Building upon our Top 10 Apps for Architects, this collection brings together some of the best quality and most valued technical apps for designing, sketching, calculating and collaborating. Although the majority of those featured here are designed solely for the iOS platform, every time we collate lists such as these it’s clear that more and more high quality apps for the Android and Windows platforms are being developed. From condensed versions of large scale software packages that architects and designers use every day, to blank canvases to scratch ideas down onto, you might just find an app that could improve the way you work.
The Mauritshuis, a Dutch 17th century city palace in The Hague, will reopen this week following a large scale renovation and extension designed by Hans van Heeswijk with servicing and fire engineering undertaken by Arup. Similar to Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, which reopened after a ten year restoration and remodelling in 2013, the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery exhibits one of the finest collections of Dutch Golden Age paintings including Johannes Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring. Alongside a large scale renovation, Hans van Heeswijk have also extended the galleries with new exhibition spaces, an auditorium and educational spaces.
In this article, originally appearing on the Australian Design Review as “Tolerance and Customisation: a Question of Value“, Michael Parsons argues that the complex forms made possible by digital fabrication may soon be victims of their own popularity, losing their intrinsic value as they become more common and the skill required to make them decreases.
The idea of tolerance in architecture has become a popular point of discussion due to the recent mainstreaming of digital fabrication. The improvements in digital fabrication methods are allowing for two major advancements: firstly, the idea of reducing the tolerance required in construction to a minimum (and ultimately zero) and secondly, mass customisation as a physical reality. Digital fabrication has made the broad-brushstroke approach to fabrication tolerance obsolete and now allows for unique elements and tolerance specific to each element. The accuracy that digital fabrication affords the designer, allows for the creation of more complex forms with greater ease and control. So far, this has had great and far reaching implications for design.
Read on to find out how this ease of form-making could diminish the success of complex forms.
Trimble Buildings Group have recently released SketchUp 2014, the latest version of its 3D modelling platform for architects, engineers, design and construction professionals. With “more than 30 million unique activations in the past year”, SketchUp is claimed to be the most widely used 3D modeling software in the world today. The latest incarnation of the simple tool features a new 3D Warehouse and some interesting integrations into the world of Building Information Modelling (BIM).
This article on Line/Shape/Space by Jeff Yoders discusses how BIM can be used to good effect by bringing different professionals together early on in a design project. By utilizing the shared BIM model over the cloud – or even by providing a dedicated “Computer-Aided Visual Environment” or “BIM CAVE” (seriously) – clashes can be detected early, design priorities can be more balanced, and ultimately the time and cost requirements of a project can be significantly reduced. You can read the full article here.
GRAPHISOFT’s latest iPhone and iPad App, a companion to ArchiCAD, has just been released. The heart of the technology, designed for easy BIM project viewing, is the “Hyper-model,” which enables the full integration of 2D and 3D plans. This makes navigation not only more intuitive, but a magnitude smoother and faster than most other construction-related model or documentation viewer mobile apps.
Get a more detailed look at the technology in action, after the break…
This article, by Klaus Philipsen, FAIA originally appeared on his blog Community Architect.
As BIM (Building Information Modeling) slowly finds broader acceptance in the architecture and engineering of individual buildings, perhaps it is time to consider the next scale: the city. Just like virtual models help us design and understand buildings and embed information, virtual city simulations could have an application in real city planning, allowing us to go from “flat” GIS to three dimensional information modeling that includes terrain, infrastructure, buildings and public spaces. Could virtual cities be the answer to “smart cities“? Find out after the break.
Our friends at Arup Connect spoke with Matt Williams, a leader of the façade engineering group in Arup’s Americas region and one serious sketcher, about the role of sketching in the digital age. The following interview, originally titled “To Sketch or Not to Sketch,” discusses how sketching enables communication and how our over-reliance on technology isn’t really as efficient as we may think.
One of the things we’ve been trying to develop in the façades group is people who can relate to the architect, developing and responding to the key architectural requirements. Having come from an architectural background myself, historically there seems to be a bit of a conflict, if that’s the right word, between architects and engineers. There shouldn’t be, though. Everyone wants the same thing at the end of the day: a successful project.
Read the rest of the interview, after the break…
There are many ways that the architecture profession has lead the way in environmentally friendly design – but when it comes to the process of creating buildings themselves, the industry works its way through huge amounts of paper. Frank Gehry, through his offshoot technology company Gehry Technologies, is aiming to change that.
The company has recently announced that its GTeam software, which has so far been available for less than a year, will now make use of Box, a cloud based storage system that is well suited to large files associated with complex 3D models that are often required in designing buildings.
Read more about Gehry Technology’s new software collaboration after the break
This brief history of BIM (“the software that has disrupted traditional methods of representation and collaboration in architecture”) comes to us thanks to our friend at the Architecture Research Lab, Michael S Bergin.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a term that has become ubiquitous in the design and construction fields over the past 20 years, but where did it come from? The story is rich and complex with players from the United States, Western Europe and the Soviet Block competing to create the perfect architectural software solution to disrupt 2-Dimensional CAD workflows.
Find out the beginnings of BIM, after the break…
HOK Chief Executive Officer Patrick MacLeamy, FAIA, explains why the term “BIM” doesn’t convey the real promise of building information modeling over time. In this video, MacLeamy breaks down the mega acronym “BIM-BAM-BOOM!” and addresses the real promise of this new approach across three basic phases of a building’s life.
It all begins with BIM; the architect uses 3-D modeling to investigate options and test building performance early on in order to optimize the building’s design. The design is then handed off to the contractor who streamlines the building process with BAM (Building Assembly Modeling), which allows for a significant decrease in construction costs. Once complete, BAM is turned over the owner and becomes BOOM (building owner operator model). This allows the owner to manage the building over time and ensure optimized building performance throughout its entire life cycle.
The real promise of “BIM-BAM-BOOM!” is “better design, better construction, better operation”.
Collaborators: Kendle Design Collaborative + Robert Morris Design Studio
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Project Year: 2011
Project Cost: $4.1M
Client: City of Phoenix
Interior Design: Robert Morris Design Studio
Contractor: Brycon Construction
Mechanical & Plumbing Engineer: Henderson Engineers Inc.
Electrical Engineer: Henderson Engineers Inc.
Structural Engineer: Paragon Structural Design Inc.
Civil Engineer: David Evans & Associates
Architecture has always treasured the ideal of the lone creative genius but the reality we all work with today is that architecture is all about the team. Even Wright collaborated with the construction team and Gaudi based much of what he did on information learned from the trades.
Architecture, as always, involves a slew of stakeholders – not only the designers but also owners, operators, builders, colleagues, and partners working on various jobs like structural, HVAC, MEP or sustainability consulting.
Teamwork is the way of the world, so why should our profession be any different? And hey, whatever you think of Twitter and Facebook, this is the era of social communication. Why shouldn’t we get in on the action?
Even while collaborating, we can be architectural icons. We can still maintain our creative integrity. We might even do better work, make more money, and have more time for ourselves.
If you do want to collaborate effectively, start with a Building Information Modeling (BIM) software tool. This gives you not only the basic geometry, but packs spatial relationships, lighting, geography, quantities and properties of building components into the 3D model. The richer the foundation, the more powerful the collaboration.
Building Information Modeling is quickly becoming the back bone of the Architectural, Engineering, Construction and Facility Management industries. As the transition progresses and projects are designed and constructed using BIM tools various methodologies and techniques have been developed.
The intent of this competition is not to review the appearance or special aspects of a particular design but instead the process and methodologies used to design, coordinate and construct the project both digital and physically.
More information on categories, submission, schedule and fees in the competition’s official website.
During the past AIA Convention we sat down with John Bacus from Google Sketchup to discuss how this tool can help architects on their workflows, with a tool that is easy to use, fast and extensible.
We also had the chance to talk with Phil Bernstein, faculty at Yale and currently the Vice President of AEC Industry and Relations for Autodesk. Given his background and current position, I immediately scheduled an interview with him as I wanted an architect on the industry to tell us more on how BIM is helping out architects in several ways.
Phil was very clear and precise on this, and the idea of this interview is to help our readers to make a decision on adopting BIM solutions, and also to help architecture students to see how learning to use a BIM software can help them in their future job seek.
As an example on the importance of BIM, I asked early this morning on Twitter what our readers think on adopting BIM and if arch students feel like they need to learn this before graduating. Here are some answers:
- eclosson @archdaily ; ive used REVIT 4 3yrs…valuable tool 4 small firms, wrkn on athletic complex in Romania w/ team of 6-8, only possible w/BIM
- roddimo @archdaily BIM is inevitable and you better get on the wagon if u want the next job. Clients are now asking for it
- cvandevere @archdaily BIM is a process. There are a number of tools/programs that can assist in that process and it’s implementation. #bim #revit
- ryansinger @archdaily I use it and like it. For simple projects line drawing works and you can use your hand instead of CAD
- berntstenberg @archdaily Re: BIM–not yet. Perhaps it’ll be standard someday, but I think only for big projects. We do res. remodels–still draw faste …
- archop @archdaily @ my firm economy put halt on moving to BIM, but it is inevitable. Also the community College I teach at will begin offering i
- DanielCon @archdaily I have never worked on a project where BIM made the process easier or smoother. I’m sure everyone will have to learn it but why?
- Numaru @archdaily I’m an architecture student in Korea. Even thought my class mates don’t know BIM well, we feel pressure of BIM.
- Winter_Street @archdaily we bite the bullet – here’s our recent blog post on the investment and rewards [of BIM] http://bit.ly/13u9NA