THE LOGIC OF THE PLAN
THE PLAN !
There is something elemental in the word itself.
A pregnant plan has logic – is the logic of the building squarely stated.
Unless it is the plan for a foolish Fair.
A good plan is the beginning and the end, because every good plan is organic.
That means that its development in all directions is inherent – inevitable.
Scientifically, artistically to foresee all is „to plan.”
There is more beauty in a fine ground plan than in almost any of its ultimate consequences.
In itself it will have the rhythms, masses and proportions of a good decoration if it is the organic plan for an organic building with individual style – consistent with materials.
All is there seen – purpose, materials, method, character, style.
The prophetic soul of the building – a building that can live only because of the prophecy that is the plan. But it is a map, a chart, a mere diagram, a mathematical projection before the fact and, as we all have occasion to know, accessory to infinite crimes.
To judge the architect one need only look at his ground plan. He is master then and there, or never.
Were all elevations of the genuine buildings of the world lost and the ground plans saved, each building would construct itself again.
Because before the plan is a plan it is a concept in some creative mind.
It is, after all, only a purposeful record of that dream which saw the destined building living in its appointed place.
A dream – but precise and practical, the record to be read by the like-minded.
The original plan may be thrown away as the work proceeds – probably most of those for the most wonderful buildings in the world were, because the concept grows and matures during realization, if the master-mind is continually with the work. But that plan had, first, to be made. Ultimately it should be corrected and recorded.
But to throw the plans away is a luxury ill afforded by the organizations of our modern method. It has ruined owners and architects and enriched numberless contractors. Therefore conceive the building in the imagination, not on paper but in the mind, thoroughly-before touching paper. Let it live there – gradually taking more definite form before committing it to the draughting board. When the thing lives for you – start to plan it with tools. Not before. To draw during conception or “`sketch,” as we say, experimenting with practical adjustments to scale, is well enough if the concept is clear enough to be firmly held. It is best to cultivate the imagination to construct and complete the building before working upon it with T square and triangle. Working on it with triangle and T square should modify or extend or intensify or test the conception – complete the harmonious adjustment of its parts, But if the original concept is lost as the drawing proceeds, throw all away and begin afresh. To throw away a concept entirely to make way for a fresh one – that is a faculty of the mind not easily cultivated. Few have that capacity. It is perhaps a gift – but may be attained by practice. What I am trying to express is that the plan must start as a truly creative matter and mature as such. All is won or lost before anything more tangible begins.
The several factors most important in making the plansn – after general purpose or scheme or ““project” are,
2nd – Materials.
3rd – Building methods.
5th – Articulation.
6th – Expression or Style.