27 Cutaway Drawings That Show the Inner Workings of Buildings

By Attila Nagy on at

Cutaway or cross-section drawings are mostly just fancy residues of a long-gone era when engineering and architecture visualisation was based on hand-drawn images that were often closer to art than illustration.

Today, when mostly CAD and computer graphics rule the field, the following selection of images from the past seem so fascinating.

Section showing the interior of Wyld's Monster Globe, which stood in Leicester Square, London, from 1851 to 1861.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images


1974: An artist's impression showing of the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: Space Frontiers/Getty Images


1950: Diagram of a typical subway bomb shelter proposed for New York City in a bomb shelter program outlined in New York, by the Board of Transportation.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: AP


1968: Drawing of the 10x10 foot wind tunnel at the Glenn Research Center.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: NASA/Glenn Research Center


1955: the 16-foot high speed tunnel (HST) at the Langley Research Center.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: NASA/Langley Research Center


1968: Cutaway illustration of the Neutral Buoyancy Simulator (NBS) at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center


1969: Architect and city planner Oscar Newman's plan of a massive underground sphere beneath Manhattan.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: Ptak Science Books


Early 1960s: A family in their backyard underground bomb shelter.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images


1965: Wylfa Magnox nuclear power plant, Wylfa, Anglesey, UK.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: Nuclear Engineering International magazine


1959: An early space station concept drawing appeared in Space The New Frontier brochure produced by NASA.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: NASA


1942: Tank assembly lines.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: x-ray delta one


1950: Food market.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: x-ray delta one


Ice-cream factory, 1951.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: x-ray delta one


1952: Fred Freeman's impression of a lunar base.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: x-ray delta one


1950s: Crossing the River Mersey, Liverpool.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: x-ray delta one


 

1950s: Atomic power plant of the future imagined by Ray Pioch.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: x-ray delta one


1962: The Space Needle, Seattle.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: x-ray delta one


1936: Palace of the Soviets, Moscow, concept by Boris Iofan.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: Glen.H


1989: Piccadilly Circus cutaway, London Transport Museum. Illustration by Gavin Dunn.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: magpie-moon


1903: Draft artwork for the Naval Cathedral in Kronstadt by Vasily and Georgy Kosyakov.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: Wikimedia Commons


1859: Design of Chersones Cathedral of St. Vladimir by David Grimm. East-west cutaway.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: Wikimedia Commons


1830: "Aerial cutaway view of the Bank of England from the south-east" – a watercolour by Joseph Michael Gandy, courtesy of the Trustees of Sir John Soane's Museum.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: ArchiPress


1983: The Metro Rail station at 5th and Hill, Los Angeles.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: Metro Transportation Library and Archive


1983: View of a proposed Red Line station at Wilshire and La Brea, Los Angeles.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: Metro Transportation Library and Archive


1958: Plan of BBC television centre, London.

27 Cutaway Drawings That Show All The Secrets Of Buildings

Image: tvstudiohistory.co.uk


Top image: the Dungeness B nuclear reactor in Kent. Nuclear Engineering International magazine