The frequency at which these drawings appear suggests that for Siza the impulse to draw is indelible and goes beyond his process of designing buildings. But aside from showing his dexterity in switching his line between figure and building, Siza’s non-architectural interruptions also give texture to his sketchbooks, reminding us that they are objects that are carried between sites and contexts, sometimes over long periods of time.
This texture is illustrated well by another sketchbook in the collection that once belonged to the neoclassical architect, Louis-Hippolyte Lebas. One of four travel sketchbooks dating to the start of the nineteenth century, Lebas’ sketchbook holds dried and pressed leaves between pages of extremely precise drawings. While it is not clear why they are there, the leaves suggest a simultaneity of activity and a life behind the sketchbook – both ultimately ending up in the same place. And the leaves bring back to mind Natalini’s notion of an architect’s sketchbook as a diary or journal, something personal and very humane.
Drawing Matter is an organisation dedicated to exploring the roles of drawing (as action and object) in architectural thought and practice. More about the organisation can be found at www.drawingmatter.org.
This post forms part of our series on The Architecture Drawing Prize: an open drawing competition curated by Make, WAF and Sir John Soane’s Museum to highlight the importance of drawing in architecture.