What are the principal advantages of creating a conceptual design model using masses before diving into the detailed design and building element modeling?
When using masses to communicate a preliminary concept idea it is fairly easy to make large-scale adjustments and manipulate project-wide criteria such as total area, or building shape as opposed to trying to make such modifications when you have already modeled the building in greater detail. Using masses is very useful when playing around with different initial ideas to help get the creativity juices flowing and come up with different big-picture alternatives that can quickly help align the design team with the owner.
Should all buildings be modeled first using conceptual masses?
When is it needed/appropriate? And when not?
For example, should you create a conceptual mass model of a small house?
Modeling a building using conceptual masses isn't always an efficient approach for the design process. Small buildings (for example, single family residential) most likely will not benefit from a preliminary design using conceptual masses because modeling the rough structure from the start with walls, roofs, floors, etc. isn't very complicates nor time consuming and allows greater flexibility in manipulating individual components to create different design alternatives.
I'm not sure that it's easy to identify a clear threshold (e.g. based on square footage or number of floors) beyond which it's appropriate to use conceptual masses, but in general, I would argue that if: 1) the building design is complex, 2) the building is intended for industrial/commercial and is more than 4 stories, or 3) the structure is part of a mega project, the use of conceptual masses for the preliminary design can be greatly beneficial.
Can you think of any examples of a real building around the world that most likely was created by exploring the form using conceptual mass models?
Please post and share images of these examples to this Notion page.
How would you abstract the essential form of these famous buildings using conceptual mass elements that you can create in Revit?
- One World Trade Center: https://www.archdaily.com/795277/one-world-trade-center-som
- CMG Headquarters: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CMG_Headquarters#/media/File:China_Central_Television_Headquarters_2.jpg
- Twisting torso: https://www.archdaily.com/771471/santiago-calatravas-turning-torso-wins-ctbuhs-10-year-award
- Apple campus: https://www.archdaily.com/804970/apple-campus-2-held-to-fantastical-standard-of-detail-new-report-reveals
- Salesforce tower: https://www.archdaily.com/889519/salesforce-tower-pelli-clarke-pelli-architects