INVERSION : An Axonometric Journey into Architectural Representation and the Discovery of the Underground

Cyanotype Image 1

Architectural representation plays a crucial role in transforming abstract concepts and ideas into spatial notions by examining the role of inversion to reconsider architectural expression - challenging approaches to create a deeper understanding of spatial relationships and inherent qualities.

This thesis seeks to investigate architectural representation using the concept of inversion; the objective is to explore possibilities and analyse the potential effects of how these methods of approach might impact our understanding and interpretation of architecture. The core of the research focuses on the complexities of the underground space, often an obscured space that aids the functions of the architecture above. Employing the concept of inversion and using axonometric drawing as a design method, the aim is to shed light on the hidden underground spaces and spatial characteristics. By exploring the subterranean world through the lens of inversion, the research hopes to better understand the spatial qualities and their potential implications for our design methodologies.

The study goes beyond the mere accuracy of the axonometric drawing type, incorporating atmospheric elements in its illustrations. The process embarks on a curious exploration of light, space, and perception. Rather than focusing on precision within an axonometric drawing and true representation of form, the study employs quantitative and qualitative atmospheric elements of soft and hard materiality for a more integrative depiction of spatial geometry.

Each experiment is identified through inversion by inverting contrasting ideas of above/ below, light/shadow, and reveal/conceal to create a ‘final’ architectural design. These drawings act as records of this inversion, exploring how reversing positions can lead to a potential transformation.

Together, these research segments amount to a cumulative architectural narrative from understanding inversion and axonometric drawing to an in-depth investigation of underground spaces, light traces, and axonometric models. As such, this study tests the boundaries of architectural representation.

  • INVERSION 1 - Above / Below
A series of Laser-cut models and black-and-white imagery to delve into the intricacies of underground spaces. These subsequent experiments revealed the importance of the qualities of underground space (giving it light). Ideas of extending and borrowing light from above to below, as well as borrowing darkness from below to above.
  • INVERSION 2 - light / Shadow
Light and Shadow
An assortment of drawings showcasing the interplay of light and shadow, through materiality and scale. The experiment of cyanotype allows for the inversion of light and shadow as embedded drawings using UV exposure (drawing with light). Experiments with plaster is then invented with fabric, resulting in a softness and a clearer bodily relationship – typically not associated with axonometric drawings.
  • INVERSION 3- Conceal / Reveal
Conceal and Reveal Model
In the modeling experiments, the consistent angle of projection has been thoroughly tested, incorporating techniques like slicing and light projections.
Conceal and Reveal Drawing
The series shows the examination to show or hide of elements, to extend, or compress, and drawing with light or with shadow have been explored. The axonometric drawing can be in a constant state of manipulation through decisions around concealing and revealing. These drawings move between worm’s eye view and bird’s eye view in the drawings, affecting the design process


The two structures of the K’Rd CRL station are intended as slices of light and darkness as the user moves from above ground to the underground. The buildings are supplementary accessways and slip in alongside the proposed entry and exit points. Above/Below, Light/shadow and conceal/reveal are embedded in the drawings and in the design.

Axonometric drawing of train station
Detail Train station
Axonometric drawing of Pitt Street
Exploded Axonometric drawing of Pitt Street
The integration of cyanotype and underground has resulted in drawing with light, not as a form of drawing done by hand but by the architecture. Using the thresholds of light (windows, doors and voids) the building paints the qualities as drawings and displays of time. The mapping of light through the inversion of vivid blue (cyanotype) and the raw material of the building. The light becomes dark, and the shadows become bright.
Detail Images
Presenation Image