Posts tagged with "Renderings":

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Here’s what Apple’s big announcement offers to architects

Today Apple launched its latest watch, TV, and iPhone series at the company's new Cupertino, California campus, designed by Foster + Partners.

One of the unveiled gadgets, a $999 device dubbed the iPhone X, features a larger screen and a whole host of fancy features that befit its high price tag. Almost like the Apple Watch, the new iPhone can be charged with magnetic induction and employs face recognition to unlock itself—there's no home button. With better cameras, the phones have the optimal hardware for augmented reality, a useful technology for designers and one that Apple has been keen to refine. You don't have to be a well-compensated tech bro to get in on the fun, either: cheaper phones in the iPhone 8 line were also launched today for those with less money to spend.

On all models, the Camera app uses machine learning to analyze lighting conditions and adjust the image accordingly. For graphic communicators, there will also be animated emojis, which use your facial movements to turn static icons into cartoons.

The stakes for the rollout are high. Since its debut ten years ago, Apple has sold more than 1.2 billion iPhones, and despite its comparably high price tag, the series' sales rank second only to phones from electronics manufacturer Samsung.

With all the tech-talk, what do architects and designers need to know about this new roll-out?

First, iOS 11, the new operating system, will allow designers to draw with the Apple Pencil on the iPadPro with greater ease.

But there's even bigger news. The OS now comes with ARKit, Apple's foray into augmented reality. Introduced in June, ARKit allows developers to churn out augmented reality apps using simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), a technology similar to the one that powers Pokémon Go. The key difference is that SLAM recognizes and scales objects relative to their environment, which is great for gaming but also provides the foundation for spatial analytic tools that are sure to be a huge boon to architects. Users will be able to upgrade to the new OS on September 19.

Developers for the AEC and design industries are bullish on the potential of these new features. Speaking with The Architect's Newspaper (AN), Anna Kenoff, co-creator of Morpholio (a suite that includes drawing app Trace and Board for moodboarding) called the new tools a "home run" for designers. A "drag and drop" feature will make it easier to access files and transfer them between programs, and the improved Pencil tool, she said, "will allow architects to work fluidly and precisely with their hands. It's making tedious processes easier because you're doing them by hand again." The latest versions of Morpholio's products will debut concurrently with iOS 11.
Below, Kenoff shared three other apps for architects that will work great with the new operating system:
Power-rendering app Procreate's biggest update yet will be released next week. And you don't have to shell out hundreds of dollars annually to access its graphics capabilities: The app costs just $5.99.
The newest version of image-editing app Affinity Photo features full HDR merge support and 360-degree image editing. As a bonus, Kenoff said it's easier to use than Photoshop because of its ease of use with the Pencil.
Shaper 3D is a 3D modeling program for massing models faster, and it's the first professional 3D CAD that runs on an iPad Pro.
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Rendering LOL: How architects are absurdly using Calder sculptures

Why do so many architects use Alexander Calder sculptures in their renderings, even when the works have nothing to do with the institution or project depicted? The Calder Foundation has been tracking this phenomenon, and the results are featured in the slideshow above.  A new exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York explores mobiles—kinetic sculptures in which carefully balanced components reveal their own unique systems of movement—created by American sculptor Alexander Calder from 1930 until 1968, eight years before his death. Running through October 23, the exhibition features almost 40 sculptures, including three that served as models for possible architectural commissions. In addition, Alexander S. C. Rower, who is the sculptor’s grandson and head of the Calder Foundation, will bring one of three motorized maquettes Calder created as proposals for the 1939 New York World’s Fair to the Whitney later this summer for a temporary viewing and activation.
Other Calder works on display that were designed for architectural projects include Octopus and The Helices, both made in 1944 as part of a series of bronze works Calder envisioned as 40-foot monuments and created for an International Style architectural project proposed by Wallace K. Harrison. Interestingly, more recently, many well-established architects have used Calder’s works to illustrate renderings of their own designs, often without the Calder Foundation’s permission. OMA in particular apparently finds Calder’s sculptures perfect for its projects: It used his 1973 Crinkly with a Red Disc, actually in the collection of the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, in Germany, in its rendering of the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow. The rendering for the firm’s Park Grove condos in Miami pilfered Calder’s 1973 Flamingo, which actually sits in Federal Plaza in Chicago, while the rendering for 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, D.C., by OMA and OLIN, features the same sculpture. Other architectural firms that favor Calder’s works in their renderings include Ateliers Jean Nouvel, whose 53 W. 53rd Street project in Manhattan features Calder’s 1961 Sumac, actually in a private collection. Shigeru Ban Architects used Calder’s 1971 The Eagle, now at the Seattle Art Museum, and his 1972 Trepied rouge et noir in renderings for, respectively, the Tainan Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan and Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport in Japan. Renzo Piano Building Workshop (which designed The Whitney’s current home in Manhattan’s meatpacking district), Diller Scofidio + Renfro, SOM, and Studio Libeskind also find the display of Calder’s works an attractive way to promote their concepts. Calder’s works reside today in some major venues: In addition to the sculptures in Federal Plaza in Chicago and at the Seattle Art Museum, the home of his Five Swords is Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, N.Y. Asked about contemporary architects’ practice of borrowing—to put it politely—images of Calder’s works to illustrate their designs, Rower said that during the artist’s lifetime, Calder was friendly with Mies van der Rohe, Josep Lluís Sert, Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer and Wallace K. Harrison, and “frenemies” with Frank Lloyd Wright. As the first artist commissioned to make a public sculpture by the General Services Administration, he said Calder was “the obvious go-to for architects designing new buildings or plazas. Given this history, it comes as no surprise to me that, even today, he is the most prolific artist depicted in architectural renderings. His iconic vocabulary is instantly recognizable; thus, contemporary architects use his imagery to suggest the superior qualities of their projects.” “The genius of Calder’s work,” Rower added, “is that it transforms space—and our experience of it—in real time. While his great invention, the mobile, does this in an overt way—performing in front of us and literally embodying movement—Calder’s stabiles (stationary sculptures) imply movement and affect how we encounter surrounding plazas, facades or even natural landscapes. Architects intuitively understand that effect, and are excited by the prospect of how a Calder sculpture can deepen the experience of whatever space they are designing.” “As long as it’s done in a respectful way,” Rower admitted that rendering actual Calder works that have not been manipulated “is gratifying. I’m interested in Calder’s works in architectural mock-ups—allowing me to imagine his sculptures in many different settings and contexts. And it’s rewarding that Calder remains a favorite amongst architects.”
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Someday soon, virtual reality could let you get in the game… in your living room

This year's 50th Super Bowl could be extra special to those who can somehow get their hands on Microsoft's HoloLens. Though not yet available to the public, the tech giant has unveiled an NFL-based concept that would bring the players and the stadium into your living and even onto your coffee table. The technology would work through gestures, similar to Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox. In the video below, users can be seen bringing up player stats, holograms of the actual stadium including relevant information like weather (forecasts and current), and attendance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKqzeoMCU0c The 3-D virtual reality engine will enable players to appear as if they are coming through walls and allow for the football field to be beamed onto a coffee table. Even though Microsoft debuted its concept last year, the idea does sadly remain in concept form. Virtual reality, however, is nothing new to the architecture profession. Last year AN reported that Tsoi/Kobus & Associates was using the Oculus Rift system to place clients into computer generated 3D renderings. The software was used to deliver a more immersive feel of what the future space might look like. In practice, clients can walk round virtual buildings using Revizto, a cloud system, which architects can invite their clients to use. That said, progress with the technology remains slow as according to Luis Cetrangolo, the architect responsible for implementing the idea, users have begun to feel dizzy after just five minutes of usage.
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Marvel at the time-lapse renderings of Nolita’s 34 Prince Street

Those feeling nostalgic for the New York of yesterday can feast on time lapse renderings by Brooklyn-based MARCH for Marvel Architects' 34 Prince Street. The New York firm is converting the former convent, orphanage, and school into luxury residences. Newly released renderings depict the 1825 Federal-style building as it was in 1900, 1940, 1980, and 2016 (the project's expected completion date). The structure, part of the Old St. Patrick's Cathedral's holdings, will be converted into eight condos and a townhouse, with a starting price of $7.74 million. A second, glass brick townhouse will be constructed on the site, as well. The church will move to a 6,100 square foot ground floor space. They may not contain fireworks or butterflies, but the historically accurate details (check out the telegraph wires, above) and the range of color tones make it look like they were shot on film.
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This Boston architecture firm believes virtual reality could create a revolution in architectural rendering and model making

Showing off buildings may be a task that is no longer constrained to simple two dimensional paper or the slick rendering. Virtual Reality is quickly approaching mainstream and architecture firm Tsoi/Kobus & Associates is already taking advantage of the emerging technology. The Cambridge, MA–based practice is implementing software used by virtual reality games to place clients into computer generated 3D renderings in order to deliver a more immersive feel of what the future space might look like. In practice, clients can walk round virtual buildings using Revizto, a cloud system, which architects can invite their clients to use. The experience is made possible thanks to a pair of Oculus virtual reality goggles which allow the user to interact with his or her virtual surroundings in real time as well as providing a first-person view.
"All of this can be done before a contract for a building is even awarded and could eliminate the need for creating life-size physical mock-ups out of plywood—making the whole process much more efficient," the Boston Globe's Katie Johnston wrote about the still-in-development concept. One would have to speculate, however, on how much time it would take to fully mock-up a CG building compared to making a 3D model or rendering. It's likely only a matter of time before new architectural rendering software that speeds up the process catches up with the technology. Luis Cetrangolo, the architect responsible for implementing the idea, told Johnston that the experience could become dizzying after about five minutes, and so far only one client has been subjected to the software.

Here’s your first look at an evolving plan to transform North Dallas with a complex of skyscrapers

Images for a plan to build a skyscraper complex in north Dallas have been making waves across the web. The so-called Harwood Phase XII would top out at 1,080 feet over the Texas city. Dallas-based developer Harwood International submitted the proposal to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in August as the buildings height means it may disrupt to flight paths in the area. Online, the images have been gaining coverage attracting significant attention despite the fact that the proposal is still awaiting approval and could change as plans are refined. The project looks set to visually dominate its surroundings, and developers hope it will attract visitors to the area. The renderings show extensive use of trees and other natural features to liven up the area. They will also complement the use of wood that is featured as an accent in the project. The towers are generally clad in glass, and often include eroded box forms with softened corners. Speaking to Dallas News, local developer Harwood International said the images are "not exact representations of what might actually be built." "They are some renderings we had done a while back—they are really old,” Jihane Boury, Harwood vice president of leasing said. "We are still studying what we are going to do there." Despite their age, the images drew recent online attention after a user posted to the Dallas section of social media website Reddit. The Dallas-based firm's long-term plans appear to be in place as they aim for the structure be home to shops, eatery's and high-rise residential flats.
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Here’s Rem Koolhaas’ “Floating” Runner-Up Proposal for Los Angeles’ Broad Museum

With Eli Broad hyping his DSR-designed Broad Museum in Downtown Los Angeles, we thought it would be appropriate to share The Broad that never was: OMA's runner up proposal. As featured in this author's book, Never Built Los Angeles, Rem Koolhaas's firm proposed a "floating" box covered in a lacy-patterned metal screen and cantilevered via steel brace frames above Grand Avenue. Lifting the structure would have created much needed civic space in the area, offering a public zone under the museum and complementing two new plazas to the south and the west of the building. Escalators would have travelled diagonally up from street level to the ethereal upper gallery floors, which would have been lit by multiple skylights. There's a lot to like here, and still some questions about the lack of public commentary before the winning scheme was chosen. Check out many more renderings of the scheme below.
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More Time with Norman, Please: Foster + Partners’ New Manhattan Tower Fails To Impress

Foster + Partners likes to think of itself as a high-design firm with glamorous projects all over the world. But the banal rendering accompanying this week's announcement of a new 19-story, "luxury" residential tower, 551 West 21 Street, belies their design skills. Could it be that they have a two-tier design strategy in their office where glamorous cultural institutions get "Sir Norman" and commercial towers get, well, something less? The building's press release states that it "marries the timeless elegance… of classic Park Avenue apartment buildings with the excitement and energy of West Chelsea" and "has a robust, cast-concrete exterior that frames expansive windows with warm metal surrounds." It goes on about luxury finishes and unimaginable penthouse views, but really, the client, SR Capital, needs to spend some more time with Sir Norman. Only one rendering showing a facade detail has been released, but Foster + Partners is expected to reveal more soon. The building is expected to be complete in summer of 2015.
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Flint Flat Lot’s Floating House draws criticism

When London-based Two Islands took first place in Flint, Michigan’s first Flat Lot Competition for public art, images of their floating, mirror-clad meditation on the foreclosure crisis turned heads. Six months later the project has been built, but it faced challenges and has drawn criticism making the leap from rendering to reality. Photos posted to the website designboom elicited a flurry of comments that decried the execution of Mark’s House, whose smooth reflective sheen turned out more like Reynolds Wrap, they said. Photos on MLive show a much more wrinkly mylar coating: The texture has drawn criticism. But some came to the project’s defense. One commenter writes:

"While the project did not turn out the way intended I find it very saddening that so many people find the need to put down the architects whose vision this was […] All in all I believe that the original effect was not attained by the material used. Do I think that the project was a smashing success absolutely not, but do I think that some good came from it yes. People from around the world CARED about Flint Michigan, “The Most Dangerous City In America” and they wanted to come to Flint to do something."

Permit issues delayed the project, but with the help of volunteers, $25,000 in prize money and an extra $15,000 boost from online donors, construction wrapped up late Summer.  
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Three Finalists Reveal Designs for an Activated Van Alen Institute

New York City's Van Alen Institute (VAI) is turning 120 next year, and to celebrate, the institute is taking its message of inspired architecture and urbanism to the street. The storefront space on West 22nd Street has been home to the institute's popular LOT-EK–designed bookstore and event space, organized around a stack of bleachers made from reclaimed wooden doors painted highlighter yellow. VAI's new director, David van der Leer, is tackling the redesign and expansion of the sidewalk space to maximize the organization's public visibility as it evolves its mission into the 21st century. Three finalists—Collective-LOK, EFGH Architectural Design Studio, and Of Possible Architectures (OPA)—were selected from over 120 respondents to VAI's "Ground/Work" competition earlier this year, and now their schemes have been revealed. EFGH Architectural Design Studio Hayley Eber, Frank Gesualdi, Spencer Lapp, Pat Ruggiero, and Ani Ivanova. Project statement from the Van Alen:
A microcosm of the space of the city, the new Van Alen Institute is imagined as a container for dynamic life. As an institution committed to the expansion of the definition of “public architecture” and the processes that shape the public realm, the VAI needs a home that embodies that ambition. Recognizing the dramatic proportions of the existing site as an opportunity, the proposed new Ground/ Work space turns a long skinny ground floor volume into a virtue: it maximizes the street level space, creating a single room - a large “grand hall” - that strives to reach the scale of the street, and extend the life of 22nd Street into the heart of the Institute. Through the easy manipulation of three mobile components in the space, The Media Wedge, The Bleacher and the Hinge Table, the VAI can be radically transformed by a few employees in a short amount of time.   When one asks “What is the new space of the Van Alen Institute; A Workspace, Exhibition space, Lecture Hall, Book/ Media Outlet, Public Forum, Conference space, Performance Space or Party space?” The only suitable answer is All of the Above.
View more information on the proposal at the Van Alen website. Collective-LOK Jon Lott, William O’Brien Jr., and Michael Kubo Project statement from the Van Alen:
The new institutional home of the Van Alen has to be many things at once. The brief requires curatorial flexibility for a breadth of public programming including exhibitions, lectures, reading groups, and book launches; a comfortable and efficient office environment for different scales and modes of work ranging from formal to casual; a framework that can grow to include the second floor and basement as the institution expands in the future; and a mobile street seat that will bring the Van Alen’s mission into the urban realm. To accommodate this range of scenarios within a limited square footage, we propose a Screen Play: a mechanism to order these spatial, curatorial, and temporal scenarios through a subtle interplay of surfaces that creates a complex and ambiguous presence in the city. The project proposes five strategies of screen play to enable and give shape to the broadest possible range of uses.
View more information on the proposal at the Van Alen website. Of Possible Architectures Vincent Appel, Ethan Lay-Sleeper, Jaime Magaliff, Paul Miller, Heather Murtagh, Franklin Romero Jr., and Emily Ruopp, in collaboration with Jay Atherton. Project statement from the Van Alen:
The VAI has developed a legacy of architectural projects through competitions and commissions. The Van Alen Stairs, inspired by the TKTS Steps, capture this legacy most succinctly. The Stairs achieve an architecture of relational tectonics. We have identified relational tectonics as the dimension of architecture which intentionally provokes relationships between people, their behavior, and their environment...For the next iteration of the Van Alen Institute, we propose a translation of the Van Alen Stair into the Van Alen Table. The dimensions of the Table are precisely calibrated to the VAI's space. The Table allows for the full gradient of programs to easily expand and contract along, around, and in between its 70' length. This table presents those using it — whether reading, lounging, working, etc. — in a way that is both comfortable, natural, and uncanny. The experience is just off-center from typical expectations.
View more information on the proposal at the Van Alen website. The public is invited to weigh in on their favorite designs through September 10, which will be evaluated by a jury later this month. The competition jury includes Stephen Cassell (Architecture Research Office), Winka Dubbeldam (Archi-tectonics), Mark Gardner (Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects), Mark Robbins (International Center of Photography), Ada Tolla (LOT-EK), Marc Tsurumaki (LTL Architects), David van der Leer (Van Alen Institute), and Marc Kushner (Hollwich Kushner). The winning design team will be announced in late September and construction is expected to begin by the end of the year.
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Jean Nouvel–Designed Louvre Abu Dhabi Begins Construction

French Pritzker Prize–winning architect Jean Nouvel's design for Louvre Abu Dhabi has begun construction after a series of delays. The building's most prominent feature is a 180-meter-diameter  dome. The design of the dome is culturally relevant as well as utilitarian. The shape is prominent in traditional Arabian architecture. As the Louvre Abu Dhabi website describes, it is “an emblematic feature...evoking the mosque, the mausoleum, and the madrasa.” The dome's expanse also protects the building and its visitors from the sun. Carefully formulated geometric apertures in the all-white structure allow diffused and dappled daylight inside the museum, while mitigating heat gain. Nouvel designed the dappled pattern to emulate interlaced palm fronds, which are traditionally used in Arabic countries for thatch roofs. Nouvel described his vision for the 64,000 square meter site thus:

"A microclimate is created by drawing on sensations that have been explored countless times in great Arab architecture, which is based on the mastery of light and geometry . . . a structure made up of shadows, of movement and discovery."

Nouvel was awarded the design commission for the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2010. It was originally meant to be completed in 2012. However, in January of that year, the Financial Times reported that after a "the conclusion of a government spending review led by Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, vice-chairman of the executive council," the Tourism Development & Investment Company in Abu Dhabi set the museum back 3 years to 2015. Set on Saadiyat Island, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first of three art museum branches meant to shore up the area as a cultural hub within the United Arab Emirates. However, all have faced major delays and completion dates pushed years into the future. All renderings courtesy Atelier Jean Nouvel.
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Unveiled> Gehry Partners’ Renderings for National Art Museum of China Design

Frank Gehry has unveiled renderings of its shortlisted entry for the competition to design the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), the predestined showstopper of Beijing’s new cultural district. Gehry was shortlisted alongside fellow Pritzker Prize winners Jean Nouvel and Zaha Hadid for the high-profile project. Gehry's submission incorporates transparent cladding, an interior comprised of lofty, geometric courtyards evocative of pagodas and temples, and a layout that would accommodate nearly 12 million annual visitors. [beforeafter] gehry_china_museum_10 gehry_china_museum_08[/beforeafter]   In acknowledging the globalization of art and its role in connecting the world’s various cultures, the firm's plans seeks to address the concept of 21st century Chinese architecture. Gehry Partners has created a unique design tailored to the museum’s framework, as the structure will be situated facing the central axis of Olympic Park, over the course of the three competition stages. To convey delicate movement, the firm considered glass as a facade material, and in doing so developed a new material—translucent stone—that grants the building an imperial appearance suitable for a national museum. The translucent stone, which is part of the inventive sustainable facade system that integrates a ventilated airspace, allows the structure to efficiently transform for the seasons, festivals, diverse exhibitions, and as a canvas for artists. The renderings reveal four dispersed entrances at each corner and expose a structure that can accommodate a record number of visitors. A formal entry resembling a Chinese temple is positioned in the center of the west facade. The interiors are organized around large public spaces linked vertically by escalators. Visible only from the inside, the spaces are inspired by temples and establish a proper connection between the shapes of the building facade and the interior. The project is currently part of Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition called A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California.