We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA

Competition: win a copy of We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost

In our latest competition, we're offering 10 readers the chance to receive a book of sketches and watercolours by Mikkel Frost, a founding partner of architecture studio CEBRA.

The architect's focus on drawing as an efficient way to communicate ideas within the design process is showcased through over 200 artworks from selected projects by the Danish studio.

Titled We Build Drawings, the book prioritises Frost's notion that architects don't build buildings, but build an idea instead: "To visualise it," he explained, "we build drawings."

We've teamed up with the architect and Frame Publishers to give away a copy of We Build Drawings to 10 winners.

We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA

Divided into 21 projects, Frost's drawings and sketches narrate CEBRA's works including The Iceberg, Experimentarium, HF & VUC Fyn education centre and Children's Home for the Future.

The publication follows his TEDxAarhus talk last year, titled Let Your Fingers Do The Talking!. A transcript of the talk is printed at the start of the book as its introduction.

In it, he justifies his style and proposes drawing as a way to appeal to organisations and clients who struggle to read technical architectural plans.

We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA

"I've developed a new drawing typology based on cartoons and comic books, a visual language people are familiar with," Frost explained in the talk.

Polished renderings for projects, he said, visualise the finished building but omit the reasoning behind the ideas that make up the design.

We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA

In one example, Frost illustrates CEBRA's residential and office complex, The Iceberg. The project focused on opening paths from the street to the nearby port, where water surrounds the site on three out of four sides.

To illustrate the design, Frost delves into a stylised underwater scene inhabited by fish, using tessellated right-angled triangles to mimic light refracting off water.

Above the watercolour-rendered building, a diagrammatic sequence explains the studio's process and the way the building was developed to maximise natural light.

The book goes on to include more of the architect's line drawings and quick sketches. These are annotated by hand and broken up with other watercolours that describe his process.

We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA

Frost's watercolours in the book were all created after the project's architectural concepts were confirmed.

"In that sense [the watercolours] serve as what you might call conceptual full stops," explained the architect.

Frost goes on to suggest that if a project can't be explained within a single A4 page, "you are either saying too much or it is too complicated".

"That's why I draw – to make sure everyone is on the same page," he continued.

We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA

Also included in the book is Qasr Al Hosn fort in Abu Dhabi, a cultural renovation project in the UAE capital's oldest building.

Frost's watercolour depicts sand-coloured polygons set around strips of water contrasting with linear paths planted with palm trees, to reflect a project that sought to marry modernisation with Emerati heritage.

We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA

Several of Frost's watercolours were accepted to Berlin's Museum for Architectural Drawing in 2016.

"The drawings will strike you as both fresh and very unusual," said founder of the museum's foundation Sergei Tchoban. "From their composition, a unique architectural language ensues."

The book includes an index at the back with photographs of all the projects referenced by the drawings.

10 winners will each receive a copy of We Build Drawings, which is also available to buy online.

Competition closes 7 November 2019. 10 winners will be selected at random and notified by email, and his or her names will be published at the top of this page.

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We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA
We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA
We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA
We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA
We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA
We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA
We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA
We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA
We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA
We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA
We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA
We Build Drawings by Mikkel Frost of CEBRA