The School that Richard built

Sketching Out a New Course for Architects
by Pia Catton for the Wall Street Journal

Two blocks from the stately columns, arches and sculptures of Grand Central Terminal, a rogue band of architects is engaged in a retrograde venture: They're teaching a new generation how to draw and paint the elements of classical architecture—all those columns, arches and sculptures—with nothing more than pencils and paints on paper. No computers. Ever.

It's not that they hate modernity. But at the just-launched Beaux-Arts Atelier, the belief is that an architect should know how to draw buildings by hand—and the best way to do that is to study the classical forms. Having absorbed that technique, a broader spectrum of creativity is at the architect's command, even if he wants to create contemporary buildings that don't have a pediment in sight.

"If you don't understand the tradition profoundly, you can't turn it on its head," said the program's director, Richard Cameron. 

Continue Reading the Wall Street Journal Article:



Alexander Cresswell's new show of works, Nobility of Place, opened Friday at the Forbes Galleries at 62 5th Avenue. -complete with a 5'-0"x8'-0" watercolor of one of the Forum's Triumphal Arches.  The show runs through the 10th of September 2011. Jason and Andy Taylor (of AJ.T Architect) highly recommend.

For more information go to www.alexandercreswell.com


In case you missed it, a project of Jason and Richard's, while working at Ferguson & Shamamian Architects, LLP graced the cover of the May 2011 Architectural Digest.


New Traditional Architecture:

Ferguson & Shamamian Architects: City and Country Residences

Our first reaction to the New Ferguson and Shamamian Architects monograph is that it's pretty incredible (of course aside from it featuring some of Richard Cameron and Jason Grimes' work within). The book is enormous 248 pages, 15" x 12.5" and weighing in at 7lbs.  The home spreads are true Architecture porn: homes of the unmentionable rich and famous, plans, technical detail drawings, full bleed photography by some of the worlds best Architectural photographers.  Mark and Oscar really outdid themselves, as did Rizzoli.

Amazon can fill you in on the details:

These exceptional houses—distinguished by their classical style and artistic integrity—represent the highest level of design and craftsmanship, fashioned for historic taste. A return to classicism and traditional styles has been widely observed in the world of architecture and design, and the houses in this volume represent the finest examples of new design based on historical precedents. These stunning residences are graced with regional character, impeccable craftsmanship, and classic beauty. Collaborating with leading landscape designers, decorators, and artisans, architects Mark Ferguson and Oscar Shamamian have produced homes that—whether country estates, suburban houses, or city apartments—are exquisite examples of timeless design for those who are inspired by historic styles. With lush photography capturing the allure of these of exteriors, interiors, and details—as well as original drawings and plans—the book will appeal to architects, interior designers, and homeowners with an eye for fine design and anyone wishing to be inspired by the poetry of history. Recognized by Architectural Digest in 2010 as being among the most important and influential architecture firms at work today, this beautifully illustrated volume presents Ferguson & Shamamian's finest work, including new houses, apartments, alterations and additions, and unbuilt design plans. Each of the nineteen homes featured in the book will be presented in detail, with full color photography and project descriptions written by the architects themselves. Eleven unbuilt projects will be represented by drawings, and eleven alterations and additions will be included in an appendix.      


Etsy Shopping

Clever Hands' The Journal Bandolier

[jour.nal ban.do.lier n.] a strap fitted with small loops for carrying pens, pencils, and other handy tools wrapped around a journal, planner, or other book.

Best Idea, except I can guarantee I'm still going to loose all the pens.

Palm Beach Sketch

A few months back we were asked to dream a house on a non de-script lot in city of Palm Beach.  With neighbors close, hedges high and no sign of the ocean, we created our own focal point.  Opening the center of the site up and pressing the house to its setbacks created a home that feels like a hotel but is as private as a your own island.


New Acquisitions and Mandatory Reading

The BEST advice from one of the highest recommended architecture books we know.  Rules and Examples of Perspective by Andrea Pozzo; Rome, 1693.

-as recommended by Christopher Wren, John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor

Jacob Brillhart

Jacob Brillhart spent the last 4 years "in a feverish need to escape the confines of his computer, setting out on a European road trip to rediscover the forgotten practice of drawing on the road, using Le Corbusier's detailed sketchbooks as his sole travel guide."

Now if we could only get away from the office long enough to walk around even Brooklyn (aside from the 15 degree weather today)....

His work is now on exhibition at the Art Center, South Florida in Miami Beach.


Classes Start TONIGHT with Richard Cameron and Andy Taylor at the ICA&CA

Following In The Footsteps Of Magonigle: An Atelier In India Ink Wash, Toned Ink And Full Color Architectural Rendering Register Now!

24 sessions, February 9–May 7; Wednesdays, 6:00–9:00PM and Saturdays, 1:00–4:00PM

This course will be an on-going atelier in the study of Architectural Rendering in Wash. The course will introduce the beginner to the traditional architectural rendering method of India ink and toned ink. It will also guide students of previous courses in this subject along the path of H. Van Buren Magonigle’s detailed lessons in toned ink and full color wash rendering in an atelier environment.

Classes will be conducted twice a week. While no prior experience is required, participants at all levels will be expected to follow along in a rigorous and disciplined manner. Students can choose which of the twenty-four sessions they attend as long as they meet the minimum requirement of completing six sessions by the end of the course.

Among the topics covered are materials, India Ink wash, toned ink wash, full color wash, casting of shades and shadows, atmospheric perspective, and sheet composition using examples of the Beaux Arts drawing type, the analytique. Classes are conducted primarily in a studio format, with formal lectures, hands on teaching, and demonstrations.



Paper Trianon

We're about to start building a real one, but we figure paper is good training ground.

courtesy of
Architect Design


Google launched Google Arts Project today, bringing their Street View technology into some of the most stunning art museums around the globe. You can virtually walk around, zoom in on artwork, etc. Very cool!