The journey of architecture through these ages has seen experimental, innovative, and interrogative designs. With time, the skills and instruments for designing have evolved, changed, and mutated. From Michelangelo to Frank Lloyd Wright, to Zaha Hadid, there has been a break-through in the designs created and the architecture unearthed. The hand-done drawings done by the older generation of architects are now being encompassed into digital tools, creating unimaginable and ground-breaking architecture. The journey of architecture can be visualized through this series of meticulously woven art and architecture.

Here is a series of ’20 Renderings and Views created by famous architects’ of all centuries, communicating strong and powerful thinking, intense emotion, and varied approach.

1. Michelangelo Buonarroti

Michelangelo Buonarroti, an influential figure in the development of Western Art of the period of the High Renaissance, was an artist, painter, sculptor, architect, and poet. He is the best-documented artist of the 16th century with his prodigious, artistically versatile, and complex designs and artworks. His initial sketches and style influenced the upcoming generations to come and created a movement in Western Art called Mannerism. The highly complex designs of the Campidoglio, façade for Brunelleschi’s Church, and plan of St. Peter’s Basilica is notable.

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Michelangelo Buonarroti drafted a study for Porta Pia in 1560 ©

2. Antonio Gaudi

Antonio Gaudi, amongst the most recognized and skilled architects, created some masterpieces some of which like the Sagrada Familia are still under construction. He believed in his architecture to grow organically and was greatly influenced by nature. The church of Colònia Güell represents the first use of paraboloids in architecture when he designed the hyperbolic paraboloid vaults on the porch.

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Original design of the Colonia Guell Chruch ©
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The drawings of the architect, Antonio Gaudi, and his unique buildings have attracted millions to Barcelona. The exhibition was the first time when Gaudi’s work was showcased outside of Spain. ©

3. Etienne-Louis Boullée

Etienne-Louis Boullée believed in the idea of architecture that is expressive of its purpose. In the 18th century after a series of drawings, he created a vision for a cenotaph that honored Sir Issac Newton, giving the inspiration to build monumental architecture in the future. The structure though never built, was a prominent example of ink and wash rendering. The sections demonstrate how the use of light in the design of the structure changes the sense of place inside the space during the day and night.

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Cenotaph for Newton by Etienne-Louis Boullee, 1784 ©

4. Alex Wall

Alex Wall received his Diploma in Architecture at the Architectural Association, London. The AA believes in creating concepts related to new ways of thinking about public spaces, the connection between contemporary culture and the built environment. The collection of exhibitions and publications are a step to probe contemporary issues whilst embracing the emerging global culture. The conception of the drawing is not only representational but also a form of architectural inquiry.

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Alex Wall, poster based on competition of Parc de la Villette, Paris. Drawing of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, The Pleasure of Architecture, 1983. ©

5. Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright is America’s most influential artist and architect of the 20th century. He started a new American style of design, with his use of natural materials, open floor plans, and stained-glass windows. In the 1930s he designed the Fallingwater, the most famous house of the 20th century, and influenced designers into a Prairie style of architecture. He drew a series of sketches of his notion of New York City, growing into a sprawl of incoherent buildings.

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In 1937, Frank Lloyd Wright and his chief draftsman, John H. Howe, drew this sketch of Fallingwater ©
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Wright proposed different vivid colours like pink for painting the Guggenheim Museum in New York ©

6. Le Corbusier

The drawing of an open floor plan structure by Le Corbusier depicts the groundwork for designs in modern architecture. The Dom-Ino House is the open plan house which was a prototype for mass housing, laid in a series, and forming different patterns. The model shows a structure made of concrete slabs, thin, reinforced concrete columns, and concrete staircase.

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Dom-ino House by Le Corbusier, 1914-1915 ©

Le Corbusier represented a dream to reunite utopian people towards social reform in the 1920s. His dreams for utopia were represented in the Ville Contemporaine and Plan Voisin. The dream was to reunite people in a well-ordered environment. His visions for Ville Radieuse were based on an image of an ideal city, a linear city with high-rise housing, free circulation, and green spaces.

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Ville Radieuse, Le Corbusier’s Functionalist Plan for a Utopian “Radiant City”, 1924. ©

7. Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe

Mies, an icon of modern architecture, created poetic structures with importance to details and proportions. He quoted one of the most famous quotes in architecture like “Less is more” and “God is in the details”. But he mastered 2D drawings equally well, focusing on the pictorial composition. A distortion of perspective is visible in his drawings.

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Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s plan for a brick country house, an abstract work of art in Piet Mondrian’s style, 1923 ©

8. Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry created some of the most influential works of architecture. The building of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao gave rise to a movement called the “Bilbao effect”, as a response to the iconic and innovative architecture created by Frank Gehry. Frank Gehry started experimenting with 3D modeling technologies to produce the new, complex language of design. These breakthroughs led to the creation of computer-aided technology to optimize designs and translate them into fabrication and construction stages. These are now used in architecture as building information modeling (BIM) and parametric design.

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Frank Gehry sketches a pen-and-ink for the Goldwyn-Hollywood Library, 1983 ©
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Frank Gehry used computer software to draw this image of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Frank Gehry was an early adopter of computer technology and created this in 1992 ©

9. Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid is an architect who gave architectural geometry a new, expressive identity. Before technology started being incorporated into the design, Zaha Hadid drew hand-drawn sketches and made models of the design. She would paint the fluid, geometrical, and conceptual designs and make models, which would aspire her towards the design process. She designed The Peak, a fragmented structure looking down at the high of Hong Kong, like an extension of the mountain it was built on. The competition-winning entry, a semi-abstract form of drawing and painting, remains unbuilt today.

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Zaha Hadid used coloured pencils and paint to create a drawing of The Peak Leisure Club, in Hong Kong in 1982. The project was never built, as it was impossible to do without computer-aided design—technology that didn’t exist yet ©
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The Peak by Zaha Hadid, 1983 ©

10. Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind is a multifaceted contemporary architect, who believes in creating poetic yet practical spaces through his designs. The resonant, symbolic, and unique designs are a result of his passion for art, literature, philosophy, and music. In 1983, Daniel Libeskind created a series of 28 drawings for Chamber Works, Architectural Meditations on Themes from Heraclitus. The drawings are still in display in the lobby of Knowlton Hall, showcasing mastery in history, imagination, and technique. The drawings instill wonder among the generations of architects, challenging thought.

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Daniel Libeskind created the sketches for the series Chamber Works: Architectural Meditations on Themes from Heraclitus, 1983 ©
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