ARCH105 Architectural Drawing I, Sylvie Duvernoy, Fall 2019 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARCH105 Architectural Drawing I, Sylvie Duvernoy, Fall 2019

Architectural drawing is a fundamental subject matter of the first year of studies in architecture and civil engineering. This course is open to all students that need to learn to draw in order to become successful in their future careers.

Architectural drawing is an international communication language that has its own rules and grammar. It makes connections and exchanges possible between parties working in different geographical areas and different cultural contexts. Architectural drawings may be divided into two categories: abstract representation and simulation of visual perception. Both kinds of drawing can be done by hand (free-hand) or using digital technology (computer-aided drawing). Regardless of the kind of representation technique, the plastic aspect of an architectural drawing depends on the personal commitment and energy devoted to its making. The emotion embodied in technical drawings meant for builders is usually inferior to the emotion enshrined in presentation drawings that have to be submitted to the approval of a referee. The higher the expectations, the more sophisticated the artistic quality of the drawing. Drafting tools and techniques are chosen on the basis of their suitability for the specific purpose of each drawing. Computer-aided drafting is more appropriate for presentation drawings, while free-hand drawing is still the quicker and most expressive way to outline study sketches, conceptual diagrams and travel sketches.


Please note: the schedule below is subject to change and adjustments due to weather conditions or on-going work

Week 1

Monday, Sept. 9
Program presentation
The many kinds of architectural drawing

Wednesday, Sept. 11
Sketch in class or on-site

Week 2

Monday, Sept. 16
2D drawing: Lesson 1 - orthographic projections (plan /elevation / section)

Wednesday, Sept. 18
Sketch in class or on-site

Week 3

Monday Sept. 23
2D drawing: Lesson 2

Wednesday, Sept. 25
Exercise no. 1: 2D representation, scale drawings of one object

Week 4

Monday, Sept. 30
Work in class

Wednesday, Oct. 2
Work in class - end of Exercise no. 1

Week 5

Monday, Oct. 7
Lesson or lecture by a guest scholar
Assignment of Exercise no. 2 due for Midterm Break

Wednesday, Oct. 9
Work in class

Week 6

Monday, Oct. 14
Work in class

Wednesday, Oct. 16
Work in class

Week 7

Monday, Oct. 21
Work in class

Wednesday, Oct. 23
Midterm review



Week 8

 MIDTERM BREAK (October 26 - November 3)



Week 9

Monday, Nov. 4
3D representation: Lesson 1 (axonometric views/perspective)

Wednesday, Nov. 6
Sketch in class or on-site

Week 10

Monday, Nov. 11
3D representation: Lesson 2

Wednesday, Nov. 13
Exercise no. 3

Week 11

Monday, Nov. 18
Work in class

Wednesday, Nov. 20
Work in class

Week 12

Monday, Nov. 25
Work in class

Wednesday, Nov. 27
Work in class

Week 13

Monday, Dec. 2
Work in class

Wednesday, Dec. 4
Work in class - End of Exercise no. 3

Week 14

Monday, Dec. 9
Assignment of Exercise no. 4 (final assignment)
The color theory and the use of Photoshop software in architectural drawing

Wednesday, Dec. 11
Work in class
(previous works shown at SACI exhibition of student work)

Friday, Dec. 13
SACI End-of-Term Design exhibition opening at Palazzo Maidoff: 7.00 pm

Week 15

Monday, Dec. 16
Work in class

Wednesday, Dec. 18
Work in class - Final Review


Exercise no. 1:
Draw the top view, side view and front view of one among the various objects of Italian design:

  • Bialetti coffee machine
  • Alessi boiler
  • Alessi design by Michael Graves
  • Alessi design by Philippe Starck
  • etc…

Exercise no. 2 (Midterm assignment):
Draw the 2D orthographic projections (plan / elevation / section) of one simple building in Florence:

  • ​Loggia del Pesce
  • Loggia della Signoria
  • Baptistery
  • etc…

Exercise no. 3:
Draw one 2D view and one 3D view in color of one of the following buildings:

  • Fisher House (Louis Kahn)
  • Farnsworth House (Mies van der Rohe)
  • Maison Cook (Le Corbusier)
  • Carlos Ramos pavilion (Alvaro Siza)
  • House 4x4 (Tadao Ando)
  • etc...

Exercise no. 4 (final assignment):
​Practice of Photoshop for architectural renderings: map colored photographic pictures on black and white orthographic projections of a given building.

Final Evaluation Criteria

Each exercise will be graded, and the final grade at the end of the course will depend on the results of the various exercises but also on the progress made throughout the course.

Graduate Students
​Students in MFA, MA, and Post-Bac programs are expected to complete additional assignments and to produce work at a level appropriate for students in a graduate program. They are graded accordingly and, if they successfully complete all course requirements for graduate students, receive graduate-level credit for the course.

Recommended Reading

In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act Textbook Provision, SACI provides, when possible, the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and retail price of required and recommended reading. Note: Many required and recommended texts are available for loan or can be consulted in the SACI Worthington Library.

Ching, Francis D.K., Architectural Graphics, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2009.
ISBN: 9780470399118 (Retail price: $49.95)

Zell, Mo, Architectural Drawing Course: Tools and Techniques for 2D and 3D RepresentationBarron's Educational Series, 2008.
ISBN: 9780764138140 (Retail price: $23.99)

Duvernoy, Sylvie, Elementi di Disegno: 12 lezioni di disegno dell'architettura (text in English and Italian), Le Lettere, 2011.
ISBN: 9788860873873 (Retail price: €35)

Yee, Rendow, Architectural Drawing: A Visual Compendium of Types and Methods, Wiley, 2012.
 9781118012871 (Retail price $80)

Required Supplies

  • One A4 sketchbook
  • Several A2 sheets of drawing paper
  • Pencils (H-HB-B), eraser, sharpener
  • Colored pencils
  • One ruler, two squares (90-45-45 and 90-30-60)

(Computers and Photoshop software are provided by SACI)

General Safety & Emergency Instructions

Click here for a pdf of SACI's General Safety & Emergency instructions.

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