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in practice

At the time that the photograph was taken we were working on Hanover Lodge, a large house in Regent's Park, London. It was in the early stages of construction on site, so many of the assistants in the office were working on the drawings with me. In order to keep in close contact with all aspects of the job I regularly inspect the drawings while they are being prepared. In addition to Hanover Lodge, we have been working on a variety of new projects in England and the US. I generally draw out the preliminary designs on my own before passing them on to the rest of the office, where we work up the details to a larger scale.

All our drawings are hand drawn in pencil with titles, notes and damp-proof courses shown in ink on large sheets of tracing paper and printed in the office. Because of the one-off nature of all our work, the thought processes are very time-consuming, as we discriminate in our choice of precedent, style, scale, materials and practicalities. We communicate by means of large freehand drawings, drawn with an HB pencil, generally to full size or 1:10 scale.

This natural and traditional process continues as these sketches become working drawings for the mason, bricklayer, joiner, carpenter, plasterer or plumber. For these reasons we find the computer completely foreign to this process, and so are CAD-free. That said, most of our consultants transfer the information on our general arrangement drawings to their own drawings by CAD, which we check, but there is no way that full-size details of mouldings, enrichments, filigree panels or more intricate detail can be more effectively conveyed than by freehand drawings.

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