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Updated: Jun 30, 2020

Early this year I have been researching new computer graphics software which will help me produce photorealistic images of my designs. This can be really useful in the design process to explore how materials will look in different lighting conditions and allow the client to get a better understanding of the scheme.

Which software?

There are a lot of packages out there which are now mostly subscription services where digital model files are rendered in the cloud. Whilst reviewing the alternatives, I stumbled upon Blender which is a 3D modelling, animation and light simulation package. Blender is actually open source which means that it is completely free to use, but it still remains a very powerful programme used by hobbyists and professionals alike.

Initially the software is proving very complex and would be hard to learn without the support of a large resource of training and information videos on YouTube and elsewhere on the internet. Having spent some time exploring the tool set, it is clear that I have only just scratched the surface and the possibilities are endless.

The results

Here is an example of my first render where I have modeled an existing farmhouse in Devon, ready for the design proposals. So far I have learnt how to apply textures to surfaces, model the topography and landscape, and setup realistic lighting conditions. My next step will be to experiment with different materials and backgrounds to improve the scene.

#blender #render #architecturalrendering #workinprogress

My first render in Blender

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

Before Christmas I saw the completion of a project that I was involved with from concept stage, which comprised of a single storey rear extension to a Georgian townhouse located in the Clifton area of Bristol.

New kitchen and living room extension to town house in Bristol

Sketch drawing to show existing and proposed design

The design process

The existing property was a maze of internal corridors and underused, quite dimly lit self-contained rooms. The decision was to taken to provide quite a modest sized rear extension (measuring only 16m2) but to incorporate significant internal alterations to the rooms and layout. This has opened up the space and radically changed the way the house is used and how it feels.

I worked closely with the local building contractor Tim Simmons to resolve some of the detailed design and technical aspects of the scheme before we started construction on site.

The result

It was great to return and see key living spaces now bathed in natural light. The focus of the house has now shifted to the rear of the property, where large glazed sliding doors flood the kitchen in a north light and giving the primary living spaces a much closer connection to the garden. The less well lit spaces within the house are now used for “snug” living spaces, bathroom and storage areas. The design also reclaimed an extra bedroom for the property.

Large sliding doors give a seamless connection between inside and outside

#architecture #extension #myproject #timbercladding

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

I am now the proud owner of an attractive metal pin badge and a rather over elaborate scroll/certificate to say that I am a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects!

The RIBA pin badge in all it's glory

Before this year I was registered solely with the ARB, The Architects Registration Board, which is the legislative body that regulates the profession in the UK. It prescribes architectural qualifications, maintains the Register of Architects, and issues sanctions or penalties for unacceptable conduct. It is a legal requirement to be a member of ARB if you are practicing as an architect in UK.

RIBA on the other hand is an optional members organisation which architects can join. It promotes the role of the architect in UK and is very supportive of small and growing practices, providing a range of useful resources: training programmes and initiates design competitions for people in the profession.

The RIBA website is also a very useful starting point for clients thinking about engaging an architect. It is possible to search through the register to find an architect near you, and also discover a wealth of information in the “resources for clients” section.

#RIBA #architecture #design

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