The Georgian Group has launched an international contest for measured drawings with a top prize of £1,000 (Deadline: 30 June)
Open to artists and architects under 40, the competition seeks hand-drawn elevations, plans or sections showing the interior or exterior of Georgian-style buildings anywhere in the world.
Supported by the Traditional Architecture Group, a linked society of the RIBA, the award is being held to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Georgian Group, which was set up in 1937 to protect historic buildings in England and Wales. The competition was last held in 2008 to celebrate the 60th birthday of Georgian Group patron the Prince of Wales.
The Prince of Wales viewing the 2008 winning entry, Bank of England by Fergus Devlin-Connolly
Hugh Petter, contest judge, Georgian Group vice-chair and a director at ADAM Architecture, said: ‘Measured drawing is the traditional way in which architects learn from their forebears through close observation and recording of architectural form, proportion, materials and detail.
‘Until relatively recently, measured drawing formed part of every architect’s training, but today it is less commonly taught. This prize is an opportunity for students and young architects to develop their analytical and presentational measured drawings skills through the careful study of a Georgian building.’
Georgian architecture was the primary style between 1714 and 1830 during the reigns of George I, George II, George III, and George IV. The style followed on from the English Baroque works of Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor and was characterised by its classical symmetry and proportions and restrained ornamentation.
The award aims to help rekindle the art of measured drawing and to promote the study, appreciation and understanding of Georgian architecture. Among the prize-winning submissions to the last contest was Chris Draper’s drawing of Doric House in Bath and the overall winner was an illustration of the Bank of England by Fergus Devlin-Connolly.
The 2008 winner: Bank of England by Fergus Devlin-Connolly
Entrants may submit up to two drawings but all material must have been drafted after 1 January 2016. Drawings may focus on any Georgian-style building completed between 1660 and 1840 anywhere in the world.
Applications should include the artist’s CV, a 150-word biography and a short 150-word statement about each art work. Drawings may be in pen or pencil and with colour, but may not be computer aided.
Judges include Georgian Group chair Christopher Boyle, vice-chair Petter, Traditional Architecture Group chair Alireza Sagharchi, Russell Taylor of Russell Taylor Architects, and John Wilton-Ely, a professor at the University of Hull.
The overall winner, to be announced at the 2017 Georgian Group Awards, will receive £1,000 and there will be a second prize of £500.
How to apply
The deadline for entries is 5pm on 30 June.
6 Fitzroy Street
Tel: 020 7529 8920
2008 runner-up case study: Q&A with Chris Draper
The runner-up of the 2008 Measured Drawing Prize discussed lessons learned preparing his submission depicting Doric House in Bath, England
How did you set about producing your drawing?
I live just outside Bath so was spoilt for choice with subjects. I narrowed this choice by considering two critical elements: the building should have an interesting story and be uniquely Georgian; and second that it could realistically measured accurately without assistance. I spent a day walking around Bath and going through original drawings in the city museum. In the end I chose Doric House by the Joseph Gandy, best known for his visionary illustrations of John Soane’s work. He only designed a couple of buildings, and this one from 1805 is by far the most interesting with its blind wall and imposing Doric order. I wrote to the owners to ask permission to measure their house but didn’t get a reply so had to go ahead regardless. I spent a morning collecting data and taking photographs. Although I didn’t want to use a ladder or anything I thought could be problematic, so concentrated on key dimensions such as the column module and stone block size, which I knew could be extrapolated to complete the elevation with a far degree of accuracy.
Which illustrative methods did you harness?
I wanted to show the quality of stone, depth of modelling and weathering of the facade, so I chose Watercolour as the medium. The rendering is 1:50 and painted on to smooth illustration board.
What advice would you have to participants hoping to win the latest prize?
Use this as an opportunity to explore a part of our built environment that ordinarily you may appreciate as ‘historic context’ but not study in its own right. Usually there is an underlying geometry that starts to reveal itself a bit like unravelling a puzzle that has been set by the architect. Geometry is part of the universal language of architecture and as relevant today as it was 200 years ago. You may well be surprised at its subtotal use and clarity it brings to a piece of architecture. Take notice of the choice of materials, how they have weathered and quality of construction. It’s interesting to look at the context and how the building has adapted to the changes of subsequent periods. Doric House was built on to 20 years after completion, and suffered from bomb damage during the Second World War. These all add to the patina and quality of building. Use colour and include people for human scale. Overall I would use this as an opportunity to look and really observe a great piece of architecture and then communicate the unique qualities in your drawing.