Wednesday, September 29, 2010

“Britain’s best architect”

I came across this article in Building Design recently “Gove waxes lyrical over Amanda Levete” by Elizabeth Hopkirk. The article describes how Britain’s Education Secretary, Michael Gove, called Amanda Levete “Britain’s best architect” during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Globe Academy in South London, which the firm designed. Gove went on to say, “So much care and attention and the work of Britain’s best architect has gone into providing you with the best possible building in which to spend the next few years.” He said everyone involved in the design had “shaped a building which is impressive on the outside and beautiful on the inside.”

Why did this article catch my attention? Amanda Levete Architects is a Z Corp. customer. They use a ZPrinter 450, multicolor 3D printer. 

It’s gratifying to know that Z Corp. technology is being used by the best architectural firms to quickly and cost effectively create the most innovative designs in an iterative manner, and then have those designs validated by such a prestigious, independent third party. But it also makes me wonder why some architectural firms have not yet adopted 3D printing. If physical modeling is used to complement digital modeling in design practice (as most architects do), then firms without 3D printing in their competitive arsenal are at a distinct disadvantage.

From the Levete company Website profile page…"The ethos of the office is rooted in design research and a commitment to exploring the transformative potential of space. Developments in digital fabrication have allowed the office to challenge conventional notions of form and space alongside the continued value placed on hand-drawings and hand-crafted models. The team's collaborative approach to the design process extends clients' ambitions for their projects and produces groundbreaking work."

The best AEC firms combine laser cutting, CNC, and hand-crafting with modern 3D prototyping technology to create visualization models for their design team, clients, and regulatory agencies. I’d like to hear from you. If you have not yet adopted 3D printing into your architectural firm, why? Are you considering it?