As the first case study, Stirling is perhaps the most conventional in some ways. What is important to note, however, is the way in which axonometric drawing informed his architecture.

Many of the drawings by Stirling and his office were produced in axonometric projection, perhaps characterised by a virtuosity with the worm's-eye or reverse-angle axonometric, demonstrating complex and compound geometry and showing the interior volume in more detail.

Such drawings are not only difficult to produce, but they are challenging to read as well. The main thesis of this chapter is that the drawing convention was one driver for the formal characteristics of James Stirling's work. Redrawing not only completed buildings but also sheets of sketches showing serial variations on a theme, the chapter identifies motifs and explores the relationship of geometry to axonometric drawing.

This chapter considers the role of axonometric drawing as a kind of model or maquette equivalent on paper, having practical benefits over the model, it often gives an objectifying and distant view of the architectural form. Stirling subverts this most successfully through the reverse-angle drawing which is more than merely demonstrating skilled draughtsmanship, but a genuine and rigorous exploration of space.