We have published a new sheet set. Still work in progress of course, but quite a step up from last time. I have started to add some images in the leftover spaces to link the BIM world to the everyday experience of buildings we inhabit.

Considerable energy spent adjusting dimensions based on information received from site. Difficult to spot the difference without doing an overlay, but some details make more sense now, like the quoins at the short return where the porches abut the nave.

On the ground floor the pews have been developed a bit further. Still some uncertainty here, and there have been changes in modern times, particularly in the area of the choir and pulpit. Step one is to model the fit-out as it was in Hawksmoor’s day, as far as that is known. Then we can look at showing modern schemes as options.
The external stone steps at the main entrance, were shown as curved in the original reference plan that I had scanned from a book that I bought many years ago. But they are not. This and other discrepancies in that hand-drawn plan have now been corrected.

The columns were inserted from my standard classical library with some adjustment to the plinths. These are double-nested planting families so that the height can be easily adjusted to suit the project. Unfortunately, the planting category is not “cuttable” so you don’t see what you expect in plan views. Normally you would see a symbolic representation in plan for trees etc. Also the capitals I had were Corinthian, which looks OK at first glance but the scrolls are rather different from the Ionic type used in Hawksmoor’s Composite order. Note there is only one row of acanthus leaves, rather than the two tiers normally found in Corinthian (short in front, taller behind)

The sheet set continues to develop in parallel with the model. This is different to how we used to work when drawing by hand. Typically, we would complete the drawings “sheet by sheet”. Of course there was a certain amount of rework, and we might add annotations and dimensions across the whole sheet set as a secondary process.
But with BIM. The sheets develop gradually, and much editing of the model is actually done “on the sheet” with multiple views visible. There are those who forecast the end of drawing sheets, who want to build “directly from the model”. That’s fine, but it would be very strange to only have a single 3d view. Creating plans and sections with different visibility settings is part of the process of understanding how a building works. Whether you are designing a new building, or interpreting a historical gem, well organized sheets are process of decision making and discovery.

To solve the “cutting” issue with the round columns I nested them inside a Structural Column family. Now they cut nicely in plan views. The square pilasters require more effort, because they don’t have entasis, unlike the “standard versions” that I used as placeholders in my first roughing out. So I rebuilt these, restricting the use of double-nested planting to the capitals only. This family was copied and adapted to create the small partial pilasters that fit into the corners.
With the north and south porches now developed in detail, the stairs sheet has been updated. There was space for a couple of photos, so I popped them onto the sheet to add a bit of real-life texture.

Ryan’s work on the organ and the altar piece are crucial to the overall impact of the model. It’s beginning to come to life as a space where worship has occurred for almost 300 years. If only we could be transported back inside St Annes one Sunday morning in say 1760 to observe the congregation, hear the organ and the hymn singing, note the appearance of domestic servants, warehouse labourers, ships captains, timber merchants, doctors & lawyers … did they sit in segregated fashion according to class and common culture?
If only we could animate the model with people arriving through the 3 main entrances and taking their seats, pausing to chat, sharing in a common culture that has largely drifted into the mists of time.


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