Yale student Kate McMillan tells us what she and others discovered at the RIBA and Elephant and Castle during a RIBA workshop about perspective drawing…

Drawing created by a participant during the workshop

Heygate Estate, drawn by a participant during the workshop.
Explore and Draw: Sky Walks and Slab Blocks workshop, July 2013.

At 66 Portland Place

Last week, members of the public tackled the challenges of perspective drawing as they took on the dramatic angles and huge mass that make up the Heygate Estate at Elephant and Castle, London. Before the site visit, attendees spent the first part of the Explore and Draw: Sky Walks and Slab Blocks session at 66 Portland Place investigating photographs, books, journals, drawings and biographical files relating to the Heygate Estate and Elephant and Castle area, from the British Architectural Library collections. Looking at the images and drawing techniques used for inspiration, participants practiced perspective drawings for 2D and 3D shapes ahead of the on-site element of the session, receiving guidance from artist Viyki Turnbull.

Participants looking at collection material, RIBA, 66 Portland Place

Participants looking at collection material, RIBA, 66 Portland Place.
Explore and Draw: Sky Walks and Slab Blocks workshop, July 2013.
© Kate McMillan / RIBA, British Architectural Library

Images of some of the material on show during the workshop:

Elevation, design for the Elephant and Castle Public House and offices, London, 1962, designed by Ernö Goldfinger

Image (enlarge): Design for the Elephant and Castle Public House and offices, 1962.
Architect: Ernö Goldfinger
© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collection
Image from RIBApix

Housing nearing completion at the Aylesbury Estate, Walworth, Southwark, London, 1970.

Image (enlarge): Aylesbury Estate nearing completion, Walworth, London, 1970.
Photographer: Tony Ray-Jones
© Tony Ray-Jones / RIBA Library Photographs Collection
Image from RIBApix

At the Heygate Estate

After experimenting with various drawing methods and techniques, participants were ready for the striking perspectives, repeated design elements and vast scale of the Heygate Estate. Once on-site, the group scattered around the huge slab blocks in search of the most exciting views. The nature of the complex allowed for very diverse drawings that included steep heights, sharp angles, great depths and varying shadows.

Heygate Estate, Elephant and Castle, London  © Kate McMillan / RIBA, British Architectural Library

Heygate Estate, Elephant and Castle, London
© Kate McMillan / RIBA, British Architectural Library

Drawing workshop on-site at the Heygate Estate

Drawing workshop on-site at the Heygate Estate
Explore and Draw: Sky Walks and Slab Blocks workshop, July 2013
© Kate McMillan / RIBA, British Architectural Library

Drawing workshop on-site at the Heygate Estate © Kate McMillan / RIBA, British Architectural Library

Drawing workshop on-site at the Heygate Estate
© Kate McMillan / RIBA, British Architectural Library

After an hour of drawing, participants reconvened to share what they had been up to. Take a look!

Drawing created by a participant during the workshop. Explore and Draw: Sky Walks and Slab Blocks workshop, July 2013.

Drawing created by a participant during the workshop.
Explore and Draw: Sky Walks and Slab Blocks workshop, July 2013.

Participant’s drawing of the Heygate Estate.

Participant’s drawing of the Heygate Estate.

Participant’s drawing of the Heygate Estate.

Participant’s drawing of the Heygate Estate.

Thanks to everyone who took part. The next Explore & Draw workshop dates are:

  • Saturday 14 September
  • Saturday 12 October

More information and online booking for these workshops will be available soon on What’s On, where you’ll find more events from the RIBA.

 

By Kate McMillan
Yale University

 

About Wilson Yau
I work for the British Architectural Library at the RIBA as part of a team to share news, images and information online about the activities of the Library and the fascinating items we have in our architectural collections – it contains over four million items, so there's plenty to see! If you’re curious about what we do at the Library and with the collections, or want to discover the latest about our education programmes, public events and exhibitions at the RIBA, please visit www.architecture.com

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