First Conceptual Blender Building Study

I have 30+ years experience as an Architect designing and building numerous projects from many low rise commercial projects to high rise towers (four high rises I designed have been built). The last six months I have been working hard trying to learn Blender (in my last job I used SketchUp and $$$$Lumion). My main interest / experiment was to see whether or not Blender could be used as an Architectural Concept Design and presentation tool for medium size and larger scale commercial work. Now I am convinced that Blender will soon be ready and I hope to contribute as an advocate for the use of Blender in Architecture. Please note I am staying away from purely parametric or highly curvilinear designs at first because such work is extremely expensive to build (which means few clients) and are therefore not realistic for 98% of all architecture firms and/or projects.

Not typically recommended but I went from the mandatory “coffee cup and donut” directly to the attached high rise concept! This Blender study is based on a site test fit I did a long time ago, 32 office floors over 10 levels of parking. The building design has more to do with showing some of what is possible in Blender than anything else. The CONCAVE building sides (both axes), the patterned curved front, the curvilinear glass and truss frame canopy, and the asymmetrically convex/tapered deck screens would be hard to nearly impossible in SketchUp. I did have to learn first about Booleans, Nurbs, Tesselation, Tissue, Lattice Modifier, Curve Modifier etc. etc… which meant it took me forever to learn how and then do this (versus so much faster today).

I am posting this in the “works in progress” section because I have already done a couple of minor design improvements (love multi component tissue, makes options and alternates a breeze) which I will post soon in the “finished projects” section. Please note that even though I will pursue improving my renders that is not my main concentration at this time; after all my first high rise design that was built was “hand drawn!” and the presentations for a built 42 story residential tower were done with only SketchUp and Photoshop. FYI I am advanced level in Photoshop but I will not be post processing any of the views I will post here. My intention is to show primarily what can be done right out of the box. These presentations are “good enough” for showing preliminary studies to clients. In some projects professional renderers (like many whose truly amazing work appear in this forum) are later hired to produce marketing materials for approved designs and projects.

I plan to continue exploring Blender’s use in architectural design; hopefully if I can get my concept views where other architects can see them I can encourage more of them to try Blender. In that regard I have just started a Facebook “Architectural Blender Studies” page ( Architectural Blender Studies | Facebook ). https//

Please visit it to see a preview of some of my other studies I plan to post here in the near future. Any follows or likes would be appreciated!

1 Like