Robert Cox featured in the latest edition of the Sketchbook from Architects Journal

June 7, 2024

Read article here

The AJ’s Sketchbook series is a showcase of sketches and concept drawings by architects and designers. Today’s sketches are by Robert Cox, a director at ADAM Architecture

My father taught me to draw and compose architectural drawings in pen and ink. I remember always smudging the ink with my hand and the countless struggles making the rOtring pens work.

Today my drawing takes on a different style, as it is drawn in pencil and focuses on shading, softer linework and representation of materials.

I always wanted to design my own work and realised the easiest method was to produce my own speculative house designs that I could publicise and experiment on.

This developed into a slight obsession, when I was spending most weekends drawing numerous country houses. I have piles of house designs in a plans chest and I am slowly framing each one so they take on a new life behind glass.

Before I put a pencil to paper, I’ll study the style and features of other buildings in the immediate locality. From this I will start sketching, sometimes in front of clients or working away solo at my drawing board.


Starting at a broad level and working into the detail, I focus on four main factors: materials; fenestration, including doors and door surrounds; the general composition; and architectural hierarchy referenced from the local style.

I always try to work with the local character of an area, but through reimagination and subtle changes to details; the aim is to create an architecture that is the next chapter in the development of the local style.

My advice for young architects is to draw, record and observe. Whatever your style preference, the best way to learn what looks right is by getting out and seeing.