What is a floor plan?
- It is a flat representation of only two measurements – the length and width (or depth) of an area or object as seen overhead. It is as though one were viewing the area from far up in the air, and all that could be seen is a flat, graphic representation of height, with everything flattened out.
The display person, like an architect or engineer, is a professional and should not be given to whims or fancies that will not come to terms with reality. He or she must communicate with coworkers, consult with buyers and fashion coordinators, and get construction done through the carpenters and printers before ever stepping into the window or onto the ledge. It takes planning, plotting, and programming. It takes preparation.
Just as architects work with blueprints and mechanical drawings to correct errors before they become full-grown and costly mistakes, the display person should also work with scale drawings of the areas for which he or she is responsible. The display person can place figures, fixtures, props, etc., onto a scale floor plan and, thereby, see what will and will not work in the allotted space. It is also possible, using these preliminary drawings, to estimate the amount of background or flooring material required; the sizes of the platforms or risers; the partitions, dividers, or screens that will be used. It is also possible to preplan the lighting requirements.
By planning and preparing properly, the investment of time, money, and effort will more than pay for itself.
When we speak of scale, we are referring to the relative proportion of one object to another. When we say something is “overscaled”, we mean it is too big, too overwhelming, and too dominant in relation to the objects around it. Relation is the keyword here. Scale, in a mechanical drawing or in the preparation of floor plans or models, refers to the proportion that is used by the designer of draftsperson to designate the future actual size.
If an architect is going to build on a plot measuring 100ft by 300ft, it would be absurd to paste up a single sheet of paper to that size, then lay it out on a football field and start to draw the foundation in the actual measurements. Instead, a scale is selected – a proportion – and the designer works on the assumption that each foot of actual construction will be presented on the drawing by 1/8 of an inch or ¼ of an inch, for example. The contractor or engineer looks at the corner of the designer’s finished drawing – in a special box usually found on the lower right-hand side of the drawing – in order to find the proportion or scale used in the drawing.
DRAWING A FLOOR PLAN
The display person should not only know how to read and interpret a floor plan or building plan, but should also be capable of drawing a plan – to scale – and with the special “hieroglyphics” used by architects, engineers, and designers. Today, the display person is often given a set of blueprints for a new store, or a revamped department, or the designated space for a shop-within-a-shop, and told to lay out the fixtures, counters, counter fixtures, furniture, etc., to be used, and/or asked to plan the aisles, the traffic flow, and the display areas. He or she must be able to render these ideas in scale, in a plan, and sometimes with an elevation, so that contractors and carpenters can finish the area.
By using a scaled floor plan, it is possible for the visual merchandiser/display person to experiment on paper, with platforms, fixtures, display cases, etc., of assorted sizes and shapes, without ever actually having to lift or push them.
READING A FLOOR PLAN
Basic Architectural Symbols
A. A heavy solid line (or two lines that are not filled in), indicates a structural, exterior wall. It is a part of the basic construction of the building. (This can also be a common wall that is shared with an adjacent building)
B. A solid line, thinner than...
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