Rudolph's Orange County Government Center featured in 'Architectural Drawings: 8 Masterful Parallel Projections'

Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government Center is featured in an article on Architizer’s website blog titled ‘Architectural Drawings: 8 Masterful Parallel Projections’ by Orli Hakanoglu.

Writes Hakanoglu,

Existing somewhere between plan and elevation, axonometric views allow complex spaces to coexist within a single frame. Though the rules for producing one of these projections are quite rigid, the techniques and styles with which designers choose to represent space are highly varied. This collection takes a look at several applications of the drawing technique that artists and architects past and present use to convey big ideas.

Image: Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation

Image: Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation

Hakanoglu says about Paul Rudolph’s axonometric and sectional perspective for the Orange County Government Center:

Rudolph’s masterful hand drawings are a testament to the power of combining representational techniques to communicate multiple aspects of a building. An axonometric view and a section perspective work in tandem to communicate the exterior façade’s protruding rectilinear volumes as well as the interior space within them. The axonometric drawing is quite unusual in that it rotates the entire drawing in space to provide a ground-up view, which presents the building from a believable human viewpoint.

Rudolph’s use of axonometric and section perspective drawings were a signature way he used to communicate his ideas of architectural space. As Laurence Scarpa noted in his article ‘Paul Rudolph: Metaphors, Paradoxes, Contradictions and Abstractions’,

Everything he did was an obsessive open-ended exploration. Rudolph explained this process: “Before making any sketches I will really think about it a great, great, deal and, finally, I will resolve that into essentially three or maybe four—it depends on the project—schemes.” Rudolph had the ability to work with multiple ideas simultaneously. These explorations resulted in extraordinary discoveries. This insight allowed him both the freedom to explore and to problem solve without being encumbered by either. Rudolph would say to me, “Buildings do not happen, they must be made to happen.” While working at his desk, he would move his hand over his drawing in such a way that he could better understand the actual scale and what it might be like to occupy the drawing, as if it were an actual building. He seemed as though he was actually inside the drawing. He would touch with his eyes and see with his hands. He always included human figures in his drawing, particularly in section and elevation drawings, to further understand how the scale of the space related to an actual person. For Rudolph the drawing was a building at full scale. This concept was the origin of his creative process.