Hugh Ferris’ skyscrapers may have been the most influential drawings of his time; every big city has a structure whose architect couldn’t help wondering what this new project would look like if Ferris sketched it. 




Literal translation of Manhattan zoning ordinances, Hugh Ferriss, 1916

Hugh Ferriss‘ renderings, at their best, are some of the most evocative examples of American art of the previous century. Perhaps among his best known works is a series of sketches which show the development of form as it responds to building set-back requirements in zoning codes. Organic Processes in design development are here evident, as crystals seem to morph into buildings, their forms the logical result of the maximization of available light for the city below.