A more honest view of design development

The design gets more realistic when daylight, weather, wind and flows of people and traffic are included in the model. Never before have we been able to render our model this time efficient, and at the same time sensationally increasing the quality, as now. This is the opinion of architects Hans Lindberg and Mattias Westelius who use Twinmotion to create a realism that is impressive.

"We want to present a design that displays realistic views of how the final product will appear in real life", say architects Hans Lindberg and Mattias Westelius at the architectural firm Lindberg & Westelius Architects. With the use of Twinmotion, they succeed to create a true-to-life illusion that increases the understanding of the building, including the interaction with the surroundings, in a whole new way.

"We are often told that architects always show flashy images with the sun shining. With this technique we are able show what it actually will look like when the weather is cloudy and rainy. It impresses our clients and our clients’ clients."

Tourist project simulates weather and daylight

Hans and Mattias talk about the planning of a large tourist magnet in Rosersberg, Sigtuna municipality in Sweden, in a unique location adjacent to the E4 that includes a water park, hotel, banquet hall and office space. They have developed a proposal and illustrated what the visitor destination might look like with the help of Twinmotion for visualizing and refining the 3D model made in ARCHICAD. The program simulates the daily life in real time in and around the building. Mattias easily shows how daylight adjustments create new conditions; when dawn becomes day and then how dusk turns into evening and finally night. With a command slider, the seasons change from summer's lush trees to bare trunks in a white winter landscape. He also influences the weather by letting the sun disappear behind clouds and brings on rain and wind in an autumnal setting.

A brand new way. With the help of Twinmotion, architects Mattias Westelius and Hans Lindberg have a rich tool palette to help them describe the tourist destination in different environment setups, at night, in winter time or summer time our even in a nasty damp autumn weather. Images: Lindberg & Westelius Architects.

"The simulation impresses and the decision makers rejoice as they can see how it might appear in real life", says Mattias.

With the help of these effects the client gets a more comprehensive view throughout seasonal changes in our climate.

"As an example there might be a discussion at a meeting about how large a canopy should be", says Mattias. "We can then show the customer what it will look like when the weather is at its worst. The technique provides an understanding and a basis for decision-making."

Analysis with visualisation as a base

One advantage with this technique is the possibility to show how the tourist attraction relates to its surroundings. Therefore, the architects first created a terrain model in ARCHICAD by adding altitude data from the Swedish land-surveying institute. In the surrounding landscape the BIM model has been used to design houses, roads and railways. Pedestrians, passing cars, transport vehicles and an x2000 train from Twinmotion's library and imported SketchUp models have also been added. The Twinmotion model's detailed richness and realistic design of how people and vehicles move also becomes a tool for simple analyses.

With this technique the architects can study the consequences that might arise, and in dialogue with the client foresee if there could be problems related to security work in a potential crisis situation. How many people can pass through an exit when the fire alarm goes off? What happens when a bus load of 60 hotel guests flow into a hotel lobby simultaneously, and how will it affect the environment and the interior?"The simulation is also a tool for reducing the number of appeals in the building permit process", says Hans, who has long experience as a former city architect.

"If a person claims that a planned house would cast a shadow over their garden so that they cannot enjoy the afternoon sun, or that their views are affected, it is easy to demonstrate “reality” and minimize grounds for an appeal."

The layout of the building itself have Hans and Mattias done in ARCHICAD, which has a “direct link menu command” into Twinmotion. The direct link makes it effortless because there is no need to export information from ARCHICAD and then import it into Twinmotion - with the risk of data loss. Only one click is needed to get it from the design software to the visualisation software.

The visitor destination water land. This is how the architects visualized slides using Twinmotion and in collaboration with Sirko Adler at Wiegand Waterrides GmbH in Germany. Image: Lindberg & Westelius Architects.

"The rendering is created simultaneously, which makes it easy to change a detail in ARCHICAD, such as a staircase and then both render and review the outcome at the same time", says Mattias.

In the past, rendering was a rather cumbersome process that took a long time and created unnecessary downtime. This technique is none existing today thanks to the new technology that contributes to increased flexibility in testing different solutions. Lindberg & Westelius Architects did not experience any learning threshold. They became productive immediately. One reason is that the program is designed in an intuitive and user-friendly way.

Benefits for both client and architect

The architects have developed their own workflow where they benefit from the design in ARCHICAD and the advantages that the simulation in Twinmotion provides. The simulation with the help of images and films created in Twinmotion are then used as presentation material at meetings, and help to smoothly get ahead with the planning.

"The client gets a more reliable decision-making process because you see what is being built", says Mattias. "As an architect It gives me a working tool and allows me to improve my architecture because I can show how I processed my thoughts in an understandable way."

The technology provides a comprehensive overview of the entire tourist project in Sigtuna municipality.

"Above all, our visualization gives the customer an understanding of the wholeness, how the building relates to people, infrastructure and external characteristics such as weather and wind. It increases customer satisfaction."

When both the client and the architect talk about the same thing and discuss different challenges, problems are being prevented. This leads to a more efficient construction process and better management of time and resources.

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About Love Janson

Love Janson is a communication strategist at ComWise AB. He has a BA degree in communication from Halmstad University.
  • Sweden