working with sketchup 06/2014


Sketchup has become a successful medium for us to present our ideas to the client. Within the program, the client is able to see and comprehend the proposed spatial  arrangement from all angles by taking a 'virtual tour'. We have found that bringing Sketchup into our meetings has made the process of presenting to our client more interactive. We have also found this to be a tool that the whole family can enjoy.


We recently had a meeting with our clients, who brought along their young son, to share with them our preliminary design for a 'pop-the-top' addition. The new second floor level became their master suite to include an office with walk-out deck, bedroom, walk-in closet, and bath.  After presenting our proposed design, the couple inquired about stacking another 4-unit picture window above the existing 4-unit picture window to create a two-story 'bay window'. We were able to make the modification in real-time by simply pushing and pulling the form in Sketchup. As a result, it kept the conversation moving forward towards an approved design. If you look at the rendering below, the two-story bay was a conceptual idea that turned out to be a successful move by bringing in more natural like to both the second and first floor spaces. 



In addition to being a presentation medium, in our studio, we use Sketchup as a design tool in developing different conceptual ideas as well as working through complex spatial conditions. We found that the software, when compared to other 3D modeling programs, was minimalistic in content however more intuitive and relatively easy for one to master. We are able to efficiently create a form within the program, which affords us the time and energy to delve into the study of different conditions. When all options have been explored, the approved concept can be further developed and then detailed in the construction document phase using a CAD based program.


Written By: Heather Souza

Flavin Architects