Published by Sarah Wright on

SketchUp Organic Architecture

image_3After opening a metric template in SketchUp, double-check your units of measurement in the Model Info dialog box which can be found in the Window menu. You can specify either meters or millimeters. This eco tower design consists of three curved organic towers with three connecting tubular walkways. The first step is to create the footprint of one tower. To do this, go to the Camera menu and choose Standard Views, Top View. Then choose the orthogonal view from the Camera menu. This gives us a flat bird’s eye view of the ground plane. Learn more about SketchUp by going to SketchUp Training Courses near you.

Next create an isosceles triangle 25m on one side and 15 high. Place three circles on the corners with radii of 2, 2 and 5m. Then use the Arc tool to connect the circles tangentially. Use the Eraser to delete the extra lines. This gives you the building footprint. Next orbit around and change the Camera view to the Perspective mode. We then extrude the base upwards by 5m with the Push/Pull tool. Next choose the Scale tool and scale the top surface by a scale factor of 0.9. Finally rotate the top face by 5 degrees in a clockwise direction.

To create the organic twist in the tower requires us to repeat this set of three actions 15 times. Worthy of further investigation is a means of automating this action through the use of Ruby Scripts. When we are happy with the result, triple-click the tower with the Selection tool and then right-click and choose Make Group.

image_4Before copying the tower return to the Top View via the Camera menu, or Views toolbar. Then establish a rotation point using the Line tool; we can hide this later. Then select the tower and choose the Rotate tool, rotating it clockwise by 120 degrees around the rotation point. As we do so make sure to press down on the Control key (Mac: Option) in order to make a copy. Then type in x2 and hit Enter – this will result in the three towers copied around the selected rotation point. Add a tiled or paneled material to the three towers.

To create the tubular walkways first create a circle of radius 15m from the rotation point. Next create another circle at 90 degrees, or perpendicular, to the first, with a radius of 4m – this will be our profile. Select the larger circle – this will be our path. Then select the Follow Me tool, and lastly the smaller circle, resulting in a tubular shape. Select this object and right-click to Make Group. Add a translucent material and copy the ring upwards by 15m, then type x2 to result in three tubes. Scale the copies downwards by a scale factor of 0.9.

The last step in creating this organic architecture scene is to create some nearby buildings and a ground plane, to which we can also add some materials. We may also add people from the Components Sampler to add a human scale to the scene. Then we turn on the Shadows, or use a render engine like Maxwell to create a more photo-realistic image from the model. Lastly the image is taken into Adobe Photoshop to adjust the tones and colour values, and add a Lens Flare effect from the Filters. Get more information by visiting this link.