10.07.2014Architecture, Business Practice, For Fun

Architectural Rendering - Visualizing the Design Process

Architectural rendering is the process of visually communicating a idea. For both the client and architect it bridges the gap between 2D line drawing and the final product, allowing for a better understanding of the design intent during the early stages of a project.

Rendering is an essential step in our design process at SPARC. Our philosophy is that rendering should capture the essence of a design and evoke a feeling of a work in progress rather than a final outcome. We feel that this leaves room for collaboration and growth in the design process. Depending on the type of project and our client’s needs we typically approach rendering in one of 3 ways; by hand, photoshop collage or 3D massing. In many cases our renderings are a combination of these styles. While photorealistic rendering can be beneficial under the right circumstances, we believe that this style tends to depict a final design and visually leaves no room for iteration and exploration.

Hand Rendering

Hand rendering involves free hand sketching or tracing over a 3D view from Revit or Sketchup. We have found that this is a great way to quickly convey an idea in the early stages of the design process. Below is a interior sketch created for an Earth Fare grocery store remodel. The looseness of this rendering style enabled the client to clearly see the spacial and material intent while still allowing for design flexibility.


Collage Rendering

Collage rendering uses basic computer massing combined with photo collaging of textures, architectural elements and landscaping. This method is used to abstractly convey the desired atmosphere and feeling of a project that might only be in the conceptual stages. The example below depicts an interior concept for New Belgium‘s east coast brewery located in Asheville. The rendering style conveys the idea of interior space, scale, material and activity.


3D Massing

3D massing uses Revit or Sketchup views of a project and combines them with post production through photoshop. This is about as realistic as we provide with our renderings. Through this technique we can convey the project’s design intent, the relationship to the landscape, and the material palette as shown in the rendering of the Shift Residence below.



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