Thursday, June 11, 2015

10 beginner tips, Revit

There's a lot of bits and pieces of things I've learned while working on my studio project in Revit. I thought it'd be a good idea to document all these little tips before diving into the production stage of the project and forgetting it all.

1. To make a window fin component....

I have been trying to create a vertical splayed fin piece for my windows to act as both a shading device and potential to add color. It took me several hours of trying to custom create a window that has this edge piece connected to it. Finally, I have decided to just create a window component entirely separate from the window piece.

To do so, I had to create a new family using the "general wall based model". After opening this, I need to assign it to appear in the "windows" family group so I can easily find it in the project file. Afterwards, I was easily able to create an extrusion onto the wall that was at an angle so that I could just attach this piece to the window opening. This could be done to create a custom sill as well. I had also found out a wall (or "host") can not have both a cut and an opening. This was incredibly frustrating because I was trying to create a splayed cut into the wall with the edit window component (this is why I need to create a custom window feature from scratch using the general wall based model).

2. Curtain walls and cut geometry are helpful combined!! I have been easily making window openings using the curtain wall and clicking on "modify profile" to adjust the opening size. After, in plan view, I click "cut geometry" on the opening and it created the window for me.

3. Floors should be created on the inside of the wall so that when walls are adjusted, the floor adjusts with it.

4. Walls could be "attached to a base" or roof, to easily attach walls to the roof at any angle.

5. I was creating a pitched roof slope by choosing a "define roof" edge, and then choosing a high slope pitch. Then, using the edit profile tool, I could adjust the pitch to the correct height by dragging it down.

6. Walls could be custom created using the edit type tool and assigning different material types and thicknesses. A material could be created in the materials library as well.

7. To create views for rendering, you need to go to the camera, and then direct the view.

8. Landings for ramps and stairs are automatically created for you by clicking the length of the first segment, and then clicking the second segment. The gap in between will be automatically filled with a landing.

9. To create plan views, you need to go to the elevations and duplicate an elevation, and adjust to the specific height level. Then, go to View, plan view, and it creates a floor plan associating to that elevation.

10. To create topography, you need to go to the site and set points at certain heights. This will automatically create the topography lines for you. Each automatic point is set to 0, so you must assign the elevation. You can create a building pad so that the building may sit into the landscape.

More to come perhaps as I continue with this studio business...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

MId Review VICENZA! spring term.

This studio I am working on revitalizing the corner where piazza signori and piazza biade meet in historical downtown Vicenza, Italy. The site is located adjacent to Palladio's basilica. We must preserve the medieval wall of the basilica and ancient roman ruins. Our program consists of an art museum, a palladio center and a permanent food market, as well as temporary outdoor market space.

Currently the piazza biade (the empty space to the left of the site) remains unused. To revitalize the piazza, I decided to slope this portion up so that the permanent market may remain beneath the slope. The slope would act as an amphitheater seating like space for events to take place, or for children to play on. The piazzas of the site currently are heavily used for events and almost always crowded with people. The concept was then to slope the rest of the site down. Currently Piazza Signori (the area northwest of the basilica remains 2.3 meter above Piazza Erbe, south west of the basilica). On the lower slope level, I placed two rectangular buildings, one consisting of the art museum, the other the palladio center. Ideally, I would be creating both a playful park-like space for the many children and families of Vicenza to enjoy, while also transforming the public space into a more useful topography for events.

The galleries of the art center would be enclosed by sliding panel walls, colored on the outward facing side. This volume would be enclosed by a glass envelope so that the spectators on the market hill may view the facade and see a large collage of colored panels. The facade would transform for each new exhibit. This way, the architecture speaks to the public, as one notices a different facade when the exhibit changes. The stairs would come up between the glass envelope and the volume of the art gallery.

The palladio center would become a juxtaposition to the art center, in which the external material would be solid stone. The gallery of the palladio center would also be a rectangular volume in which the stair travels around. The gallery would be stone with large windows so that as one travels upwards, they may peer into the gallery spaces and view in. The other side of the building would hold the rest of the program being the library, archive and offices.

During mid review, I had been heavily advised to reconsider the exterior envelope of the art center, as glass becomes quite hot and consequently create a greenhouse effect onto the interior space. The idea for the sliding panels to transform had also been too theoretical, as many artists prefer large empty spaces, and wouldn't be interested in designing the circulation of the gallery.

My design had also provided too many channels in between piazza erbe and piazza signori, and it was suggested that I place the palladio center next to the hill so that I eliminate one alleyway.

trying to understand the sliding walls and how it relates the the facade

taking breaks at a magnificent park in the area that has incredibly cute bunnies everywhere along with turtles and chickens and roosters and birds.
 understanding stairs are way more confusing than you would think.
going over review requirements and sketching out diagrams
 generating first ideas. Always interesting seeing where ideas take you and tracing back to the beginning.

 First ideas exploring how color can be introduced into the museum on the ceilings, having different platforms laying over each other.

Old models turning into useful containers.

a little slope for people to sit into. brainstorming how the brick hill can have carved little pockets of seating, perhaps painted colorfully for people to sit and view.

With the information and input collected during review, I had decided to keep the concept of the sloping hill, and redesign the rest of the program with this concept, and come up with a scheme that uses the space more efficiently.

Piazza Study Part 1.

 Spring term I am in Italy, working on a studio project specifically focussing on how the building composes and shapes a piazza!

The first two weeks of studio we have toured around Rome and Florence (and surrounding towns) studying and sketching all the piazzas. We have formed into teams that either focus on Form, Use, or Fabric. My team was assigned to the "containment", a sub group of Fabric. We have been looking at how a piazza can be thought of as a "room," composed of Walls, Floors and Ceilings. I decided to work on walls for our presentation. This is some of the information I have gathered in the two weeks.
 To the right is Piazza Signore, our final piazza site in which our studio project takes place. I focussed on color palette, material, the percentage of "thematic" vs "exception", and how the ground floor is contained. This piazza is surrounded by porticoes, making for a very open ground level, while the upper levels are quite closed off. This makes for the theme. The exception however, is the grand basilica, being quite open on both levels, and the towers which are closed.
The building type defined the theme of the piazza in Rome. This piazza was enclosed by shop houses, in which the ground level opened out into the piazza, and the upper levels contained living units. The exception here were the open portico of the church and the government building. Exceptions can include materiality, or fine detail.

 Florence had layers of containment which divided the space of the piazza. Street and sidewalk levels, trees, the fountain all divided the spaces so that the use may function accordingly.
This piazza had quite a flat ground, with very little differentiation in levels. This made for a very empty zone. This piazza however was successful in that all four sides of the piazza had quite distinct facades, making for easier way finding.

These sketches include some work from my teammates. I'm excited to share some of my sketches soon!