This Man Is Drawing Every Single Building In London

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 10 months ago
This Man Is Drawing Every Single Building In London
Drawing of the Tower of London

As of March 2023, Jack Hines has drawn 0.037128% of London.

It is fair to say that the artist — who has a masters in architecture — has a way to go yet with his ambition to commit every single building within Greater London to paper, in ink.

But don't underestimate his dedication: "This may take a lifetime... but I am determined to undertake this endeavour until all of London has been drawn," Hines says confidently.

A pretty town house
A house in Kingston.

How does a project like this even come about?

Hines tells Londonist that he wanted to challenge himself creatively, and that he liked the idea of creating an archive of London as seen through his eyes over a lifetime: "London has a rich architectural history and I want to capture that through my artwork."

The artist posing in front of the Eye on the Thames
Jack Hines is drawing every single building in Greater London.

When he started out on the project, the Kent-based artist focused on landmark buildings — and those that caught his eye visiting the capital. As the project has developed, he's had commissions from homeowners, and the likes of Croydon FC, for whom he recently drew a picture of their stadium. It's created a richer, more honest library of drawings, capturing the diapason of London's architecture.

His favourite drawing so far, though, is a stone cold classic: Big Ben:"It's iconic and I had never drawn it in such great detail before."

Drawing of a stand at Croydon FC
Jack Hines was recently commissioned to draw a stand at Croydon FC, in tribute drawing to Andy Hillburn, the Club Secretary. The drawing will be hung in the club's bar which will be named after Hillburn.

If you're wondering about tube stations, yes, Hines has those on his radar too: "In between commissions I'm working on the Underground stations, there's 272 in total, I've so far drawn three."

Far from being rudimentary sketches bashed out in 20 minutes, Hines' drawings are the works of a talented draughtsman. "Drawings take from a couple of days to an entire week to complete," he tells Londonist, "It varies greatly depending on the scale and complexity of the building."

A drawing of Big Ben

Aside from the incredible amount of bricks and mortar Hines wants to capture in ink, there is another issue: "I haven't been able to find an accurate number of buildings in London," he admits. Instead, once he has completed a drawing, Hines calculates its area on Google Earth, adds this to the total area of the other buildings he's drawn, then divides it by the total Greater London area. Hence his current 0.037128%.

Drawing of a church tower
St Dunstan in the East.

Mathematically it may be — shall we say quixotic — for Hines to complete his task, especially with new buildings sprouting all the time. But if he continues with the verve he's started out with, his legacy will be a rich record of the smorgasbord of London's architecture, one which jumps from medieval churches, to high-rises which — as I write this — are yet to be a twinkle in the architect's eye.

Check out more of Jack's London drawings, and buy or commission one on his website

Last Updated 05 June 2023