Michael Doll AIA, an architect based in Cedarburg, WI created a skyscraper for the design competition, Evolve 2014. The concept is a public building, “Cevitas Centralis” Latin for “Citizen Central.” It is a building dedicated to public use as opposed to profit driven and would be used as a public gathering place, for performances, meetings and events.
The design parameters put forth by the competition were liberal in that architects who enter could be as creative as they wish.
“I’m taking my design to the absolute limit using the BIM technology in ArchiCAD. I don’t know of any other program I could have used as far as software goes. I can specify materials, beams, walls and be efficient as the model develops. Even consolidating that into a materials list so that if the building were ever to be constructed, we’d have a reliable plan to help make the leap from design to reality.”
Doll has worked with ArchiCAD since the late 1980s and considers it a key factor in his ability to be successful in creating even the most intensely designed building. It is able to keep up with his thought process.
“In order for architects to be creative, we need to be able to see the design as we go. Before using ArchiCAD I would run into situations where my mind worked faster than the program. That would produce spates of unproductive time. ArchiCAD helps me be super productive AND creative.”
Doll has worked on a wide range of projects, from residential buildings to other large commercial projects. One in particular, an orthodontist’s office, presented a unique challenge in that it needed to be designed with an efficient workspace. That way it would allow the hygienists to prep and sterilize tools or equipment quickly and work through a peak after-school surge of patients.
“The strength of ArchiCAD in my mind has always been the visualization capability. In designing the orthodontics clinic, I was able to help the doctor – who by nature and the demands of their practice was very particular about his office layouts and details – see the building we were going to build, before it was built.” The clinic was ultimately featured on the cover of their leading dental journal.
The architect strives to design sustainable and authentic original architecture, ArchiCAD provides him with the visualization and collision detection he needs to get the job done correctly. But perhaps most important it provides a tool to communicate the concept to clients so they understand clearly what they are getting for resources invested.
“Whether it is a residence or a larger commercial project, an architect faces the same challenges or issues just at a different scale. Virtual modeling is the critical software tool to communicate with a client and ArchiCAD is exceptionally proficient at that mission. Clients often have difficulty visualizing and with ArchiCAD in 3D it becomes very clear. Thus the decisions they must make to proceed become much easier to move forward with confidence.”