For Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture , ideas take form in charcoal.
“I was going to go to art school, but it didn’t seem practical. When my older brother went to study architecture, that sounded like a good idea—being able to get a job and still draw. Louis Kahn, Mies, and Corbu are the inspirations for my charcoal sketches. Charcoal keeps things elemental. It wants to be big. Every project begins with the big gestures. That’s my job. I sketch the project all the way through, on rolls and rolls of paper. My white shirts always get dirty, but it’s how I distill ideas. When I show sketches to a client, they reveal concepts in the clearest way. Take the National Music Centre in Calgary, under construction now. It’s a collection of nine six-story buildings, resonant vessels for diverse programs.”