The new frontier in design and documentation
Architectural design has traditionally been performed with a pencil and sheets of paper. Most designs still start this way, but when the sketches need to start taking a more definitive shape they need to go to CAD (Computer Aided Design). CAD allows precise details and easy alterations. But typical CAD is lacking in it's presentation abilities.
We pioneered 3D architecture, CAD and models when CAD was in it's infancy and now many architects and designers use 3D architecture extensively. Still, not all have embraced this technique and this is mainly due to a lack of understanding by the older architects who cant see the obvious advantages or don't have the fresher graduates that have been trained extensively in the technique.
It is now possible to design, present and document an entire building of any size or shape in complete 3D. Clients get a better visual representation of their design, the plans are more accurate and many construction issues are resolved early by the model as though is was in real life.
Pioneers of 3D Architecture
People knew Steve Bell as a designer, mainly in the luxury housing field. What many people don’t know is that over the years Steve has dropped out of design and moved into the 3D field. It was a natural progression considering that he was creating virtual models of his designs and creating animations of them before most people even knew the technology existed. ArchiCAD served him then and it still does today.
“So many people ask if ArchiCAD is an overkill for what we do. They all seem to think that buildings and rendering should be done in something like Studio Max, or that for just structural 3D we should drop back to something like AutoCAD. What they don’t understand is that the same toolset and workflow that we used for architectural design and documentation is also the most advanced modelling system for architecture available”
Steve’s company, Archiform 3D, models all structural forms and hard landscaping in ArchiCAD and uses an in-house developed advanced set of parametric objects to accelerate the process not just from the beginning but through any architectural revisions.
“It’s not just the speed boost that we get when we start a job. We know for a fact that there will be revisions as our clients are often designing right up to the actual hand over date. This is where we get one of the largest boosts in speed – the ease in making changes. The parametric abilities and pure object orientated workflow means we are capable of fast alterations that reflect perfectly in the 3D architectural model. It allows us to do something that few of our competitors can, which is building a scene rather than just one view”
Archiform 3D promotes scene building extensively through it’s website, offering significantly more views and animations per scene due to the nature of it’s production process. ArchiCAD lies at the heart of this workflow, with Archiform 3D using it exclusively.
“ArchiCAD understands what a building is, always has, always will. When people ask us whether we are spending money on an overkill they should just look at what we do and then ask whether we could afford to not have ArchiCAD”
Steve's leanings towards ArchiCAD are obvious and it forms a strong background.
3D architecture and simulation is no longer the way of the future, it is the way of now. Now it is only a matter of extending what data can be extracted from virtual models.