Construction Drawings | Edition Topoi

Construction Drawings


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Excellence Cluster 264 Topoi, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut


Aphrodisias, ancient walls, construction drawings, architectural geometry




Construction Drawings, 2016, Gerd Graßhoff, Gordon Fischer, Edition Topoi, DOI: 10.17171/2-1


In Antiquity, architectural drawings were in most cases geometrical construction drawings incised into flat stone surfaces which were used by craftsmen, architects or master builders for the construction of architectural structures.

The present collection comprises ancient Greek construction drawings in the form of metrically measured data.


In the Hellenistic and Roman period, many buildings and material objects were constructed using structural geometrical specifications. Ancient sundials were built using basic geometrical forms of very few construction types taking also into account the astronomical dimensions.

In architectural drawings, comparable proportions can be found. The tower of the winds merges all these geometrical principles of construction.

The construction drawings of this collection comprise geometrical drafts used for the construction of buildings. They differ from simple geometrical forms in that they present the general layout of the lines indicating objects and geometrical areas.

Their geometrical dimensions are constructed according to the principles of proportional relations and were implemented in – sometimes very complex – work processes in which artefacts of the original objects were constructed. Construction drawings from the pillars of Didyma, which were discovered by Lothar Haselberger, serve as a paradigmatic model for these architectural drawings.

Further information

Haselberger, Lothar, 1999. Appearance and Essence - Refinements of Classical Architecture: Curvature. University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia.

Research Group

Gerd Graßhoff, Gordon Fischer