Study Room resource: architecture & exploring skylines

Prints and drawings, including fashion illustrations, architectural drawings, design drawings, watercolours, posters and much more, not on display in the galleries, can be seen in the Prints, Drawings and RIBA Architecture Study Rooms. To make it easier for teachers and lecturers to access the most popular material with groups, we have developed themed resource boxes which contain original prints and drawings.

This resource contains a selection of architects' drawings from the V&A's and RIBA's Architecture collections that explore iconic buildings and skylines produced in the late 1600s to 1980s. They demonstrate a range of approaches to recording, depicting and imagining cityscapes using different drawing techniques. They include early sketches for an imaginative composition and design proposals for new developments. The selection was inspired by a significant Heritage Lottery Funded acquisition to the RIBA's national architecture collection, Charles Cockerell's 'A Tribute to the memory of Sir Christopher Wren'. Several of the examples are preliminary sketches for this ambitious watercolour composition. There are over 1.5 million architectural drawings in the V&A and RIBA Architecture collections, this selection is a small sample.

These activity sheets include observation and discussion activities.
Download Study Room resource teacher's notes (PDF file, 46.2 KB)

Download Study Room student activity sheet (PDF file, 39 KB)

Church of St Benet, Charles Robert Cockerell
Sketched elevations of the steeple of Christ Church and the tower of All Hallows Church, Charles Robert Cockerell
Church of St Magnus-the-Martyr, Charles Robert Cockerell
Monument, bell towers and spires of churches including St Peter's Cornhill
Gate pier surmounted by an orb, Charles Robert Cockerell
Sketched perspective and details of a church, its spire and weathervane
Designs for Sleek Tower and Verandah Tower, Peter Cook
The Professor's Dream, Charles Robert Cockerell
Sketch of a spire, Charles Robert Cockerell
Sketched elevation of Fleet Street entrance, Charles Robert Cockerell
Design for St Stephen Walbrook, Sir Christopher Wren
Panorama of London,  Henry William Brewer
Designs for Post-War London, St Paul’s
A Tribute to Sir Christopher Wren, Charles Robert Cockerell
Design for a suggested development of multi-storey buildings surrounding St Paul's Cathedral, Joseph Emberton

Interactive Map

Discover the many treasures in the beautiful V&A galleries, find out where events are happening in the Museum or just check the location of the café, shops, lifts or toilets. Simple to use, the V&A interactive map works on all screen sizes, from your tablet or smartphone to your desktop at home.

Launch the Interactive Map

Shop online

Exploring Architecture: Buildings

Exploring Architecture: Buildings

Architecture plays a key role in shaping our environment. Covering ancient and modern architecture from across the world, this book examines its very …

Buy now

Event - Architects as Artists

Sat 15 November 2014–Sun 29 March 2015

DISPLAY: Why do architects create art? From the Renaissance to the 20th century architects have recorded buildings for study and pleasure, to document their travels and supplement their income. Drawing was also considered an important tool to educate students in their knowledge of historic buildings, and necessary to prepare presentation drawings for clients.

Book online