2017 marked the 80th anniversary of the Georgian Group and to celebrate, an international measured drawing prize was launched, open to architects and artists under the age of 40. The competition invited participants to submit a hand drawn elevation, plan or section illustrating the interior or exterior of a Georgian building anywhere in the world. The competition was last held in 2008 to mark the 60th birthday of Georgian Group patron the Prince of Wales.
Measured Drawing Prize 2017
Hugh Petter, contest judge and vice-chair of the Georgian Group said: ‘Measured drawing is the traditional way in which architects learn from their forebears through close observation and recording of architectural form, proportion, materials and detail. Until relatively recently, measured drawing formed part of every architect’s training, but today it is less commonly taught. This prize is an opportunity for students and young architects to develop their analytical and presentational measured drawing skills through the careful study of a Georgian building.’
My passion for drawing first began here in Bath so I wanted to create a piece that captured this initial inspiration. Having drawn many of the key Georgian buildings in the city already, my challenge was to find something different, unusual and not easily recognisable.
Partial views of Ralph Allen's Townhouse
After a hint from a friend, Ralph Allen’s Townhouse became the focus of the study. From 1727, this magnificent Georgian building was home to the prominent 18th Century entrepreneur and philanthropist Ralph Allen. Allegedly built by John Wood the Elder, it once stood as a prominent Palladian frontispiece addressing an open garden courtyard. As the city of Bath continued to expand, new urban blocks were built around this iconic elevation, completely enclosing the courtyard and isolating the building from public view. Only an oblique view of the triangular pediment can be seen from York Street to the North.
The Measured Drawing, Ralph Allen's Townhouse
The 1:25 measured drawing sought to celebrate this hidden frontage, allowing the elevation to be visible and appreciated as it was originally intended. A 0.3mm uniball fineliner was used primarily for the main architectural form then reducing to 0.1mm to capture the detail in the Corinthian capitals and the tympanum decoration of elaborately scrolled foliage surrounding the upper circular window.
On November 30th 2017 the elevation of Ralph Allen’s townhouse was awarded a high commendation at an awards ceremony at the RIBA. Chosen from a wide field of entries the drawing sat alongside four other incredible entries, which included an elevation of Russborough House, a cross-section through St George’s Bloomsbury and an elevation of Buntingsdale Hall. To see the other entries and read a little more about competition check out the link here.