Illustrating a vision on paper it is a big part of the designer’s job. Illustrative drawings are typically called Conceptual Plans and can also be refered to as Preliminary Master Plans. These plans are drawn to scale and should clearly identify the elements of the new landscape. They are usually rendered in color to help clarify the over all intent of the design for the client. It makes me sad that hand drawn illustrative plans have given way to the sterile – dare I say cheesy – machine made graphics that are so common these days.
The Concept or Master Plan is usually the first design drawing (maybe the only one) that the client will see. It is from this point in the design process that decisions about the final product are made. Often the designer will provide more than one option or alternative. Although the concept plan includes all elements of the new landscape, it is still general. For example, plant materials are usually drawn as generalized masses in a concept plan. In the final working drawings, a planting plan will show each individual plant, and those plants would be called out by name (both botanic & common), with the recommended size and total quantity for each species. In a nutshell, the Concept Drawing or Preliminary Master Plan is intended to communicate the design intent. The purpose of final working drawings is to provide enough information to build that design.
ELEVATION: Sometimes the client needs more information than a plan view drawing can provide. An elevation shows the area as if you were looking at it straight on. The concepts below are very detailed and are from a project that was fairly involved. The drawings below, in elevation and section views more clearly communicate the design intent for the client.
SECTION: This means the view is as if you cut a slice through the design and viewed it from the side, as in the above example. It can be helpful in identifying the different levels in the design and further clarifies the concept. After presentation of the Concepts Drawings, the client has a chance to think about the design. In the case of the example above we decided to forget the upper level seating area and simply put in terraced planters. Here is what that drawing looked like.