Sunday, October 29, 2017


I've run out of time to do a proper blog post this weekend, but I need to post something.  Two weeks since I got back from my trip to BiLT Europe.  The second part of my session there dealt with the inherent scaling capability of the Planting category in Revit, and I used various classical elements for most of my examples, in particular my ongoing work to produce a classical columns collection capable of tackling just about any heritage BIM exploration I might want to take on.

Last weekend I did a bit more work on that collection and then decided to test the results on a real example.  I chose one of Soane's London churches.  St Peter's Walworth

Two weekends have been enough to produce a reasonably advanced model, and more importantly for me, to learn a good deal about Soane's approach to designing churches.  All three of his London churches were designed late in his career, and are essentially boxes with a tower over the front door.

Inside it gets a bit more interesting.  There's a nave and aisles, with sturdy Doric columns supporting the aisle galleries.  Stairs in the corners on either side of the entrance lobby provide access to these upper galleries.  He uses arches windows in arched recesses for this church, which is basically yellow brick with stone trim.

I guess the substantial stone bands at base and eaves act as ring beams from a structural viewpoint, bonding the smaller masonry units together and spreading loads.  It's an idea that has been supplanted by structural frames of steel or concrete in modern times but must have been fundamental to Soane's idea of stability in a medium to large building.

The guys at Enscape very kindly extended my license so I can carry on using it for Project Soane work.  In fact they sorted that out over breakfast at the hotel in Denmark so that I could use it during my session ( it expired the night before which I had not anticipated).  That was pretty impressive and much thanks due to Moritz Luck and Phil Read for allowing me to interrupt their cornflakes to organise that :)

The interior shot illustrates how easy it is to crank up the exposure a bit, add a hint of linework to increase the definition of the ceiling recesses and add some fog so that the light streaming through the windows over the altar looks more dramatic.  It will look even better when I get around to placing some pews and altar furniture of course, and stained glass would be very nice if I can figure that one out.

But beyond generating impressive images, I want to delve a bit deeper into the construction details, how the roof works, etc; and to analyse the rhythms of the side elevation which is quite subtle and relates to the spatial planning in ways which I am still getting to grips with.

Here's a rather unfinished ceiling plan.  The red Xs indicated where the stairs should be (not yet modelled) and the arrows at the back are conjectured functional routes for the resident priest to do his stuff.  I think he has rooms on two storeys in these back corners either side of the altar, but I haven't been inside the church.  I'm basing the interior on some rather low-res photos found on the internet.

That's it for now.  Just a teaser from an adventure in classical column use.  Four different columns/pilasters used here covering Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders.  The collection is holding up quite well, but not showing up in plan views as well as I would like as yet.

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