For the last 30 years the three-dimensional computer modeling has breaded a large family of architects eager to push architecture into a world of shapes that could hardly be described until then.
This is probably why 3D is very often associated to an architectural style, an esthétique of NURBS, splines and fractals, whereas it could simply be a tool for the architect.
For Skissernas Museum competition, we did not use 3D as a conceptual tool, although we were experimenting non-orthogonal shapes: they were more the result of a line drawn by hand than a perfect geometry. We were deliberately looking into this geometrical imperfection while shaping the volumes.
We actually did use 3D during the competition in order to produce architectural renderings. We worked with a French studio specialized in architectural visualizations. We didn’t want pictures that would look like a typical rendering with perfect space, happy people, balloons and kids running in the foreground; but rather a photograph that would capture the relation between our project and its context. We agreed to create an atmosphere relating to paintings by Edward Hopper, slightly melancholic, still and empty.
In order to achieve this, ArtefactoryLab modeled a parterre of fallen autumn leaves on the winter empty ground we had photographed earlier. As if all the leaves had fallen at once, creating a red carpet that would merge the cor-ten steel facade with the red bricks of the surrounding buildings. The light and materials seemed more the work of a photographer picturing a reality to come than a 3D visualization of a building.
After winning the competition, we started to use simple 3D models to study the window layout in order to understand more precisely the transparency of the building: how windows from different facades aligned from one point, allowing the visitor to look thought different rooms and out all the time.
Lately, we have been using more precise 3D modeling tools in order to study facade and window details. By modeling each element of the building with the right thickness and the right joint between each panels, and by giving to the material their proper materiality, it became easier to test different options that would have required quite large models.
We could analyze the relation between a detail and a space, for instance how to solve the window sill in order to be able to change the glass pane with our frameless window intention. We also managed to decide on straight cor-ten panels after testing different scenarios like straight, perfectly bent and over-bent steel panels.
These models are more for study but they require quite good computers and screens in order to be efficient; recently we are using our Dell Precision M3800 and we are very happy about it.
We can also send these models to other consultants in order to produce precise light studies from our lightening concept for instance.
The office has not shifted into BIM, because drawing in 2D remains much more related to drawing by hand which is a inherent part of Elding Oscarson practice. We are very attached to the poetics of plans and sections, which have been and still are incredible design tools for the architects. This is probably why 3D remains for us a tool coming after the concept is found and not a way to find ideas or generate architecture.
Tristan Zelic / Elding Oscarson