• Where luxury is harmony: Casa das Canoas by Oscar Niemeyer

    If you love free-form architecture, as it is the case of VisualARQ, you will agree with us that the work of the Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer is a unique landmark.

    Is there an ideal client for an architect? Public bodies with big budgets? Private customers who want a personal project? Or friends, who believe that the architect can imbue his/her project with their personality?

    Actually, none of them. The best customer for an architect is the architect himself, with no more limits than those imposed by the budget and legal regulations. When you are your own customer, nothing is banned and you can experiment as you like.

    Today we will be talking about the most intimate Niemeyer and of one of his projects in which he acted both as an architect and a customer. No doubt his most popular work is the one he executed in Brasilia, the city that was intended to show the world how a country could raise a new capital which would show its power, modernity and future potential. However, for this article, we didn’t choose any of those large buildings that became symbols of the new Brazil, nor any other huge assignment. Instead, we chose to introduce you the house he designed in 1951 for his family: A Casa das Canoas.

    The architectural design of Casa das Canoas has been reproduced with VisualARQ

    The architectural design of Casa das Canoas has been reproduced with VisualARQ. Image: Design Rulz web.

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  • Need a stress test? VisualARQ invites you to try Scan-and-Solve!

    VisualARQ and Scan-and-Solve complement each other in architectural projects.

    VisualARQ and Scan-and-Solve complement each other in architectural projects. Image: Intact solutions.

    The pleasure of creating. This is one of the main reasons that fuels architects’ vocations. Imagining something and bringing that idea to reality by applying technical knowledge.

    You have an idea in your head - an office building, a public square, a villa, a school. Your hand moves over the paper and outlines a sketch. Then, you enter some data through the keyboard and start contemplating on a screen how what before was just an intangible product of your creativity takes shape.

    So far, so good. Your model looks excellent (don’t forget you are using VisualARQ).

    Models are great, they can bear everything. If you are a Rhino user, we can’t imagine the complexity and sophistication of the structures you might have been designing. However, at some point, you must have had to check how those structures responded.

    Don’t forget that you are an architect. Your buildings will have to be built with concrete, steel and glass. And the big question is: “will they work as expected”?

    We can’t tell you that, but there is a Rhino plug-in that can give you the answer to this question. With Scan-and-Solve, you will be able to check the behavior of your model.

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  • An architectural space in Rhino to develop creativity

    A brief test for architects and designers:

    • 1. If the shape should convey the message of the content, shouldn’t architecture schools be the best-built buildings?
    • 2. If a gift wrapping should begin to seduce before opening the gift, shouldn’t an art center be a piece of art itself?
    • 3. If we want to develop our artistic skills, whether in painting, theater, music or dance, shouldn’t we do it in a place that represents creativity?
    View of the architectonic planning of the campus

    View of the architectonic planning of the campus. Image: © Roland Halbe

    If you answered negatively to these questions, either you don't do architecture or you are going through a rebellious stage.

    In case you got stuck at the first question recalling the building design of your college, we understand your frustration.

    If you answered “Yes” to these three questions, you have come to the right place: the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts.
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  • VisualARQ 1.8 webinar: BIM and Architectural Tools for Rhinoceros

    Novedge webinar series
    October 1st
    Join Francesc Salla, VisualARQ Product Manager, for a fast-paced and exciting demonstration of VisualARQ 1.8.

    • Wednesday October 1st, 2014
    • 11.00 am-12.00 pm PDT
    • 20.00 pm-21.00 pm CET

    The webinar will show an overview of VisualARQ, focusing on the 1.8 version improvements and covering the following topics:

    • How VisualARQ streamlines workflow + improves architectural design process efficiency within Rhino.
    • How to model using 3D parametric architectural objects, editable and customizable anytime.
    • How to create floor plans, section and elevations drawings from any 3D model automatically.
    • How VisualARQ adds BIM features to Rhino: geometry and object data are linked. The IFC exporter.
    • Overview of the VisualARQ Grasshopper Components Add-on.

    The webinar is organized by Novedge, is free and will last about about 1 hour, including the Q & A session.

    Details and Registration

  • Rhino + VisualARQ for architecture workshop


    • When: 28 September 2014. 12:00PM – 6:00PM
    • Where: Somewhere Something. 2558 N. San Fernando Rd. Studio A8. Los Angeles, California 90065

    After the great success of the first workshop of Rhino + VisualARQ for architectureBiayna Bogosian & Jason King from Somwhere Something repeat the experience next 28th September 2014.

    These will be the topics to cover in this new edition of the Rhino and VisualARQ for architecture Workshop:

    • How to efficiently create a standard architectural drawing set in Rhino, including editable title blocks.
    • What is VisualARQ? Why is it useful?
    • Introduction to parametric architectural objects in VisualARQ.
    • Create custom objects in VisualARQ.
    • Create dynamic 2D representation, including plans, sections and elevations.
    • Efficient dimensioning in Rhino.

    More details and registration...

  • The success of an architectonic parasite in a prehistoric legacy

    When we think about the use of architectural programs such as Rhino, Norman Foster or Zaha Hadid works come into our minds. However, Rhino goes beyond huge projects, NURBS or parametric complexity. In this blog, we want to look to broader horizons.

    When architects or engineers try to compare the best programs for their work, they opt for Rhino if they need free-form design, accurate modeling, complex curves, etc. However, this software offers many other possibilities.

    If, in addition, we add to it a tool like VisualARQ, technology will be at the service of creativity, not the other way round. For projects of any size.

    VisualARQ, a free-form architectural software, analyzes the design of the Monteagudo Museum

    VisualARQ, a free-form architectural software, analyzes the design of the Monteagudo Museum.
    Image by David Frutos

    Back to the beginning. Large buildings? Projects with brilliant and evocative titles? Not necessarily.

    Concrete and metal engraving. Solidity and lightness.

    Concrete and metal engraving. Solidity and lightness. Image by David Frutos

    There are alternative options: the Madrid based Amann, Cánovas and Maruri studio, for example, speaks of its Monteagudo Museum Visitor Center project with these words: "This building is, without doubt, a parasite."

    A parasite in the best sense, that of mimesis and adaptation. A fruitful exchange of energy.

    Monteagudo is a small town in the province of Murcia, Spain. It was not difficult to choose the best location for a new museum: they simply had to go with the flow of local history. A nearby hill is the physical representation of the town's history.Thanks to its privileged position, it was chosen as a settlement by the inhabitants of this region from prehistoric times! There are the remains of an argaric village from the Bronze Age dated 2000 years BC, an Iberian settlement from the IV century BC, a Roman site from the 1st century AD, an Arab village, a Christian chapel, as well as the remains of a castle from the year 1000.

    Archaeological remains integrated in the new building

    Archaeological remains integrated in the new building. Image by www.monteagudo.info

    Imagine for a moment that they are architects and are commissioned to create a work that, over time, will leave its trail with these illustrious precedents. Real History. The lucky ones were Atxu Amann, Andrés Cánovas and Nicolás Maruri, who employed Rhino software.

    The Visitor Center is just where the prehistoric and Roman settlements existed. On the one hand, the Center had to preserve the remains and allow its study. On the other hand, it had to adhere to the skin of the mountain crowned by a castle and a chapel and coexist with them. When spotted from the mountain top or from the towers of the castle, the museum should look as just one more relief.

    The construction was designed using Rhino software

    The construction was designed using Rhino software. Image by David Frutos

    The terrain orography affects any construction. In this case, since it is a building that will receive visits, they have opted for ramps. Double advantage: they facilitate the access for all types of visitors and, at the same time, let the building fit into the environment. The construction has a "U" shape, and leaves a baroque chapel in its center.

    The design of this modern building leaves a baroque chapel in its center

    The design of this modern building leaves a baroque chapel in its center. Image by David Frutos

    What about the cladding? This parasite has metal skin, fully covered with a plant-like design inspired by the natural surroundings.

    Metal coating is inspired by the forms of the surrounding nature

    Metal coating is inspired by the forms of the surrounding nature. Image by David Frutos and Zeisterre

    The ground floor has been designed as an open space, a temporary refuge. The designers have created an urban building that is open to the neighbors and acts as a shelter in the shade under the burning sun of Murcia. Its walls are of concrete, with movable metal panels.

    The building entrance integrates into the urban fabric

    The building entrance integrates into the urban fabric. Image by David Frutos

    The temporary exhibitions are on the upper floor rooms. Through their windows, you can contemplate nature and the castle. A multiple sheets panel, sealed with a hot waterproofing process, forms its metallic structure. The shell of this peculiar parasite is coated with corten steel perforated with patterns that remind of the vegetation. Through them, the light is filtered inside the building.

    Access to the temporary exhibitions area of the Museum

    Access to the temporary exhibitions area of the Museum. Image by David Frutos

    The steel trusses are clearly contemporary because of their material, but also remind us of Arab latticework.

    The sheet of water in the interior takes our imagination to those typical in ancient Arabic architecture.

    Parallelism between the use of water in contemporary architecture and in the traditional Arabic one

    Parallelism between the use of water in contemporary architecture and in the traditional Arabic one. Image by David Frutos and Zeisterre

    More than 700 years ago, through some Arab wood or stone latticework, one could contemplate this hill. Today, centuries later, through another metal lattice, we can glimpse the same landscape. Besides, this museum allows us to approach the ancient sites and see the remains of our ancestors’ lifestyle.

    On this hill of Murcia, we become aware that we are not the first ones. Let's hope that neither the last ones. The Monteagudo Museum Visitor Center will be our footprint.

    The remains of the Monteagudo castle can be seen from the Museum

    The remains of the Monteagudo castle can be seen from the Museum. Image by David Frutos

    • Source: Estudio Amann, Cánovas y Maruri
    • Architects: Atxu Amann Alcocer, Andrés Cánovas Alcaraz, Nicolás Maruri González de Mendoza
    • Technical Architect: Rafael Checa
    • Location: San Cayetano Square. Monteagudo. Murcia (España)

    (Article by M.A. Núñez)

  • New VisualARQ Grasshopper Components exercises: Create slabs and stairs

    You can follow these easy step-by-step exercises to learn how to create slabs and stairs in Grasshopper using VisualARQ Grasshopper Components.

    Create a stair:

    This exercise shows the basic steps to create a VisualARQ stair in Grasshopper. First assign a curve to the stair as the path, and then define the other stair parameters (height, number of steps, steps dimensions, alignment, stair slab start and end thickness, etc.).

    Since it is not possible in the current version of VisualARQ (1.8) to create stairs from curve types other than lines, polylines or arcs, it is not possible to do so in Grasshopper either. In future versions of VisualARQ, stairs will be able to be created from any curve type.

    If you select an arc as the stair path, you will create a spiral stair.

    The exercise also shows how to create new stair styles and a trick to flip the stair direction.

    Once you bake the stair, it becomes a native VisualARQ stair object in Rhino.

    VisualARQ stairs in Grasshopper

    Create slabs:

    This exercise shows different examples to create and edit VisualARQ slabs in Grasshopper.

    • 1. Create a slab.
    • 2. Define the slab parameters.
    • 3. Subtract a boundary from a slab.
    • 4. Link stair contours with slab holes.
    • 5. Create multilevel slabs from a volume.

    When slabs are baked, they become native VisualARQ slabs in Rhino, as all VisualARQ objects created in Grasshopper.
    VisualARQ slabs in Grasshopper

  • Visit the Galaxy of architectural software: VisualARQ and Lumion

    We at VisualARQ believe in collective intelligence. What matters is that together we add more potential to get where we want to. Everybody helps.

    Lumion adds light effects to the visualizations of VisualARQ architectural software

    Lumion adds light effects to the visualizations of VisualARQ architectural software. Image: © http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luz

    We all develop this phenomenon together every day, through the Internet network itself, for example. Our professional network revolves around two main axes: architectural software and Rhino. However, besides us many other planets also orbit these large suns. We are all developing software for several uses. Together, our galaxy expands: Grasshopper, BIM, Parametrics, IFC, Landscape, Geolocation, Model animation...

    At VisualARQ we look at our own software through a microscope. However, to see what is moving around us - sometimes at the speed of light - we take a spotting scope, a periscope, a telescope or whatever it takes. Light? Let's talk about it.

    We love to hear how satisfied you are with the models you create with VisualARQ but, let us not fool ourselves, the textures that our software allows you to apply would look terrific with some extra magic light. The magic provided by rays, metallic or iridescent reflections and subtle twinkles.

    So, we invite you to embark on this interstellar journey with destination Lumion.

    With it, your VisualARQ model will not only come alive, it will literally come out of your screen! You will be able to create high quality videos that will leave their mark on your customers. At this point, you must have realized that developing a good architectural project, both technically and aesthetically, is not enough. You must be able to show it as the great star that it is meant to be. Because a good product stands out even more with the right presentation. Furthermore, it is BIM integrated.

    Continue reading...

  • Architecture and sport: a stadium for the new gladiators

    Let's get frivolous.

    It's about time, since our latest analyses of architectural projects focused on plenty of cultural equipments, such as schools, big museums , small museums, public libraries, university pavilions, exhibitions, interviews with architects… Today we bring out our most primitive instincts. Let’s go to football!

    VisualARQ presents the Aviva Stadium in Dublin

    VisualARQ presents the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Image Populous.

    We have to come to terms with the fact that a sporting event brings together more assistants than ever will attend, for example, a library. Sports facilities are enjoyed by thousands of people who tend to visit them on a more regular basis than people who usually go to a library. And they do so in a very different mood from the one arising from a visit to an exhibition or a garden.

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  • How to export a Rhino model to Archicad using IFC

    Do you jump from software to software because you are restless by nature?

    We are sure that this gives you great satisfaction, but also major complications. We won’t try to convince you to settle down and be faithful to one specific program, but at least we are giving you a trick so that your playfulness won’t put you into trouble.

    On our YouTube channel, you will find a new video explaining how to export files from Rhino to Archicad using IFC files.

    Do you have a model containing walls, windows or other objects created with VisualARQ? And polysurfaces in Rhino?

    It’s very easy: each floor information can be exported to an IFC file, which you can then open from Archicad.

    VisualARQ objects will keep their properties. You can edit them or unlock the layers you wish.

    Check the following step-by-step video to see how this works in 3 minutes:

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