The relationship between ARCHICAD and March Studio began three years ago. The branded architecture firm, located in Santa Monica, California recalls their first project in which they used ARCHICAD to design the Cinema Media Arts Center at Providence High School in Burbank, CA. The project became a prototype for future work, ushering in a movement away from producing designs in 2D CAD and SketchUp. With the change in software came an expansion in the range of services the firm could offer their clients.
During the project, Summer Vaughn March Studio Project Architect, used the Providence 3D model to develop a new office template in ARCHICAD, setting the foundation for consistency and ease in future documentation. It even enhanced their ability to create compelling design presentations. Early in the design process, she could share white model renders with the client, allowing them to follow the development of the design, moving towards full material renders as the design was dialed in.
“Our transition to ARCHICAD has elevated our work process and abilities,” explained Vaughn. “We find that geometrically complex designs are much easier to resolve and coordinate in ARCHICAD, such as the entry canopy for the Cinema Media Arts Center.”
“With ARCHICAD we were able to render the complex entry feature and iteratively work through the geometry to provide a comprehensive package needed for the fabricator. Providing renderings is now part of our standard service and our presentations have this tangible wow factor. These are wonderful features to have in what we consider a very robust design tool.”
Because the school is local to major Hollywood studios and next door to Disney, students have regular exposure to world-class media production at their doorstep – so the program required a space that reflected the professional world of entertainment, creative offices with state of the art technology and media. Starting with two existing classrooms on separate levels, Vaughn integrated the separate spaces to establish a classroom and flexible presentation space in one area with a sound stage and studio control room for media production. Drastically changing the original feel of the space, the design called for an opening in a brick wall with a stair and ramp to connect the two levels. With custom casework (developed in ARCHICAD), studio level equipment, and an innovative approach to storage, the school has a state of the art media production center.
As her team worked on this project, they discovered freedom in being able to make changes in the model as they worked. The days of multiple files in multiple programs were over, making the process more streamlined and efficient.
“Revisions were tracked and completed more efficiently. Due to ARCHICAD we could see details early in the project’s life cycle, which assisted us in maintaining the design intent with more upfront consideration. Since we can update the model so quickly, we can have more frequent design reviews, ensuring a more refined final design. In addition to that our schedules are updated live, removing potential for inaccuracies.” Workflow improvements have been significant as well since the adoption of ARCHICAD, especially because of the TeamWork feature. “TeamWork has been a game changer for us, allowing us to be more productive when on a deadline, since the ARCHICAD user can see live updates with the team. We rely less on verbal communication from the project manager, who can store more project information in ARCHICAD so it is available to the team. TeamWork allows our project managers to divide work among team members and rely on the software to populate changes throughout the model as they happen.”
Using TeamWork, the firm produced a Schematic Design Package with renderings in the span of a week.