A section is just one of the 3 main types of architectural drawings, in which a three-dimensional layout is explained in two dimensions. The others are elevation and plan. In every case the observer’s line of sight is perpendicular to the plane where the building’s surfaces and elements are projected. In the case of a section, it’s a vertical plane that is hypothetically cut via a construction in which rooms are subsequently shown as inside elevations.

To understand the way the section works, it’s fantastic to show one adjacent to an exterior elevation. Both of these drawings of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House look in the exact same way, but the elevation is seen from outside the home, while the section is seen from within. Just envision cutting the construction aside such as a cake and visiting the layers (floors, roofs, chambers) of which it’s made.

Vinci | Hamp Architects

Building sections are typically generated by extruding information from floor programs; this applies to hand drafting and to computer modeling and archiving. This section of Vinci | Hamp’s Mid-North Residence is “cut” in the plan only below the horizontal midpoint of the rectangular plan, extending from the stair on the far right to the window bay just above the front door in the far left.

WA Design Architects

Building segments serve many purposes: showing connections between spaces, broadly describing the structural system of a building and expressing a building’s form. The latter is pronounced within this section of WA Design’s Berkeley Courtyard House, in which angled roofs define indoor and outdoor spaces.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

More detailed sections that explain structure, wall assemblies, materials and other ingredients are called wall segments. They are drawn in a larger scale compared to construction segments and are typically drawn after the connections explored in the construction section have been defined and set.

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