This Established Italian Designer Recreates Iconic Architectural Masterpieces

Believing that “good projects have to be clear and powerful at first sight”, Italian graphic designer Andrea Minini has produced some of his finest work yet in this collection of monochrome designs of the world’s most renowned buildings, executed in Andrea’s signature moiré style.

Heydar Aliyev Centre – Arch: Zaha Hadid

Millau Viaduct – Arch: Norman Foster

Sydney Opera House – Arch: Jørn Utzon

Commissioned to produce illustrations of 13 structural masterpieces from around the globe, Architectural illustrations – Progress Profiles is a series of precise line drawings that contrast with a grainy black background, creating artistic blueprints of recognisable landmarks in some of the world’s major cities.

The collection recreates the skeletal form of the Louvre, Sydney Opera House, and Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, among others, originally designed by world-class architects Ieoh Ming Pei, Jørn Utzon and Frank Gehry respectively.

The Dominion Building – Arch: Zaha Hadid

Beijing National Stadium (bird’s nest) – Arch: Herzog & de Meuron

Louvre Pyramid – Arch: Ieoh Ming Pei

Andrea’s latest project is a step in a different direction for the Novora-based illustrator, whose recent projects have had an underlying nature theme, including his 2015 project Predators and Preys.

The Plus: So how did this collaboration come about?
Andrea Minini:
It’s for a catalogue. The agency contacted me because they thought that my style could work nicely. They suggested several buildings, and I chose the ones that worked best with my style, but I was also free to suggest buildings independently: for instance, Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Center was a suggestion of mine.

Marina Bay Sands – Arch: Moshe Safdie

TP: How did you go about re-imagining the illustrations?
It’s a process of synthesis, of “less is more”. The hardest part is when you have to apply the “less is more” principle to a building that has been designed using the same approach!

Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao) – Arch: Frank Gehry

TP: You have a very strong, minimalist style – how did this develop?
What I try to do is create something complex by using simple elements: lines, dots, and so on. From simplicity to complexity. That’s challenging, but cool. I have no particular method to do this: sometimes I create the illustrations from nothing, in other case I start from a picture. I usually don’t sketch, or at least I just sketch the main lines of an illustration, just to get the point of view. But most of the time I start working directly on the computer.

Burj Khalifa – Arch: Adrian Smith, Marshall Strabala, George J. Efstathiou, William F. Baker

TP: So what programme do you use at this stage?
It’s all about vector illustrations. I do it all using Adobe illustration, and most of the time I use the blend tool.
Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center – Arch: Renzo Piano

TP: Why is it that you’re drawn time and again to monochrome work?
Actually this work wasn’t originally in black and white. All illustrations were set on a nice black and blue gradient. It was a cool solution, but not a decision of mine, so I decided to publish the illustrations in black and white, because I wanted to focus the attention just on the illustrations.

Kaufmann Residence (Fallingwater House) – Arch: Frank Lloyd Wright

TP: Are there any other buildings that catch your eye, that suit your illustration style?
uhm… Train stations!

Guggenheim Museum (NYC) – Arch: Frank Lloyd Wright

Progress Profiles HQ