Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Continuing where I left off on the Gherkin a few weeks back.  I have summary sheets to take you through the 3rd pass.  We will cut out the wedge-shaped voids from the floor plates, which spiral up the building six floors at a time.  6 floors, each with 6 lettable office areas.  The voids link these spaces together, bring light deeper into the building, facilitate air circulation, create interesting breakout spaces, allow for stairs linking one floor to the next.  It's a very interesting device as we shall see later on.

Next we will create black bands that spiral around the outer skin.  They trace the path of the voids behind.  We will also delete some panels at the bottom to open up an arcade at ground level and to define the entrance to the building.  And while we are at it we'll create a simple extrusion to represent the core rising through the centre of the building and housing the lifts, stairs, toilets, service risers.

To complete the third pass we add cladding to the frame.  In cross-section this is diamond-shaped, picking up on the theme established by the outer glazed skin.  We will set it up so that it can be hidden for selected instances, revealing the frame beneath. 

The summary sheets take you through the process of building the third-pass version of the Gherkin model.  I avoid lengthy detours to explain why I have chosen this or that method.  So just for fun I am going to add in a section here that mimics an FAQ format: questions and answers that expand on some of my methods.

Why do I set the hosted points almost at the end, but not quite. 

It's just a bit easier to know what you are selecting if points are not exactly on top of each other, just in case I need to say rotate the point later.  In this case it's also an opportunity to show students another feature of the Revit massing environment that they can use in future.  These exercises are intended to take "interest in BIM" and "interest in Architecture" and let them feed off each other, heightening the learning experience.

What is the brilliant DTP programme you are using to lay out your pages

Silly question.  I love to use Revit to combine images and text.  The images are screen shots captured by the windows Snipping Tool.  To capture the snipping tool itself, I can always use One Note, also one of my favourite tools.  Of course it would be most wonderful if The Factory would put greater emphasis on improving Revit's Desktop Publishing capabilities with each release.  Wouldn't we all love a better text editor ?  How about some basic image formatting (crop, brightness & contrast, drop shadow)  Images as links would be nice. 

My point is that for many companies, Revit is pigeonholed as a documentation aid.  The whole "seamless integration from concept design to facilities manangement" thing is stumbling at the first hurdle.  I would love to use Revit for concept design reports, not just by exporting "some of the images" but by compiling the whole booklet directly from my Revit model.  It can be done ... but it could be better.

What do you do when the information to hand is inadequate or ambiguous ?

What can you do ?  I make my best guess.  In some ways this is the best part.  Trying to figure something out, follow the clues, join the dots.  Don't be scared.  By building an inaccurate model we can stumble on the right questions to ask, the right information to search out.  For example.  The main entrance.  It's clear that there are a series of wedge shaped cuts in the floor slabs and glazed screens set back from the edge, but exactly what the angles are and how far back the screens are offset ... I'm not sure. 

The point is, we are not aiming for forensic accuracy, our goal is to gain deeper insight into principles, to learn lessons that may be useful in other contexts.

Download the files from the links below.



as before the summary sheets are pdf files designed to help you build the Gherkin model. 

The gherkin studies file is the Revit model itself, at a slightly more advanced stage than described here.  Summary sheets for the next stage will follow as and when I find the time.

1 comment:

I've been getting a lot of spam so had to tighten up comments permissions. Sorry for any inconvenience. I do like to hear from real people