The Craft of Architecture

When Ictinus designed the Parthenon in 447 BC, as chief builder or “architekton” in Greek, he sculpted full-size prototypes for the building components that would then be copied by masons to fabricate and assemble of the building. During the Renaissance, architects made great strides in developing accurate scale drawings of plans, elevations, perspectives, and scale wooden models. The drawings and models were then used by builders to construct the structure. These architectural techniques carried through most of the 20th century.

In the digital age of today, plans are rarely drawn by hand. Architects have returned to designing three-dimensional models that can appear at full size. However, the models are now virtual, designed utilizing computer programs, and printed in two- dimensional scale drawings and three-dimensional “camera views” from anywhere within or outside the model. Multiple design options can easily be evaluated by copying models and changing specific elements of the design. Great improvements in architectural software now help architects communicate more effectively with their clients. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Builders can use a three-dimensional model to prepare accurate construction estimates earlier in the design process. Those models allow the architect to correct potential construction collisions of different building systems, such as structure, plumbing, HVAC, lighting, and finishes. Eliminating ambiguity in architectural drawings translates to less guessing for the contractor and lower construction costs for the owner.

During the design process, the architect can make changes to the model live on-screen in meetings with the owner to show desired modifications. Early visualization in three-dimensional models enables virtual walk-throughs and fly-bys simulating how the owner will experience the building. Raphael Architects can show you how the digital models of today can help you envision your home of tomorrow.