October is National Architecture Month, also known in some circles as Archtober. To commemorate the month, I am going to post a brief post every day of the month.
The word “plans” in architecture can have several meanings. In this case I am referring specifically to drawings of a building looking down at the building from a height of about 4 feet above the floor. These drawings are more technically called “floor plans”, but that gets shortened to “plans”.
Plan drawings are used to describe the organization of the building horizontally. Plan drawings show each room on a single level, the walls that define them, the locations of doors and windows, and often the relationship between the inside and the outside. Plan drawings like this can also be used to describe the vertical parts of the structural system (columns and walls).
The plan above is a diagrammatic or conceptual plan for the 2nd floor of a proposed apartment building. This kind of plan is produced early in the design process when architects are trying to consolidate and synthesize all the information about a building into a coherent plan.
The plan above is an early proposal for the remodeling and expansion of a house in the Oakland hills. We have progressed past the conceptual phase, and the plan looks more like a building. The rooms have been identified and the walls surrounding them have doors and windows. You can see that we are closing the house off to the street toward the right, and opening the house up toward the views on the left.
The plan above is of a small guest house for the same property as the plan directly above. This plan is being used during design development, we are starting to select specific materials, specific models of windows and doors. You could almost use this drawing to build the cottage.by