Beautiful Trees – Free Autocad Block

Since there was quite a lot of interest in my last free AutoCAD block offering on the site, I decided to release another! This time in the form of a hand-drawn, fully-shaded tree in plan symbol that can be used anywhere.

I got the idea for drawing a few of these after seeing hand-drawn landscaping plans and wishing I could do something similar using just AutoCAD. Turns out: you can! Using true line weights and carefully selecting true colours, this block can be stretched, scaled and rotated to suit without losing its look due to pentypes or weights.

Download

Click here to download the block for free (Right click > Save as)

A dappled summer/autumn tree, good for general usage

Some additional info:

  • File version is AutoCAD DWG 2000.
  • 195kb (pretty small for a presentation block).
  • Fully purged.
  • All lines on layer 0 with colours overridden.

If you like using this file, you may consider buying the full set of 8 trees (including this one) for only £1.79 ($2.30) here

Designing Our New Offices

This week I have been working with the two directors at Rogers and Jones Architects (the practice where I work) to redesign the building which will eventually house our new offices! It’s quite an exciting opportunity to think about the design space, our own work units and how best to retrofit quite a dated building.

The general plan for the works, showing finishes, reflected ceiling/lighting plan and heating.
3D Isometric view to show the general layout and feel of the furnishings and table arrangements.
Front elevational treatment, showing the minimalist glass canopy to be installed, signwriting and vertical cladding section.

Quite a lot about the design has been focused on the change of ceiling levels as you walk through the building, giving the more personal, intimate spaces a cosier feel and the design studio space a light and airy room height.

Looking forward to moving in and starting on some of the works now!

Dissertation – The Lost Art of the Plaza

Block plans of famous city squares (left to right, top to bottom, respectively):
Trafalgar Square, London, England; Times Square, New York, USA; Plaça de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain; Place de la Concorde, Paris, France

For the dissertation aspect of the RIBA OBE Part II course, I chose to focus on the cultural-context module (rather than technology or economics) and to take a closer look at role of the plaza in everyday urban life. It was a really interesting piece to research, and the first hand surveying of Plymouth’s usage of these open spaces was incredibly illuminating. It took me from the historical inception of even the term ‘plaza’ all the way through to infrastructure and guerrilla urban design techniques of the modern age.

Please feel free to read through the dissertation by clicking here.

Survey of a Classical Block

For Rogers and Jones Architects, I recently completed this massive survey – featuring an existing block of accommodation for a housing association in Plymouth. I counted over 300 rooms whilst measuring and drawing this up in BIM software, but it was a useful experience as it gave me practice in manipulating large numbers of rooms on confusing level arrangements (through half-floors, stepped floorplates etc.).

Ground Floor and Site Plan
East Elevation

Extension and Alterations at St. Bridget’s Avenue

Some recent work I did at Rogers and Jones for a private client in Plymouth. I really loved the light and airy feel of the dining area, thanks to the three tilting velux skylights, as well as the quality of the kitchen finishes and fixtures.

Extension and alterations made to the rear of a dwelling in Plymouth. Replacing an existing lean-to conservatory/utility. Clients wished to maximise their views out into the garden, as well as create a more open and contemporary kitchen/living/dining area. We proposed a large 4m+ wide sliding/folding aluminium door opening out onto the patio and garden. The sloping soffit to the ceiling allows a light and airy space in the dining area, whilst the three pivoting velux rooflights allow a good amount of natural daylight into the room. The bespoke kitchen was designed by specialists.

The utility facilities were relocated to new side extension [not pictured] that also incorporated access to the rear garden and downstairs WC facilities.

Front elevation drawing
Sectional detail through lean-to roof

Candidacy on the RIBA Office Based Examination Part 2

I am officially on the RIBA OBE (Part 2) course, as of the beginning of March, and I’m actually really enjoying it. It’s a fairly intense process though – since I have 3 papers to be handed in by the 1st of May: a dissertation synopsys; design modules and an examination on law to study for. Apart from that, it’s very relaxing.One of the nice things about the course is that it encourages you to look into fields – not necessarily in architecture – that interest you, in order to read around a variety of subjects and see how other disciplines can relate to architecture. For example, in my technological study paper I will be studying Lichens as a viable alternative to the recent trend of green roofs. It’s an odd topic, but one which explores an extremely interesting organism. Hopefully, through my research I will be able to find a realistic way to use Lichens as a facade.

Rendering showing a ‘lichenised facade’

Fun facts:

  • Lichens are neither classified a fungi or moss, but actually a combination of algae and fungi working in symbiosis.
  • Lichen can only photosynthesise when it’s wet, moisture allows the algae to produce sugars when the outermost layers of moss turn transparent – this is why lichens nearly always turn green when it rains.
  • Some colonies of lichen count as some of the oldest living organisms on the planet.

New Dwelling – Tavistock

These are some photos of a (nearly) completed house that I worked on for Rogers and Jones Architects a while ago, in order to gain planning and building regulations approval for a bespoke residence located on the outskirts of Tavistock in Devon.

The design features an integrated garage and master bedroom above. The front projecting box window with full height glazing gives the building a contemporary look, which is then surrounded by powder-grey cedral cladding wrapping down from the roof.

Front elevation, for building regulations
Floor plans

The modern glass-sheet-effect porch design being hung via wound steel cable provides a light and minimalist entrance. The interior features a generous open plan kitchen and living space with large bifolding doors leading out to the garden.

Standard Doors – Free Dynamic CAD Block

Everyone loves free dynamic CAD blocks!

The other day I was trying to find a standard dynamic block for single leaf doors – ideally in metric and imperial sizes – I couldn’t find one anywhere so I decided to make my own.

I quite enjoy making dynamic blocks in AutoCAD – sad I know, but in the long run it seems to save the office time if they can reuse these components, rather than having hundreds of alternative sizes saved on file.

The block itself comes in standard metric and imperial sizes – with a lookup for the structural openings, as well as references for the leaf sizes. It can also be tweaked to fit almost all openings and wall thicknesses with AutoCAD’s parametric stretching.

Download

This block is free, but if you find it useful and want to buy me a coffee, please feel free 🙂

Click here to download the block for free (Right click > Save as)

How to use it

Here it is in action

Some additional info

  • The door handle is a nestled block – feel free to edit the block named Handle and it should update all the doors.
  • Doors are shown at 35mm thick and the lining is shown with a simple rabetted jamb.
  • Door references are also shown in the middle of the door opening, you can edit reference text by double clicking the block, or you can remove it by turning off the A-Z22132-T-DoorReference layer.
  • Door swing is shown at 90 degrees.
  • File version is AutoCAD DWG 2004

Please note: I do not take any responsibility for the usage of any of this information. Please take all the measurements indicated with a pinch of salt, standard door sizes may vary between countries.