Davey+Smith Architects case study

Davey+Smith Architects case study

Hilmar Gunnarsson Hilmar Gunnarsson January 11, 2023

How Davey+Smith Architects in Ireland are streamlining the design workflow with Arkio.

About Davey+Smith Architects

Davey+Smith Architects was founded on the ethos of providing a high quality architectural service that is both personal and accessible to our clients. We have a multi-disciplinary team of architects, planners and technologists that are up to date with planning law and construction standards in Ireland.

Established in 2010 by Greg Davey and David Smith, our practice has collaborated with many of the major developers and contractors in Ireland over the past 12 years, guiding a large number of high density residential and mixed-use projects. We advocate the utilization of new trends and technologies in our practice, both to the benefit of our clients and in streamlining our processes and output.

What is the main challenge you wanted to address with Arkio?

We initially used VR technology to create occasional visualization experiences, but we wanted to find software that could be more useful for investigative modeling and could be used as an everyday tool for our production workflow.

We found Arkio to be the most effective solution that delivered the requirement to produce and model in virtual reality while also delivering an element of the experiential aspect of VR technology. The focus on the use of the technology in this way shifted from the consumer to the designer and in effect, became more and more used and more productive in its use.

Davey+Smith user story

How are you using Arkio?

We use Arkio in a variety of ways to streamline our design workflow. As an example, we can import site geometry from Archicad and then use the modeling capabilities of Arkio to test multiple massing schemes quickly. The programming functions are useful for this type of work, allowing us to assess density and program requirements in real-time.

Davey+Smith user story Davey+Smith user story

The modeling functions are also useful for more detailed sketch overlays and we use the color within models to highlight specific aspects of a development in a planning report. The meeting capabilities are of course extremely important, both for in-house collaboration and presentations.

How does Arkio fit into your design workflow?

Our primary architectural software is Archicad. We also use Morpholio Trace on iPad extensively for development of feasibility work in sketch format. Arkio is introduced at an early stage in the investigative and feasibility process of our projects. A hand sketch from Tracepro or a hardline 2D drawing from Archicad can be imported into Arkio and quickly extrapolated into a massed model.

Detail can be added appropriate to the scale of the development and the tools within Arkio are particularly appropriate for this use. Trees, vehicles and figures have enough detail to provide a sense of scale, and volume modeling is accurate without being over-detailed so that it can be implemented quickly. Using this process, a worked up massing model can be included in our feasibility presentations in a manner that would have been too time consuming to produce previously. The addition of this element to our early feasibility work brings value and clarity to our presentations in a manner that improves communication with end users - i.e. clients or planning authorities.

What are the main benefits of Arkio?

When providing feasibility work we typically restrict ourselves to a shortened time frame for delivery. This is both to be efficient in our own work and also to reduce or eliminate early costs to our clients before a project becomes truly viable. Given these restrictions it would not always make sense for us to commit resources to providing massing models of feasibility sketches unless specifically requested by a client.

Davey+Smith user story

Arkio provides a means to very rapidly turnaround an early stage massing model without expending a large resource in terms of time or personnel. The value of the resulting presentation is that elements of a feasibility that are not obvious in a two dimensional sketch are more clearly demonstrated with a model. The inclusion of the model illustrates the level of consideration given to a feasibility scheme by the designing architect that might not be otherwise understood or appreciated by the client or planning authorities. Many of our projects have proceeded to contract work using this workflow.

Davey+Smith user story

Alanna Brunton, Architect, Davey+Smith Architects

"Arkio brings the freedom and simplicity I've found with sketching into 3D design modeling. It places power into the hands of the designer. With ease, concept models can be developed, captured, and shared. Instinctual changes can be made quickly. It feels very natural to work in this kind of space at the outset of the design process. At this stage, it's hard to imagine a workflow without it."

Download Davey+Smith user story as PDF