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What is an Architectural Drawing

What is an Architectural Drawing

An architectural drawing is a technical drawing, visually communicating how something functions or is constructed, of a building or a building project.

Who Uses Architectural Drawings

Architects use Architectural Drawings when they develop and design ideas into logical proposals, communicate ideas and enable a building contractor to construct it.

Architectural Drawings Conventions

Particular views like floor plans, section, sheet sizes, units of measurement and scales, annotation and referencing are used as a set of conventions to make an architectural drawing.


Drawings were originally made using ink and paper thus copies required a lot of work and Architects had to draw it by hand.

How did the development of the computer change the way technical drawings are created?

  • Manual drawings are no longer in use.
  • New possibilities of using organic shapes and complex geometry.

Today, CAD software is used to create drawings much faster than years ago.

Types of Architectural Drawings

  • Floor Plan

A Floor Plan shows the arrangement at a particular level of a building with a view from above. The spaces in building is also shown similar to a map.

  • Site Plan

A site plan shows the boundaries of property and nearby structures relevant to the architecture design.

  • Elevation

An Elevation is the view of a building as recognized from one side. This view is described as the external appearance of a building.

Architects use the word elevation as a synonym for façade.  When an architects speaks about the north elevation it means that they are talking about the north-facing wall of the building.

  • Cross Section

A cross section shows a vertical plane cut through an object and Sections are used to describe the connection between different levels of a building.

  • Isometric and axonometric projections

Three dimensional objects, showing elements on scale and the relationship between various sides of the same object in order to understand the complexities of a shape is used to represent Isometric and axonometric projections.

  • Detail Drawings

Detail drawings show a small part of the construction at a larger scale. A detailed drawing also shows how the component parts fit together.


The days of manually drawing is gone. If you would like to learn how to operate CAD software, have a look at our architectural draughting qualification.




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