Vision to reality: Bradford College case study

When Bond Bryan invested in our authoring platform back in 1994 we had a clear vision that 3D models would play an important part of the future of the construction industry. When we set off on our journey, the ability to create 3-dimensional visualisations was one of the primary goals of creating a model for the project. For years we were focussed on producing a visualisation that could ‘sell’ our ideas to clients. Looking back these visualisations were crude by today’s standards but they have always been and continue to be a key part of our overall service.

Today visualisations still play a part in our output but they are now one of many bi-products of the model. The models we produce are now able to produce production information including plans, sections and elevations. In addition the models can also be used to create data for traditional architectural schedules (i.e door and window schedules), costing and facilities management data. Our models can also be shared with others and can be used for a variety of other uses such as clash detection, construction sequencing and environmental analysis.

Visualisation in itself is not ‘BIM’ but as part of a wider approach it still plays a key role in explaining the architectural vision to clients and other stakeholders. Of course the final product needs to be deliverable and so it is important that the visualisations are ultimately achievable. It should be remembered that visualisations are merely a snap shot in time so it is unlikely that the final product will be absolutely identical to the images created. There are a variety of reasons for these changes including client change requests, value engineering, design development and other stakeholder requirements. However the aim is to deliver as close to the initial architectural vision with these factors in mind.

Our models are constructed in Graphisoft ARCHICAD and we use a variety of  software to produce digital visualisations including Autodesk 3DS Max, Lumion, Graphisoft BIMx, Graphisoft ARCHICAD, Abvent Artlantis and Maxon Cinema 4D. The new rendering features introduced in ARCHICAD 18 will allow us to produce more visuals direct from the authoring tool.

We have recently completed ‘The David Hockney Building’ for Bradford College which is due to open this month. The main contractor for the project was BAM Construction and was completed in July 2014. We thought it would be nice to share our original architectural visions for the building and the photography of the final building.

The original visuals were produced in-house between March 2012 and June 2013 and the photographs were taken, also in-house, in August 2014. The original models were produced in Graphisoft ARCHICAD 15 and visualisations were produced in Autodesk 3DS Max .


Above Image: View of the main entrance


Above Image: View from Randall Well Street


Above Image: View of the main entrance from Great Horton Road


Above Image: View of main entrance


Above Image: Another view looking up Great Horton Road


Above Image: View looking of the ‘Eating Zone’


Above Image: View looking down Great Horton Road


Above Image: View of the ‘Meeting Place’


Above Image: View of the Higher Education Cafe


Above Image: View of the Michelle Sutton Lecture Theatre


Above Image: View of the Central Media space

I think it is fair to say that Bond Bryan have created a stunning vision and ultimately delivered a fantastic product in conjunction with BAM Construction to Bradford College.

Rob Jackson, Associate Director, Bond Bryan Architects


One thought on “Vision to reality: Bradford College case study

  1. Wow…
    If ever there was a case to justify modelling for BIM, this would be up there with the best of them..

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