ARCHITECTURAL DEFINITIONS

THE FOLLOWING SELECTIONS ARE FROM THE NEW A TO Z OF CANADIAN ART  by BLAKE McKENDRY (2001)© (OUT OF PRINT)

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ARCHITECT (p. 24). In the traditional hierarchy of architecture, beginning with the lowest rank, unskilled labourers assisted with various manual tasks at the building site; specialized craftsmen worked in their own areas, such as joinery (or woodwork, including architectural cupboards, mantelpieces, panelling, etc., for a building; the term “joinery” fell out of favour in the 20th century), plastering, glazing, masonry and painting; master craftsmen from these areas organized the specialized craftsmen and likely were also contractors who bid for the work; the master builder supervised the contractors; and, at the top of the pyramid, the architect designed the project via architectural drawings, and negotiated with the owner and with the contractors whom he selected by advertising tender calls. An architect with a large enough practice might employ architectural draughtsmen to prepare the drawings under his supervision. In addition, if pressed for time on a number of projects, he might employ a supervising architect to watch over the erection of a particular building. In Canada architects began the process of distancing themselves from the "hands on" aspect of a master builder about 1840. Prospective architects learned the skills of architectural drawing, estimating and evaluating through an apprenticeship with an established architect, as well as through accumulating a library of architectural journals and pattern books. See also Mechanics' Institutes, Ontario Association of Architects. Citations: Moogk 1977; Noppen 1983; Crossman 1987; McKendry 1995.

 ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS (p. 24). Drawings on paper or linen ranging from roughly sketched design ideas to polished presentation schemes for client approval to working drawings - some in one-to-one scale - from which actual construction occurs. Traditionally made by hand with pencil, pen and ink and watercolour, such drawings show the skill and knowledge of an "architect" in contrast to a craftsman. In large firms specialized draughtsmen, working under the creative direction of architects, might be employed to free the architects from this time-consuming task. Detailed drawings usually accompanied written contracts when pricing the project; contract drawings were often signed by the architect and contractors. There were usually sets of drawings for a single building: a perspective view in the proposed setting, elevations (a drawing or photograph that shows one face of a building.) of the principal facades, floor plans, a cross-section, a longitudinal section, roof plans and details of interior and exterior elements. These may be colour coded (yellow for wood, pink for brick and grey for stone). Although multitudes of drawings have been made in Canada, only a small percentage has survived; major collections are in the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, the Horwood Collection in the Archives of Ontario in Toronto, the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Provincial and university archives, as well as certain city and library archives, often have interesting examples of historic and contemporary architectural drawings. From c1890 in Canada, blueprints - an inexpensive method of obtaining the numerous copies needed for contractors - were made from pen and ink drawings on linen. In the late 20th century architectural drawing by computer challenged the traditional hand methods. See also Architectural Pattern Books. Citations: Noppen 1983; Weir 1983; McKendry 1993.                                  return to article "Architectural Drawings & Pattern Books"

 ARCHITECTURAL PATTERN BOOKS (pp 268-9). Northern Italian architect Andrea Palladio (1508-80) wrote one of the first fully illustrated architectural pattern books in 1570. It set a prototype for including the Orders and measured drawings of a building's elevations, plans, sections and details, along with a written description. Later authors included perspective views of a building in its setting. The popularity of Palladio's book resulted in translations into many languages and reprints over many centuries. In the 18th and 19th centuries a flood of pattern books from expensive folios to inexpensive small books by a variety of architects and architectural theoreticians appeared in Great Britain and the United States. Authors borrowed freely ideas and information and, in addition to contemporary schemes, usually included traditional lore such as advice on Classicism, draughtsmanship (see also Architectural Drawing) and construction. Established and novice architects, as well as master carpenters and masons, acquired these books to educate themselves and glean design ideas. Clients acquired the books while mulling over ideas for their proposed residences, churches, schools, town halls, and so on. Among the many pattern-book writers influencing Canada were James Gibbs (Book of Architecture 1728; his name is associated with "the Gibbs surround"), Asher Benjamin (The American Builder's Companion, 6th edition 1827; The Practice of Architecture 1833; and many more), Minard Lafever (The Modern Builder's Guide 1833), A.J. Downing (The Architecture of Country Houses 1850) and A.J. Bicknell (Bicknell's Village Builder 1878). See also Jerome Demers. Citations: Gowans 1966; Cameron 1980; Gagnon-Pratte 1980; Noppen 1983; Clerk 1984; Maitland 1984; Wright 1984; Maitland 1990; McKendry 1993, 1995; Kalman 1994.                                     return to article "Architectural Drawings & Pattern Books"

 DEMERS, Abbé JEROME (1774-1853), Quebec City, QC (p. 106). Priest and architectural theorist. As a priest and teacher of architecture in the Séminaire de Québec, Demers was in a position to influence the style and theory of Quebec architecture during the first half of the 19th century. He wrote his "Précis d' architecture" in 1828, based upon the Louis XVI Classicism of the French architectural theorist Jacques-François Blondel (1705-74). Demers was an important patron of Francois Baillairgé and Thomas Baillairgé; the latter constructed a set of models of the classical Orders for Demers to use in teaching. Although these have been lost, copies made by Louis-Francois Berlinguet in 1833-4 survive in the Séminaire de Nicolet. Citations: Gowans 1966; Bland 1971; Noppen 1977, 1983; Richardson 1984; Dictionary Biography (vol VIII, 1985); Kalman 1994; Canadian Encyclopedia 2000.

ORDER (p. 263). In Classical architecture the column and entablature. There are five main Orders derived from Greek and Roman architecture, each with their own ornaments, proportions and measurements: Tuscan, Greek Doric (and Roman Doric), Ionic, Corinthian and Composite. They are listed in degree of elaboration, Tuscan being the plainest. They were particularly important to architects influenced by the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. See also Francis-Xavier Berlinguet, Jerome Demers, Neoclassical, Pattern Books. Citations: Gowans 1966; Lucie-Smith 1984; McKendry 1995.

 SAMPLE CITATIONS:

CROSSMAN 1987  Kelly Crossman. Architecture in Transition: from Art to Practice, 1885-1906. Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press.

KALMAN 1994  Harold Kalman.  A History of Canadian Architecture.  2 vols.  Toronto: Oxford University Press.

MCKENDRY 1993  Jennifer McKendry. Town and Country Houses: Regional Architectural Drawings from Queen's University Archives. Kingston: By the author.

MCKENDRY 1995  Jennifer McKendry. With Our Past Before Us: Nineteenth-Century Architecture in the Kingston Area. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

NOPPEN 1983  Luc Noppen and Marc Grignon. l'Art de l'architecte. Three Centuries of Architectural Drawing in Québec City. Québec: Musée du Québec et Université Laval.

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