AH 002# Revit Design Options

Before I begin, I will say that there is a vast amount of knowledge on this particular subject – right at your fingertips.

Lynda is an online tutorial based knowledge hub which lists everything from Revit Design Options right down to Sustainablilty and Biophilic Architecture – you name it – they have it!

https://www.lynda.com/Revit-training-tutorials/1533-0.html

If this blog isn’t clear enough – I recommend having a look at the website above.

So, you are unclear of Revit Design Options? First off, you should establish why you want to use them. Internal layout? Facade change? or Massing concepts? – You’re in the right place.

  1. Start with your existing project – Here I have loaded a basic design which I will multiply and reconifgure using Design Options.
Previous model used in a project
NB this exists in the Main Model highlighted below

2. Go to your main toolbar – Manage -Design Options. Click on the Design Options button

2. Design options button highlighted in purple

3. A new window will open, showing the design options within the model. This is still a blank canvas.

Click on New Option Set, this will create a primary option – this automatically replicates your main model. Click new option to create a secondary option.

4. Et Voila, after a bit of modelling we now have an embellished design Option 01 – again note at the bottom of the screen where it states Option 01 – Primary

Design Option 01

Option 02 – little bit clunkier and more elaborate. Both types exist in the model and are interchangeable.

Design Option 02

Top tip – to compare and contrast Design Options utilising the same views – duplicate the views, assign a view template to all, but in the template click the desired Design Option from the drop down list otherwise this will remain <automatic>.

If you require assistance, elaboration on different settings or top tips, please don’t hesitate to let me know and I’ll do a feature on it.

#004 Revolutionary Low-rise

I attended an RIBA Lecture titled Revolutionary Low-Rise. The UK housing crisis is a topical debate at present, this description was the thing that drew me in, promising a low-rise scheme to aid in the housing crisis whilst providing its inhabitants with a sense of community and equally privacy – basically having your cake and eating it.

The speakers at the event, were Abigail Batchelor Associate at Karakusevic Carson Architects and Mike Althorpe Research and development manager also at Karakusevic Carson Architects. They researched 9 case studies exhibiting high density living, using post-occupational studies to assess the successes and failures of each scheme. These projects were not based soley within the UK, but featuring projects from the USA and Europe also.

The different typologies featured complex layouts hosting both communal areas and private gardens.

“Responding to calls for a more humane approach to urbanism and challenging the orthodoxy of high-rise, architects in the 1960s embraced low rise-high density as an ethos to create innovative homes, while seeking to re-establish traditional patterns of community.

The UK led the way, offering alternative visions for urban living, which inspired a generation of projects across the world. Marking the publication of a new report supported by the RIBA Research Fund and Karakusevic Carson Architects, this event explores a radical period of experimental housing and discusses its legacy and lessons for London’s current drive to densify and develop its sprawling suburbs.

Barbican On Stage – Description of the Lecture

Overall, the entire presentation was very well done. The diagramatic images showed each project in an axonometric format, highlighting the key features in the floor plans. Each project responded very well to it’s surrounding context, stacking in height allowing for public and private pockets for each resident whilst providing an outdoor area.

The projects featured were:

Ruhrstraße 11, Kettwig Germany
1971 – 1972
Architect – Erwin Berning
Residential only

2433 28th Street, Santa Monica, LA
1980 – 1981
Architect – UFO (Urban Forms Organization) Steve Andre + David Van Hoy
Steve Andre, aka Steve Wiseman, Architect/Developer
Private
Residential only

Stellingmolen 161-19, Papendrecht, the Netherlands
1974 – 78
Architect – Frans van der Werf
Residential with commercial

Het College 15, Eindhoven Netherlands
1999 – 2003
Architect – Neave Brown
Private
Residential, retail and office

Spruce St, Philadelphia, USA
1968 – 1970
Architect – Louis Sauer
Edmund Bacon (City planner)
Residential + Community

Via Irma Bandiera, 16 Terni, Italy
1969 – 1975
Architect – Giancarlo De Carlo
Residential + Commercial+ Community
Suburban

Dartmouth Park Hill, London UK
1972 – 1979
Architect – Peter Tábori with Kenneth Adie, Camden Architects Dept.
London Borough of Camden
Public
Residential only

King Street, Cambridge UK
1965 – 1978
Architect – Ivor Smith, Cailey Hutton
Residential + commercial

Pimlico, Westminster, London, UK
1968-1972
Architects – Darbourne and Darke
Public
Residential + Community + Commercial

I didn’t have a favourite project, as they were all rather exemplary in their own way. I would like to see London adopt more of the key principles which resonated through these projects, for their future homes. Adapting each project to its context opposed to stacking generic floor plates… One key theme which I am seeing more and more of in the Architectural world, is mixed used schemes. Creating little communities such as those featured in the presentation, but also hosting public drycleaners, convenience stores, offices and pods for multifunctional space usage. If you wanted a yoga class space for example…

The document definetly explains this in more detail, and I feel these studys should be utalised more and more as we attempt to define communities without actually embracing the context or the opinions of those who might want to live in these spaces..

The take away from the Lecture was that, there are a lot of positives, and very minor negatives:

  • Low rise High Density encourages intergenerational living
  • Encourages smart mixes such as commercial and retail included in the residential blocks
  • Encourages a sense of community
  • Encourages a sesne of space and ownership
  • If executed correctly, it encourages a dynamic and original home

For more information – Revolutionary Low Rise can be found here

Architect Hack #001

If in doubt, get the roll of tracing paper out.

There’s a reason why many still use pen and paper opposed to computer generated models to work through issues. Again, probably one of the few reasons why an architect firm can never truly be a paperless office…

This isn’t new, Architects, Designers, Artists, you name it – will always reach for the pen and paper to doodle on for inspiration or just to stop the infernal internal ramblings of an opinion stricken mind.

“Would this space work?”,

“Would this be value engineered down to a horrific mess?”,

“Which design would I want to occupy?”

“If I moved… that… there… Oh no, I’ve ruined it. CTL + Z! CTL + Z!”

“God, what am I doing?!”

“Coffee. Get Coffee. Then sketch.”

This is normally my inner monologue. There has been a lot of “bad press” surrounding sketching recently, primarily due to the rise in technological advances – i.e. Ipad Pro, VR, etc. However, sketching is not a dying artform neither is it dead. If you were in a meeting, and the client wanted to “tweek” an idea, sharpen that pencil compadre… lets sketch it out.

There is an architectural comic strip by leewardists and I think it sums up most aspects of an architects life pretty accurately….

… Sometimes the pen is mightier than the mouse…

#002 Bovenbouw

“Making architectural moments”

Dirk Sommers, Barbican, Architecture on Stage by The Architecture Foundation

I recently attended a lecture given by Bovenbouw’s Dirk Sommers. Bovenbouw is an Architectural Practice base in Antwerp which makes architecture that can be itself, freed from the compulsive desire to be avant-garde.

Dirk Sommers, the founder and director of Bovenbouw regularly publishes books and gives lectures on topics such as tectonics, representation and urban architecture.

The lecture I attended was discussing “Form and Figure”, how the facade needs to be legible and conveyed internally. The lecture covered a range of projects by Bovenbouw but finished on one unique project which features heavily in Bovenbouw Architectuur: Living the Exotic Everyday, (the book was published for the exhibition The House of The Explorer).

The lecture spoke about capturing the character featured on the façade and creating architectural moments throughout the reconfigured and internally restored building. Each room had a main focus or framed focus. It created a journey from room to room and was a truly inspiring project to be walked through step by step.

The practice, unlike many I have worked for, utilises concept models and experiments with light, texture, materiality and form in different mediums. Even the use of cut brick spliced against blockwork had a remarkable effect, adjusting focus and perception of space.

It is safe to say, after leaving the lecture, I immediately looked up the book and purchased a copy. Watch this space, once I have read the book at least five times, I will provide a sneak preview for you all to assess if you too, wish to purchase the book!