By the hand / by Matthew Trzebiatowski

One of the most excellent publications about architecture is a German magazine, simply titled DETAIL. It is one of the few publications that focus on the building assemblies that make up the work of architecture. The magazine recreates every drawing from the architect’s original and made into a consistent and legible format that pairs with high-quality photographs comparing the completed situation to the elements concealed. It is easy to image how they would reproduce the iconic drawing of the handrail from the Kimball Art Museum.

Handrail detail drawing; Louis I Kahn Collection, University of Pennsylvania

Handrail detail drawing; Louis I Kahn Collection, University of Pennsylvania

To be permitted to hold an original drawing such as this, with white gloves, and being able to see clear alterations, edits, and added notes communicates so much more about the intent (and at times, the compromises) of the proposition than a ‘clean’ reproduction ever could. The feelings provoked by encountering great architecture, I have discovered, are also stirred when embracing the drawings that lead to their creation.