Lorcan O'Herlihy/Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects;
Formosa1140, 2010; Facade study; pen and oil on watercolor paper;
Gift of Lorcan O'Herlihy;
© 2007 Lorcan O'Herlihy

Sketch to Structure Opens January 31

Get an inside look at the architectural design process with over 100 original objects. 

Sketch to Structure
January 31–May 25
Heinz Architectural Center
Carnegie Museum of Art

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Sketch to Structure lays out the architectural design process so that visitors can see with real clarity the ways in which buildings take shape. With sketches, plans, blueprints, renderings, and models from the Heinz Architectural Center collection, this exhibition reveals that architectural design, from initial concept to client presentation, is anything but straightforward.

The exhibition is divided into four sections: Concept, Collaboration, Communication, and Case Studies.

Concept shows architects brainstorming—working out early ideas around a project—whether sketching, a quick watercolor, or increasingly, using computer models. See loose hand drawings, by Richard Neutra, for the Los Angeles County Hall of Records. These pencil sketches illuminate the thought process of this master draftsman, influential architect, and early proponent for Modernism in the United States, at work.

Collaboration reveals the way an architectural firm works, with input from engineers, designers, and teams of architects filling out the all-important details of projects and producing a fuller picture of the building. For example, a selection of blueprints by Winold Reiss, twentieth century artist and designer, show four proposed schemes for the popular Savarin Restaurant at Penn Station in New York City.

Communication showcases drawings, renderings, and models from the early 20th century to the present, all used to convey and explain a nearly final design. This includes a recently acquired 3D printed model, the first in the Heinz Architectural Center collection, depicts the final design by architecture firm Jakob + MacFarlane for the Restaurant Georges located in the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Case Studies pieces the parts of this process together, with groupings of models, renderings, drawings, and elevations on 7 separate projects, illustrating how the other three exhibition sections work together in the larger design process. For one such project, preliminary sketches, a study model, and a presentation model create a cohesive group from early stages to final presentation for apartment building Formosa1140, designed by Los Angeles architect Lorcan O’Herlihy.

By revealing the arc of the architectural design process, Sketch to Structure allows visitors to more fully understand the ways that architects and their firms accumulate ideas and whittle them down, ultimately solving design challenges for their clients and creating the structures that populate our world.

The exhibition is curated by Alyssum Skjeie, curatorial assistant at the Heinz Architectural Center, CMOA.

Sketch to Structure: Architecture Explorations
June 6-August 17, 2015
After the close of its full presentation on May 25, the exhibition will reopen in June to serve as inspiration for the museum’s summer art and architecture camps. Explore seven case studies of design thinking from the collection, and see the campers at work. To register for a summer camp, please visit cmoa.org or call 412.622.3288.


Culture Club: Adventure Bingo with Harvard & Highland’s Alexi Morrissey
Thursday, March 19 7-10 p.m.
Carnegie Café
$15 / $10 members; includes 1 drink ticket

Artist and entertainer Alexi Morrissey brings his own brand of old-school BINGO meets-pub-quiz to the museum. Be there by 7:30, when he’ll lead a cruise through the exhibition Sketch to Structure, offering clues that will give you an advantage during the game. Then put your trivia skills through the paces, with architecture-themed questions. Yes, there will be beer, specialty cocktails, and fabulous (and not-so-fabulous) prizes!


Draw Like an Architect with Lorcan O’Herlihy
Architect Talk and Drawing Event
Monday, March 30, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Carnegie Music Hall
$10 / $8 members / free for Carnegie Mellon University students
www.cmoa.org or 412.622.3288 to register

Hear from architect Lorcan O’Herlihy about how drawing by hand underpins any creative practice. O’Herlihy will talk about his award-winning buildings, his views on architecture as a catalyst for change, and his passion for drawing. Following the talk, he will lead inventive drawing exercises throughout the museum designed to stimulate the imagination. Perfect for all drawing levels and media. Materials provided. Co-sponsored by Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture.


PechaKucha Night with AIA Pittsburgh
Thursday, April 9, 2015, 7–10 p.m.
Carnegie Museum of Art

The Pittsburgh chapter of the American Institute of Architects holds their popular Pecha Kucha Night at CMOA in April, 2015. PechaKucha is based on a simple, dynamic presentation style: 20 images x 20 seconds per image. A challenging, dynamic, fun way to network, presenters have 6 minutes and 40 seconds to pair words and images. For more details, visit the AIA Pittsburgh website:


Sponsored by AIGA, The Professional Association for Design.

Architect Talk and Workshop with James Wines

James Wines, founder of renowned architecture firm SITE, has designed more than 150 works in architecture, landscape, interiors, and exhibitions worldwide, and received numerous awards, from the 2013 National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement to the Pulitzer Prize for Graphics. His work has inverted expectations of what a “big box” store should look like, and envisioned the Doha, Qatar Museum of Islamic Arts as a landscape of rolling sand. Through over four decades of successful practice, he stresses that, in this age of computer rendering, drawing by hand remains vitally important. In his illustrated talk, and related workshop, James Wines discusses the history of calligraphic content in art and architecture as a means of clarifying the inseparable connections between mind and hand for the development of conceptual ideas.

Architect Talk: A Line around an Idea—Drawing in a Computer Age
Friday, June 26, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
CMOA Theater

Workshop: A Line around an Idea
Saturday, June 27, 10:15 a.m.–1:15 p.m.
$60 / $48 members

Start with a sketch and enhance your drawing skills in this exclusive workshop! Sketching is an important artist’s tool for not only aesthetic reasons but also for the development of conceptual ideas. Get an architect’s perspective as James Wines leads participants through a series of drawing exercises designed to challenge and enrich any artistic practice.


The programs of the Heinz Architectural Center are made possible by the generosity of the Drue Heinz Trust. General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Carnegie Museum of Art
Located at 4400 Forbes Avenue in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, it is nationally and internationally recognized for its distinguished collection of American and European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 19th century to the present. Founded in 1896, the Carnegie International is one of the oldest surveys of contemporary art worldwide. The Heinz Architectural Center, part of Carnegie Museum of Art, is dedicated to enhancing understand of the built environment through its exhibitions, collections, and public programs. The Hillman Photography Initiative serves as an incubator for innovative thinking about the photographic image. For more information about Carnegie Museum of Art, call 412.622.3131 or visit our website at www.cmoa.org.

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