Vienna Skyline Cutouts: Architectural Drawing (March 2012)

Manhattan Skyline card © Ted Naos

This project was inspired by a cut-out card depicting the Mid-Manhattan skyline, designed by Ted Naos, that I found in the Guggenheim Museum shop during a trip to New York. I was keen to do some architectural drawing with the kids, but I wanted the drawings to come alive, whilst keeping the graphic simplicity of black and white. The panoramic, three dimensional effect of the New York card provided an ideal solution.

We began by talking about Vienna’s most famous landmarks – the distinctive buildings that make up Vienna’s skyline – and looked at photos of Stephansdom (the cathedral), the Riesenrad (Big Wheel), Hundertwasser’s Fernwärme (Incinerator), Millenium City (a skyscraper), Donauturm (Donau Tower), the Rathaus (City Hall) and the Glorietta at Schönbrunn Palace. We observed how all of the buildings are made up of basic shapes such as rectangles, squares, circles, triangles. This helped the children to figure out how to draw complicated architecture like Stephansdom and the Rathaus.

I gave each child an A4 sheet of drawing paper, pre-folded into three sections, with a ruler’s width horizontal line marked in pencil along the bottom. Each child chose three or four buildings to draw, using the horizontal line as ground level. After adding detail to their drawings, the kids carefully cut around the top of their buildings to create their own free-standing panoramas of the city skyline.

And as these pre-schoolers all love to practise their writing skills, they wrote captions below each building (very helpful for those of you who are not familiar with Viennese  architecture!)


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