What are the principal advantages of creating a conceptual design model using masses before diving into the detailed design and building element modeling?
The principal advantage of creating a conceptual design model using masses is that you can work with an architectural design that you already have in mind or are brainstorming about, and build off from there by putting in the structural system later. This allows a greater level of flexibility in terms of designing the architecture of a building or a set of buildings, particularly when the client has a desire for a specific design of the building. In addition, creating a conceptual design model using masses allows for the design and construction of buildings with complex/irregular shapes by incorporating it into a model, and building on it throughout the design process.
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?
Not every building should be modeled first using conceptual masses. It is more appropriate to model a conceptual design using masses when you know that the building is going to have an irregular design (complex shapes), which is usually for larger projects. This will require additional time for modeling and for communicating between the designers and the client. For structures with regular shapes (e.g. rectangles) or smaller projects (such as residential houses), there is no need to use conceptual masses to model the building design.
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?
Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia
Geisel Library in San Diego, CA
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