It was artist Paul Klee who said that ‘a drawing is simply a line going for a walk’, and the late, great Milton Glaser who said ‘drawing is thinking’.


As architects, we have always championed the power of drawing to communicate ideas, in particular spatial ideas, and spark the imagination of our clients. Exploded drawings have a particular power in communicating the relationship between component parts, or the relationship of a series of spaces to one another – a 2D walk through a 3D idea.

For the last 20 years Rupert Wheeler has produced concept drawings for a range of architectural projects that the practice has designed including many restaurants, bars and clubs.

Prepared at the concept stage of design, the drawings illustrate the relationship between spaces as much as the form and character of those spaces. The style of drawing was developed to illustrate the complex multi-level nature of projects where back-of-house functionality and front-of-house customer experience are equally important and take place simultaneously and in close proximity.

Even in education projects, it is valuable to see in a single drawing, the relationship of ancillary or communal activities, to whole-school circulation and individual teaching spaces.

These drawings are a valuable design tool, and an early step in the long and collaborative process of designing and constructing a new venue. They also illustrate an early vision of the project that is intended to encourage and inspire the project team during the inevitable months, and possibly even years, of hard work ahead.


As a collection, Rupert’s sketches have been exhibited at the Chelsea Arts Club and Spitalfields Townhouse