Historic Home Renovation in ARCHICAD
The way in which a project begins is not always the way the project ends. Take for example a recent project that ARCHICAD user, Andrew Passacantando is working on in Morristown, NJ.
Passacantando got on board with a developer to renovate a historic home, dating back to 1871, situated amongst brick Georgian style townhomes. Soon as the work began, a potential buyer saw it, fell in love with the home and its proximity to main street and decided to buy it and preserve its historic status.
Passacantando says he presented the design ideas to historic boards in the area to achieve the necessary approvals so that the home could have more modern elements, such as a detached garage, expanded kitchen and covered porch while maintaining its original Victorian charm. The use of ARCHICAD supported these design iterations all the while.
“We presented large size renderings to the historic board and board of adjustment, which helped convey our ideas. Using the renovation filter helped us see what needed to remain and what could be torn down, of course,” explained Passacantando. “Showing the existing conditions and proposed changes made it easier for us to communicate with the folks involved in approving our ideas.”
An additional advantage to visualizing in ARCHICAD rested in the ability to import a photograph taken on the property and then go into the model from that same vantage point. Complex profiles in ARCHICAD assisted with selecting options for the home’s mouldings – in fact the decisions were made by the client based on a rendering alone.
One challenge in modernizing an 18th Century house is dealing with the absence of closet space. Working in ARCHICAD Passacantando was able to rearrange things without disturbing the exteriors.
“We worked very closely with the homeowner in setting up a new layout for the kitchen, a private office and a mud room to make the home more livable by today’s standards.”
Working in ARCHICAD 21 with a brand-new stair tool assisted the design process, but Passacantando says he used the Morph tool and Complex Profile quite extensively on this project.
“This existing house has multiple cornice projections and profiles. The gable end rakes where first modeled as complex profiles and then turned it into Morphs so that I could angle them, cut them and modify them as needed.”
“A complex profile can be changed within the tool itself,” added Passacantando. “So that means it’s better to keep the element a complex profile – because when changes happen, they can be handled rather quickly and updated throughout the model automatically. However, when it is a morph from the outset, you need to individually change each one.”
This approach worked well given the home’s age. Most of the studs were hand cut, therefore differing dimension. The lathe and plaster and outside siding measurements were input into the model and made up the complex profile for the wall. That way Passacantando knew the model truly reflected each component of the wall.