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The Grand Aquarium

1 Our process began with many hand-drawn concept sketches, exploring architectural form, shape, material, and color.

  1. 1 Our process began with many hand-drawn concept sketches, exploring architectural form, shape, material, and color.
  2. 2 We used hand-drawn sketches to start thinking about the visitor experience early on in the design process, imagining what it might be like to visit this place, and how the spaces help shape that experience.
  3. 3 More detailed, hand-drawn concept elevations allowed us to refine our thoughts about how to make the architecture.
  4. 4 From drawings and sketches, we moved to very small scale physical models, built out of foam and clay, to quickly explore the design in three dimensions.
  5. 5 Using the small scale models for reference, we moved up to a very large scale model, built with clay, paper, wire, foam and wood, to better explore the sculptural nature of the design.
  6. 6 We carefully laid a grid on the large scale model, in order to take X-Y-Z measurements of the individual parts and pieces.
  7. 7 We laid out a corresponding grid in SketchUp, and plotted the X-Y-Z coordinates accordingly, allowing us to generate edge curves in three dimensions digitally.
  8. 8 After plotting all the edge curves in three dimensions, we had the basic architectural forms and their relationships in space.
  9. 9 Using a combination of the Weld, Soap Skin Bubble and CurviLoft Plug-Ins, we wrapped a skin around all of the edge curves.
  10. 10 The Free Form Deformation and Fredo Scale Plug-Ins allowed us to manipulate the forms in three dimensions, independent of each other, to experiment with size, shape, contour, distortion, and sculptural integrity.
  11. 11 Adding in the surrounding context of the architecture allowed us to further examine the relationship of the forms to the building.
  12. 12 With the entire shell of the building modeled in SketchUp, we could quickly and easily generate visitor experience views for the client to see, and adjust the design according to feedback.
  13. 13 We then brought ground-level views of the SketchUp model into Photoshop, where we could explore color and texture, in order to create presentation quality renderings.
  14. 14 These renderings gave the client valuable marketing material, as they looked to generate excitement and buzz about their yet-to-be constructed aquarium.
  15. 15 From the final version of the SketchUp model, we were also able to generate plans, sections and elevations, allowing us to draw and document our design for the contractors who set out to build this world-class aquarium.

Comments (6)

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  1. Very creative looking building. This project and the subject model, is a testament to the abilities of SketchUp and a few excellent Plugins (that everyone should have). Of course, the person doing the modeling must also have a solid understanding of SU's abilities and limitations (the latter of which can be counted on one hand likely !). It's a beautiful project and brilliant modeling. The step-by-step illustrations and explanations are greatly appreciated. However, I am a bit curious as to why the prototype was modeled with Clay rather than using a 3D Printer ? Is it due to the Cost of 3D Printing ? Clay is more Flexible and forgiving to work with ? i.e. easier to fine tune .. as well as being malleable. Very Inspiring Indeed. PS> I trust a "simplified" model has already been prepared for Google Earth ?

    SnowTiger /
  2. Wonderful project. Glad we were able to be your creative "neighbors" on this project. I'm planning to see it in person tonight!

    adam /
  3. @garnicaskate We exported .jpg images of the views from SketchUp, and then rendered over top of the images in Photoshop. All the digital painting and filtering was done in Photoshop. This is typical of how we create our presentation renderings. SketchUp lets us compose the views, so we can decide exactly what we want to show. And then we have crazy talented illustrators and artists who work their magic in Photoshop to create amazing renderings from these views. Thanks for the compliments!

    davecoopstl /
  4. :D

    brothetrix /
  5. Awesome awesome awesome presentation. Thanks for showing a good process on how to use Sketchup! I have often wondered how successful teams use it.

    machitect /
  6. You put the color using photshop or is hand made (photo 13 &14)? I think is awesome!

    garnicaskate /

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