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Alexandru Gheorghe's Architecture Site


Casa de Artist - Artist's House

An architectural Project

Steps One to Four



Alex Gheorghe writes:

Casa de Artist
"Casa de Artist" means "Artist's House" and is the latest project that we have to create. Basically, we receive a list of requirements for this specific building and we start to experiment with different ideas until the shape and size of the building emerge.

For this project the requirements are to create a building with ground floor and another 2 stories above it, using as a plan a rectangle divided into 9 other rectangles of the same size (3x3). if you visualise this on 3 levels you obtain a cube divided into 27 smaller cubes, each having the same size (about 3.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 meters, allowing for the wall thickness)

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, May 2010




Of course they also ask for us to create different spaces inside (rooms) with one of very great importance - the artist's workshop.

Before I start, I should let you know that I have an extraordinary chance to work under the supervision of three talented architects, who help us creating each project, teach us how to avoid mistakes and obtain viable concepts. They also make a special presentation at the beginning of every project, with images from famous architects and similar projects from previous years (from students that are now in higher years).

Casa de Artist
Presuming that proper documentation (images, previous projects, architecture magazines, famous architects and their works etc.) - very, very important! - is step 0, the first sketches represent step 1.

This is the first one where you actually create something. you sometimes start drawing without a clear idea in your mind and what you get is more of a concept, a shape - a hieroglyph more than an actual building or a part of it. This you can be seen in this photograph.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, May 2010




Casa de Artist Casa de Artist
After this step, when you believe you have 'seen' something – it is funny, it is like striking gold, you just stop suddenly and say Wow! – you start developing it. That is step number 2, that you can see in these photos. For this step we use a different type of paper, as you can see.

For step 1 we used plain simple A4 standard paper. For this step we switch to sheets of transparent paper, for a very simple reason: is easy to put over 2 or even more such sheets of paper and draw previous lines, that are already on the piece of paper below. So, to give an example, if you like how a certain space looks like, but there is a wall you need to change, you can put a piece of transparent paper over the first one, copy very easily what looks to be alright and then draw a different solution for the part you considered problematic.


In this part, the guidance of the architects we work with is crucial, they have to understand what you’ve seen, to remove any initial mistakes and to make sure you continue a viable project, in good conditions. The transparent paper is also good because they can draw over your own drawings, without actually affecting them.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, May 2010




Casa de Artist Casa de Artist

Step 3 involves creating the workspace you have designed, out of paper, cardboard or other materials and is what we call a scale model for study.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, May 2010


Casa de Artist Casa de Artist

You don’t mean for it to look nice or to be close to the final form of the building, you just want it to give an idea of the shape of the building, the proportions and views from different angles.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, May 2010




Casa de Artist

Step 4 is something I normally do at the same time as step 2 and/or 3 and it means working with the plans and facades of the building in a computer program. We normally use Autocad by Autodesk for this, a software program that we receive for free as part of a collaboration protocol between our University and the Autodesk company. It is very useful, easy to use and has a major advantage: you can modify anything very quickly and it still looks finished, unaltered and professional.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, May 2010









Casa de Artist - Artist's House

An Architectural Project

Steps Five to Eight - Completion of the Project



Casa de Artist

Step 5 is something you might overlook if you are not keen on obtaining the best results, but also something that may just ensure that your project really catches the eye.

I am not only supposed to create a building project, but I have to make very clear drawings of specific aspects from this building and, very important, to create a scale model to illustrate my concept.

I have to choose appropriate materials both for the drawings and for the scale model.


In this photo we can see sheets of white paper of very good quality, with the standard dimensions required of 50x70 cm for the drawings and sheets of white and grey/black foamboard, as well as plastic with the same 50x70 cm dimensions.

And of course, a lot of pencils, "liners" and many more items that may be seen in the other photos.

The pens called "liners", from Rotring, are labelled "Tikky Graphic". They come in different sizes, diameters measured in mm. I use 0.3 and 0.5 the most, also 0.7 for hatches and 0.1 for very precise lines, that usually represent windows or walls made of glass.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Casa de Artist Casa de Artist
Step 6 means creating the drawings already mentioned.

Usually, this takes me about 10 hours of work, a very difficult task because the slightest mistake might mean that I have to start over again with that particular plan. This time, it took me about 18 hours in total, because the project is very complex. I start drawings using just the pencil, and then continue by drawing with a liner, with black ink.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Casa de Artist

As we can see, the computer plays a crucial role here too, as each dimension is first verified on the computer, before being transferred to paper.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Casa de Artist Casa de Artist

Finally, the drawings ready to be presented to my teachers.

Left - the ground floor and the alleys that surround the building,

Right - the first and second floor.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Casa de Artist Casa de Artist

Left - northern and eastern facades.

Right – southern and western facades.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Casa de Artist

Here we have two sections through the building (A-A and B-B), that we can also see marked on the ground floor plan earlier as 2 perpendicular lines with the same A-A and B-B notations crossing the plan. All the plans were drawn at a scale of 1:50 – 1 cm on the drawing represents 50 cm on the ground.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Step 7 represents the actual creating of the scale model, which also most be at the scale of 1:50. This usually takes about 30 hours, but for this project it took about 40 - 45 hours, again, because of the complexity of the project.

The finer details needed for the completion of the project follow:

Casa de Artist Casa de Artist

Cutting the materials into parts of specific dimensions

Left - the grey/black foamboard is cut to form the main volume of the scale model.

Right – the floors are cut from white foamboard.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Casa de Artist Casa de Artist

The assembly can begin, first by forming the main volume, as shown in the photo on the left, and then by adding the secondary volume at the ground floor, as shown in the right hand photo.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Casa de Artist Casa de Artist

We now add the third volume on the top floor.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Casa de Artist

The staircase is than added.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Casa de Artist

The 'windows' – the walls that are made from glass - are cut from a type of plastic. This is very, very difficult, each cut must be precise.

Careful measurement and high concentration are of the essence.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Casa de Artist

The external structure is added, also from white foamboard.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Casa de Artist Casa de Artist


Casa de Artist

The external structure that symbolises glass walls and concrete beams and poles representing the three parts of the scale model of the building are then added.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Casa de Artist Casa de Artist Casa de Artist




Casa de Artist Casa de Artist Casa de Artist


Finally, the scale model is completed, as shown in this series of photographs.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Now a few words about the concept: the main volume (represented with black foamboard in the scale model) is the artist’s workshop. He is presumably a painter, therefore light was very important – from above and from the North, for a constant illuminations that leaves little or no shadows.

The volume on the ground floor has the entry, the small kitchen, a dining room and a bathroom. The large space on the ground floor that is enclosed in glass is used for exhibiting his works of art and for discussions with clients.

It also makes place for the staircase, leading to the upper floors. The first floor is where you can access the workshop (which is 2 levels tall – over eight metres!), and the large terrace that is created over the volume from the ground floor.

The last floor has a path that runs through the workshop giving an astonishing view over it and through the window from the northern wall to the rest of the house and even outside. This path takes you to the volume that represents the bedroom, its bath and dressing, and also a small terrace of its own, to one end.

Casa de Artist

This photo is a collage showing some details from the scale model. I also used this photo for the presentation before the jury.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Casa de Artist

Step 8 – this is the step when I take my project in front of a jury of 3 architects who supervise the work of the first year students such as myself. This photograph shows you a general view of some of the projects, waiting to be presented to the jury.

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Casa de Artist

This photograph shows my plans and some photos posted on a notice board mounted on castors, minutes before the presentation (that is when you get really nervous and you try to remember everything you already know about this project, because you worked with it for weeks and it is just like your child, you know all about it, but you suddenly seem to have forgotten everything, and the nights without sleep and the days without food take their toll…).

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




Casa de Artist Casa de Artist
These photographs document the moment when everything goes away, no pain, no fatigue, no more fear or lack of confidence. That is when you start talking about what you've just created, and they listen and smile at you and say "we got it all from the drawings, excellent job" and you smile too and you know it was all worth it …

Photo: Alexandru Gheorghe, June 2010




It is an extraordinary feeling, to know that I’ve created a work of art, yet something functional, and that teachers with dozens of years of experience receive your presentation well and give me reasons to keep going, always better (hopefully!), to improve and, maybe, one day, to simply push the boundaries of architecture further.





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This site is to publicise the history and culture of Romania, and displays information from the Alexis Project Association

Alexis Project Filiasi/Romania
RC J/263/230/2007 CIF 21464151
Email: alexis_project@yahoo.com




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This page last modified Monday, 24th January, 2011 02:17am


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