GCA Oneida Project ARCHICAD

The team at Galbraith Carnahan Architects (GCA) took first place in the recent 2015 AIA Milwaukee Emerging Professionals Design Competition. Using ARCHICAD, architect, Nick Carnahan, and intern architects Brandon Reinke and John Annis seized the opportunity to display their skills by submitting a design titled The Oneida. Annis says the design came together quickly since ARCHICAD facilitated working schematically within the plan and 3-D window. Since everything in the model connects to actual building information, there’s no wasted work.

“Being able to work on the 3D model within its site context allows you to not work in a bubble,” said Annis. “On this contest submission, ARCHICAD helped us to work efficiently on the schematic design; our massing model was a great start to create the documents we needed for our board submission. Being able to draw schematics which were aesthetically pleasing and also worked in the existing site helped us make realistic choices early on.”

The team got busy on their own time, since the contest didn’t represent billable work, and with only a month to create the submission, coordinating away from the office was key. Once again, ARCHICAD’s  TeamWork functionality allowed real-time coordination on the project from a variety of locations.

The project itself involved the renovation of an existing building, located in downtown Milwaukee. The team chose to extend the site location to include a park. The building itself and the green space that rests alongside the River Walk in Milwaukee is in need of serious attention. In the GCA vision, the vacant building – a former restaurant that needs TLC – maintains that practical use of the space, keeping the restaurant and further transforming the upper floors into luxury apartments.

GCA Oneida Project ARCHICAD

“The vibrant area surrounding the building, right on the River Walk in the heart of the Theater District provides an energetic backdrop to this project. It’s a shame the building sits there vacant now, since there’s so much night life and activity on the weekends.”

The GCA team brought back the original look of the 1880’s building – un-doing some previous renovations that in their opinion took away from its appeal. At the same time, the design helps the Oneida fit in contextually to its surroundings. Using ARCHICAD 18 and the built-in rendering engine powered by CineRender, the design shows off a more modern look, using materials that play off the old and new components.

“CineRender proved valuable for the boards we created. Because teams couldn’t be present during the judging, the judges needed to be able to understand the design through the board submission alone – a true ‘picture is worth a thousand words’ moment.”

Though conceptual in that no developer has contacted GCA to begin this project, it was a great design charrette and marketing opportunity for the young firm.

“Projects such as this one are very realistic. This building has incredible potential to become something the area needs today. It just needs to be re-thought, re-worked and updated. The apartments on the upper floors could end up balancing the cost of renovating a building such as this one.”

GRAPHISOFT North America congratulates GCA on their win!

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