Cities of Artificial Excavation, Madrid

Cities of Artificial Excavation, Madrid

Part of


  • Peter Eisenman (architect)
  • Peter Eisenman (creator)
  • Peter Eisenman (archive creator)


Cities of Artificial Excavation, Madrid

Dates of creation


Level of archival description

File 108

Extent and Medium

  • Approximately 19 drawings
  • 23 photographic materials
  • 2 models

Scope and Content

The project series documents the executed project for Cites of Artificial Excavation, Madrid, Spain. Material in was produced between 1994 and 1995. In 1993, the CCA invited Peter Eisenman to design an installation for the exhibition 'Cities of Artificial Excavation: The Work of Peter Eisenman, 1978-1988'. The exhibition was presented at the CCA from 2 March to 29 May 1994.

The drawings and models in this project series document the development of Eisenman's installation design from late 1993 through March 1994, as well as the various processes used by the architect in his investigation of the 'Cities of Artificial Excavation'. Eisenman uses a computer to superimpose, distort and multiply a Greek cross, while simultaneously modifying its plan and section. The computer enables the architect to generate geometric figures that are extremely difficult to produce by traditional means. It also constitutes a new phase in Eisenman's research into the depersonalization of the creative process, a central concern of his 'Cities of Artificial Excavation' (1978-1988). The Greek cross was one of the elements of the grid developed for the 'Museum of Artifical Excavation', and part of the project he submitted for the Internationale Bauausstellung in Berlin (1980-1986).

The project series contains material by Eisenman's office including material for schemes A and B, the first and second proposals for the installation, as well as material for the exhibition installation. Material for scheme A includes conceptual drawings (DR1994:0030:001-005), hardline design development drawings (DR1994:0030:006-011), design development computer-aided drawings (DR1994:0030:012-027), and fully developed drawings (DR1994:0030:028-034).

Material for scheme B, a design which is closer to the final project, includes hardline drawings (DR1994:0030:035-044) and computer-aided drawings (DR1994:0030:045-069). Material for the exhibition installation includes: computer-aided drawings (DR1994:0030:070-196) which were generated to construct models for the installation, notably a preliminary model (DR1994:0035) and the final model (DR1994:0036) which was used for planning the exhibition layout; hardline drawings which are the final drawings for the installation (DR1994:0030:262-265); a preliminary exhibition layout (DR1994:0030:280); and Iris colour prints of computer-aided conceptual axonometrics (DR1994:0030:281-282).

Three working models show different stages of the design development (DR1994:0031 - DR1994:0034). Also included are photographs of the completed installation by Richard Pare (DR1994:0037:001-028), fragments of the installation preserved after its demolition (DR1994:0038:001-0028), and paint samples (DR1994:0038:035-037).

The project series contains design development drawings, working drawings, photographic materials, publication drawings, reference drawings, textual records, and models.

Reference Number



Madrid Spain

Language of material

Documents are in English.

General note

  • Material in this file has been processed at a preliminary level. Consult curator for further information.

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