I created site matrixes, analytical diagrams mapping the interaction of site conditions. They were part of a series of large-scale drawings (8 feet or 244 centimeters in length) that I called Working Drawings. In addition to the site matrixes they included photographic images and writing and axonometric drawings revealing the project’s conceptual structure. The Working Drawings were so called because they contained conceptual information about the space or building represented, including texts, like construction (also called “working”) drawings do. These Working Drawings were also meant as a critical alternative to the edulcorated renderings made fashionable in the late 1970s by “The Architecture of the Beaux Arts” exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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