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7 Cool Architectural Visualization Styles

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2016 by vincentloy

Recently, I found a very interesting article that discusses the seven most popular architectural visualization styles produced by architectural firms or students out there. I myself is not good in computer renderings and so I’m very excited to look at the different styles and methods used to enhance rendering of each particular projects. I wish to learn (and hopefully) master rendering skills in near future which would be very beneficial especially when I step out to the working world after my graduation.

I would like to share the article below which is originally from Architizer at this link below:

There was a time when no self-respecting rendering would allow itself to be seen in public without a zeppelin hovering somewhere in its desaturated sky. Supermodels in haute couture garments strutted across opera foyers, uninterested expressions and blasé attitudes adding to the exclusivity of the space. These gimmicks are still widely used, but since its early days architectural rendering has seen major technical advancements that allowed it to appropriate cinematic techniques relying on color, lighting, framing, composition, and angles to convey moods. This disciplinary overlap between architecture and film is fundamental in the use of similar software and modeling techniques and has brought the two closer through the idea of storytelling, a notion inherent to both disciplines. In architectural rendering, if the spirit or the main feeling isn’t persuasive and engaging enough, the function of images is reduced to regurgitating information already provided through drawings and schematics.

An overabundance of visual content, brought on partly by the democratization of architectural publishing, has produced an almost pornographic fixation on architectural representation, rendering techniques in particular. Computer generated imagery is no longer an intermediary between an idea and its realization, but a finished product on its own. Different rendering genres have emerged over the years, similar in approach and style to recognizable cinematic tropes.

The Mad Max

City lights dimmed, the “urban wasteland” awaits the appearance of the new development whose lights seem to be the only sign of life for miles around.


Eleftheria Square by Zaha Hadid Architects, via Skyscrapercity


Phoenix Towers by Chetwoods Architects

The Whodunit

These renderings sport a menacing atmosphere achieved by desaturating the image or using only dark blue and green tones. Stormy skies, shadowy figures, and strong contrasts create tension that transforms spaces into potential film noir crime scenes.


Kaohsiung Port Terminal by RTA-Office


Park51 by Soma Architects

The David

The David flaunts its perfectly mapped textures, lifelike grass, and clinically precise reflections to the point that, like the android boy David in Spielberg’s A.I., the architecture looks a bit too perfect.



The Quest by Ström Architects

Paranormal Activity

Blended so well into their surroundings, these projects are practically not there. Buildings appear as dreamy echoes of themselves held up by light and memory, instead of concrete pillars and slabs.



Camellian Opera House by Matteo Cainer Architects

The Gondry

The stubborn collage technique may feel anachronistic but, every so often, it makes a powerful comeback. The combination of photos, renderings and drawing can be surprisingly effective and reminds of Michel Gondry’s distinctive visual style. In its most experimental form The Gondry may include unicorns, movie stars, space ships, and a cutout photo of Le Corbusier.


Boulders Resort by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The Theodore

The Theodore could be a subcategory of Paranormal Activity, but, unlike the latter, it is found mostly among representations of interiors. Airy spaces and more than generous amounts of diffuse lighting make one want to lay back in an armchair and dictate a heartfelt love letter, just like Theodore in Spike Jonze’s “Her.”


Green Valley by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects


The Katherine Heigl

Romantic snowbound streets, palpable silence of the first snow, kids having fun, couples holding hands, and a building in the background. The Katherine Heigl promises a happy ending and a lighthearthed story enacted in and around the omnipresent new building. This category includes sunsets, images whose large portions show meadows, forests, parks, and all kinds of pastoral scenery.


Le Brassus by BIG


Samaranch Memorial Museum by HAO Holm Architecture Office

Each styles above has their uniqueness and there is none than is better than the others because it all depends on the nature of the individual projects as well as the preferences by the visualizers. Well, there may be even some few more visualization styles out there that are not mentioned here. If you know about it, you can share it in the comments section.

(Information and images in this post are from the following source:



Who says abandoned containers can’t be made of good use? Those can be transformed into a house!

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2014 by vincentloy

That’s innovation and creativity. That’s thinking out of the box. I was referring to brilliant ideas by those people making a house from abandoned shipping containers. Not only that they managed to create a habitable space inside, they also surprisingly make the space much cooler, and eventually putting the idea noticeable and compliment-able in architecture field.

It’s also a sustainable approach of using containers and also recyclable materials to complete the house. The outcome would be more industrialized-looking but once you put in some modern touch to it or whatever style you prefer, then the result would be cool and distinctive. Here are some very good-looking Container House I would like to share with you.

1. A container house in Redondo Beach, California. Well, this is one big and luxurious house. Who says containers couldn’t be turned into a double-volume habitable space? This one comes with pool too. Interesting facade treatment. And the most interesting element is that the living room’s glass wall that can be entirely opened upward to expand the space and also to provide additional shelter to the area.




2. A container house in Savannah, Georgia. You will not feel good for its exterior. But once you get inside, you will be surprised. A very huge contrast between its exterior and interior. You would never expect how modern this humble interior of the container house turned out to be.



3. A container house named Six Oax in Santa Cruz mountains, California. What’s cool of this house is the attention to details and also impressive facade treatment to make the container’s appearance looks new and fantastic.



4. A container house in San Jose Costa Rica. A small house made from only a small budget ($40 000) and the outcome is incredible and unbelievable. A very nice concept of bringing inside out and vice versa, openness, and making full advantage of natural lighting and ventilation. But the only concern here is security and safety.




Wonderful right? I believe there are plenty more interesting container houses like the ones shown above out there. But I guess not a single one in Malaysia yet. We still stick to the normal mindset; the poor targets to buy a terrace house or condominium, the middle-income group targets to buy apartment, double-storey or semi-D, while the rich goes for bungalow. Well, it should be time for innovation and creativity. The idea of container house can be enjoyed by people of all class. It’s now just a matter of daring to try or not. Hmm…now I’m imagining further whether I can have a huge container house that can be also transportable. Then, I can move my house anywhere I like.

(Information and images in this post are from the following source:


Pritzker Architecture Prize winner for the last three years

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2013 by vincentloy

Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually to honour “a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.” It is founded in 1979 and is often referred to as Nobel Prize in architecture, hence symbolizing the prestige and top honour of receiving this award. I’m now dreaming of whether in future I could have the chance to win this architecture’s highest honor. It’s something very hard to achieve, but I will try my best.

Notable former recipients of this award are Philip Johnson, Sir James Stirling, I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, Kenzo Tange, Oscar Niemeyer, Frank Gehry, Robert Venturi, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Herzog and de Meuron, Glenn Murcutt, Jorn Utzon, Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers, Jean Nouvel, Peter Zumthor, etc. I recalled the last time I wrote about this award was in 2010, when Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA) won it for that year. Now, it’s time to highlight the recipients of this award from 2011 to 2013.

2011’s winner of Pritzker Prize is Eduardo Souto de Moura from Portugal. The prize was awarded for his work including Estádio Municipal de Braga (image shown below), the Burgo Tower in Porto and the Paula Rego Museum in Cascais. His buildings have a unique ability to convey seemingly conflicting characteristics—power and modesty, bravado and subtlety, bold public authority and sense of intimacy—at the same time. His design reinforces a sense of history while expanding the range of contemporary expression through beauty and authenticity of materials and construction.


2012’s winner is Wang Shu from China. He is the first Chinese to win Pritzker Prize (second winner of Chinese descent after I.M. Pei).  His win is generally due to his “unique ability to evoke the past, without making direct references to history” and called his work “timeless, deeply rooted in its context and yet universal”. His architecture has been described as “opening new horizons while at the same time resonates with place and memory”, experimental, and as a rare example of critical regionalism in China. His notable works are Ningbo Museum (image shown below), Library of Wenzheng College, Xiangshan campus of the China Academy of Art and Old Town Conservation of Zhongshan Street, Hangzhou.


The most recent winner of this Pritzker Prize for year 2013 goes to Toyo Ito from Japan. Unlike the previous two award recipients, Toyo is more popular and known for creating conceptual architecture, in which he seeks to simultaneously express the physical and virtual worlds. He is a leading exponent of architecture that addresses the contemporary notion of a “simulated” city, and has been called “one of the world’s most innovative and influential architects.”  Ito has defined architecture as “clothing” for urban dwellers, particularly in the contemporary Japanese metropolis. This theme revolves around the equilibrium between the private life and the metropolitan, “public” life of an individual. The current architecture of Toyo Ito is aggressively exploring the potentials of new forms. In doing so, he seeks to find new spatial conditions that manifest the philosophy of borderless beings. His notable works are Sendai Mediatheque (image shown below), Bruges Pavilion, VivoCity Singapore, Tod’s Omotesando Building, Kaohsiung’s World Games Stadium, Taoyuan International Airport,  Torre Realia BCN and Hotel Porta Fira at Barcelona.


(All information and images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web).

World’s oldest living architect: Oscar Niemeyer

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2011 by vincentloy

Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho, or popularly known as Oscar Niemeyer is currently 103 years old and would be celebrating his 104th birthday on December this year. At 103 currently, he is the world’s oldest living architect whom are still contributing to designs in his company through his sketches and explanations. He is a Brazilian architect whom had worked in the field for over 70 years, specializing in international modern architecture. He is a pioneer in exploring the formal possibilities of reinforced concrete solely for their aesthetic impact.

His buildings are often characterized by being spacious and exposed, mixing volumes and empty space to create unconventional patterns and often propped up by pilotis. Both lauded and criticized for being a “sculptor of monuments”,  he has been praised for being a great artist and one of the greatest architects of his generation by his supporters. Here below is a quote from the architect himself describing his approach in architecture:

‘It is not the right angle that attracts me, nor the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. What attracts me is the free and sensual curve — the curve that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuous course of its rivers, in the body of the beloved woman.’ 

His first work (Gustavo Capanema Palace with Le Corbusier) came in 1936 which is now over 75 years ago, and his latest masterpiece is the Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre in Spain on 2011 (this year). The latter is a big cultural centre which is ‘an open square to the humankind, a place for education, culture and peace’ (Oscar Niemeyer). In total, he has designed well over 80 buildings or structures which is an impressive record of his contribution to the built environment, particularly in Brazil and Europe. One more thing I wish to highlight is Oscar Niemeyer is the architect of a building in Malaysia, built back in 1980, which is the Penang State Mosque eventhough his contribution in Asia is very minimal.

Two structures which he designed and dedicated to himself are the Oscar Niemeyer Museum at Parana, Brazil and the International Cultural Centre mentioned on the previous paragraph. The former is a museum resembling an eye-shaped tower with ramp leading to it from the reflecting pond below as well as a rectangular gallery behind. The museum features many of Niemeyer’s signature elements: bold geometric forms, sculptural curved volumes placed prominently to contrast with rectangular volumes, sinuous ramps for pedestrians, large areas of white painted concrete, and areas with vivid murals or paintings. His major and famous works are as follow:

At this age and still helping on design contribution, he is often being criticized of the lower quality of his later (recent) works which is definitely affected by his old age. Anyway, the scale of his contribution to architecture is extensive and he can be considered as one of the fathers of modern architecture along with Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. He had also won 1988 Pritzker Prize, the highest honour to an architect every year. Living for over a century which is seldom acquired by many others, his works and name as a great architect would be eternal. (His hands must be very shaking when sketching something, but his creative mind on design still presents)

Poetics, Tectonics and Civics

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2011 by vincentloy

The three themes mentioned above summarized the whole first semester of last year of study in degree of architecture science in design module. At first, the three words which are the three schools of thought in architecture are stranger to me. However, as soon as I have read on some readings and doing some research about the themes, I start to understand on what the three words actually mean in architecture, and the meaning is deep!

Two year ago, I remembered that we have been exposed to topics of Tectonics and Poetics in culture class. However at that time, we seems to be not ready or skilled enough to know about these themes carefully. It is now the final year, and finally the three schools of thought are brought into the primary core, the design subject including the civics. It makes the semester more philosophical-based and I even had a hard time reading those articles regarding poetics, tectonics and civics, full of difficult words and phrases which I don’t understand usually.

After some tutorials with the lecturers, I finally get to know what is really meant by the three themes. For civics, there must be a human engagement. The buildings with civic narrative are generally found in cities (urban areas) and are involved in history, culture of the society and even the nation. A very skillful architecture firm on this theme is Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) lead by Rem Koolhaas. A famous building of this example is Kunsthaal which links people moving (not building a structure to get people move). Another great example is Jewish Museum by Daniel Libeskind with those pointless structures in the building to create disturbing feeling to visitors so that they feel the suffer of Jewish people during Holocaust, even reflected by the facade.

For tectonics, it is defined as the poetry of craft in building. Technics referred to just craft, but tectonics involved the beauty in the craft. Craftmanship plays important role here, especially to the detailings and structural systems that matter the most for buildings fall under this category. Materials selection and mix, joint types and construction systems influenced the buildings of tectonics. Few good examples of architects that fall under this category is Glenn Murcutt, Renzo Piano, Carlo Scarpa and Frank Llyod Wright (specifically the Kaufmann House, the Falling Water)

The last theme, poetics is the one that is hard to achieve in architecture. Poetic is defined as something that evokes emotional response through space and sensory experiences (sight, smell, touch, hear) which are usually emphasized with density of materials and play of light and prolonged experience through epic and devil before reaching the climax. Tadao Ando is more to the play of light and detailing while Peter Zumthor is more to the minimalist approach and density of materials. Anyway, both of them are great in poetic buildings, but only in different approaches. The feeling provoked inside a poetic buildings would transcend people to another level of consciousness. (quote by the lecturer which I like it the most). A very great example of poetic work by Peter Zumthor is Thermal Baths.

In the past, buildings like cathedrals have to be in large scale, and the volume is very huge to spark the awe from the people. This is the approach from the past in traditional architecture especially in religious buildings. However, for now, in contemporary architecture, it is not only about the volume of space to create emotional response, but also by using light, materials and even nature for the same effect even in a small space. This is how architecture changes with time in terms of poetics. Same goes to tectonics, when in the past, everything is solid and bulky with rigid openings, but now, everything seems to be so transparent, with open-concept anywhere and even on skyscrapers. For civics, people in the past build castles, palaces, walls to reflect on power and temples and cathedrals to reflect on religious importance. Nowadays, civic buildings are built usually to reflect the people itself.

I am very happy and grateful that I finally understood the three schools of thought in architecture. Now, I can start to concentrate on my two design assignments for the semester which are basically on this; poetics, tectonics and civics. Of course, there are still room of improvement for me in the three fields which usually mixed up together somehow as we can clearly see from many examples of buildings. Really hoping that I can do well for my design by mastering the three schools of thought!

Pritzker Prize 2010: SANAA

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2010 by vincentloy

Have you heard of SANAA? It is an architectural firm based in Tokyo, Japan which stands for Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates. It was founded in 1995 by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. These two architects had their greatest achievement this year as they are honoured with world premier architecture prize, Pritzker Prize 2010.

Often referred to the ‘Nobel Prize of Architecture’, this prize is awarded every year to a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture. We have seen many famous international architects winning this, Sir James Stirling (1981), Ieoh Ming Pei (1983), Richard Meier (1984), Kenzo Tange (1987), Frank Gehry (1989), Robert Venturi (1991), Tadao Ando (1995), Renzo Piano (1998), Norman Foster (1999), Rem Koolhaas (2000), Herzog and de Meuron (2001), Glenn Murcutt (2002), Zaha Hadid (2004), Jean Nouvel (2008), Peter Zumthor (2009)….and some others in other years…

Congratulation to SANAA for being honoured with this award. I wish myself can be awarded with this prize too in near future! The prize also marks the contribution of the architect to the built environment that involves mainly architecture. I do not know about both winning architects before they are awarded with Pritzker Prize. After they are awarded, then they become famous…this is another advantage of the award.

Their works can be summarized as:

‘architecture that is simultaneously delicate and powerful, precise and fluid, ingenious but not overly or overtly clever’

This section below shows the jury citation of the winning architects, that provide description of the characteristics of architecture produced by SANAA and some famous examples of their brilliant works:

(taken from

For more than 15 years, architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa have worked together in their collaborative partnership, SANAA, where it is virtually impossible to untangle which individual is responsible for what aspect of a particular project. Each building is ultimately a work that comes from the union of their two minds. Together they have produced major commissions, such as the O-Museum in Nagano and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa (both in Japan), the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum (Ohio), De Kunstline Theater and Cultural Center (Almere, the Netherlands), the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York, NY), and the recent Rolex Learning Center (Lausanne, Switzerland).

The buildings by Sejima and Nishizawa seem deceptively simple. The architects hold a vision of a building as a seamless whole, where the physical presence retreats and forms a sensuous background for people, objects, activities, and landscapes. They explore like few others the phenomenal properties of continuous space, lightness, transparency, and materiality to create a subtle synthesis. Sejima and Nishizawa’s architecture stands in direct contrast with the bombastic and rhetorical. Instead, they seek the essential qualities of architecture that result in a much-appreciated straightforwardness, economy of means, and restraint in their work.

This economy of means, however, does not become a simple reductive operation in the architects’ hands. Instead, it is an intense and rigorous investigation anchored in hard work and steely determination. It is a constant process of refinement, where each client’s program is fully investigated and multiple design possibilities are explored through numerous drawings and models that check every alternative. Ideas are considered and discarded, reconsidered and reworked until only the essential qualities of a design remain. The result is a deft union of structure and organization, of logical purpose and precise beauty.

It may be tempting to view Sejima and Nishizawa’s refined compositions of lightness and transparency as elitist or rarefied. Their aesthetic, however, is one of inclusion. Their approach is fresh, always offering new possibilities within the normal constraints of an architectural project as it systematically takes the next step. They use common, everyday materials while remaining attuned to the possibilities of contemporary technology; their understanding of space does not reproduce conventional models. They often opt for non-hierarchical spaces, or in their own words, the “equivalence of spaces,” creating unpretentious, democratic buildings according to the task and budget at hand.

 One example is the Almere project in the Netherlands, with its many simple classrooms and workshops, all presenting privileged views of the sea. Another example is the Rolex Learning Centre in Lausanne, a space to be used by students day and night. Sejima and Nishizawa originally conceived it as a multi-story building, but, in the course of their deliberation, it became a single yet vast, flowing space. The building’s many spaces (library, restaurant, exhibition areas, offices, etc.) are differentiated not by walls but by undulations of a continuous floor, which rises and falls to accommodate the different uses, while allowing vistas across this internal “landscape for people.”

The relation of the building to its context is of utmost importance to Sejima and Nishizawa. They have called public buildings “mountains in the landscape,” believing that they should never lose the natural and meaningful connection with their surroundings. The New Museum in New York feels at home in the rough Bowery area of the city. Their glass-enclosed museums, such as the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio, blur the borders between inside and out, providing direct and changing views to the surroundings.

While Sejima and Nishizawa have not published theoretical treatises to date, they are cerebral architects, whose work is based on rigorous investigation and guided by strong and clearly defined concepts. The appointment of Kazuyo Sejima as the director of the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale is a tribute to this.

For architecture that is simultaneously delicate and powerful, precise and fluid, ingenious but not overly or overtly clever; for the creation of buildings that successfully interact with their contexts and the activities they contain, creating a sense of fullness and experiential richness; for a singular architectural language that springs from a collaborative process that is both unique and inspirational; for their notable completed buildings and the promise of new projects together, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa are the recipients of the 2010 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

[All the pictures of the works by SANAA are from]

[All info in reference to the main website:]

You may refer to that for more info. Who will be winning for 2011 then?

Landmark architecture

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2010 by vincentloy

There comes a new category of architecture, which can be considered as the highest once, because landmark architecture is those which are famous, and stand out proudly among others. Only famous architects, designers, or artists were able to create such things, that amaze people and easily recognizable around the world.

‘Landmark’ can be defined in many ways; Marker, sight, attraction, sign, pointer, milestone, breakthrough, momentous, revolutionary, innovative, ground-breaking, radical, pioneering historic, significant, icon, image, symbol, logo, representation, famous, popular, celebrated, eminent, recognized, well-known, renowned, prominent. Landmarks are usually easily-noticed and remembered, which are distinguished from the others. The outstanding appearance makes the presence greatly visible.

The factors affecting lamdmark are:

Scale – height, total area?

Design – outstanding?

Location – revealed, view not blocked?

Function – significance, contribution?

Landscape – surrounding area?

Public and People – popular, great advertising, usually visited?

The landmarks range from ancient to modern structures, and inclusive of nature too, which is God-creation.

There can be many types of man-made landmarks:

Buildings (skyscrapers or low-rises, in complex)

– Skyscrapers – Burj Khalifa, Taipei 101, Petronas Twin Towers, Bank of China Tower.

– Low-rises – Pantheon, Parthenon, St. Peter Basilica, Sydney Opera House, White House, United States Capitol Building.

– Complex – Forbidden City, Louvre, Las Vegas Strip (group of hotels and casinos).

Telecommunication/observation towers – Eiffel Tower, CN Tower, Oriental Pearl Tower, Guangzhou TV Tower.

Monuments and walls (arch, obelisk, etc) – Great Wall of China, Gateway Arch, Arch de Triomphe, Washington Monument.

Sculptures and statues – Statue of Liberty, Statue of Christ, the Redeemer, Lincoln Statue, Hollywood Sign.

Stadiums and arenas – Beijing National Stadium, Beijing National Aquatics Center, Wembley Stadium, O2 Arena, Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Square (public areas, etc) – Tiananmen Square, Red Square, Trafalgar Square, New York Times Square.

Bridges and tunnels – Golden Gate Bridge, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Seikan Tunnel.

Dams – Hoover Dam, Nurek Dam, Bakun Dam.

Ferris wheels – Singapore Flyers, London Eye, Eye on Malaysia.

‘Centers’ – Hong Kong International Conference and Exhibition Center, Kuala Lumpur International Convention Center, Shanghai International Convention Center.

There are many types of natural landmarks too:

Canyon – Grand Canyon.

Volcanic cliff  – Seongsan Sunrise Peak.

Rocks and stones (man made and natural) – Stonehenge, Dragon Rock.

Bay, beach – Gold Coast Beach.

Forest, natural park – Yellowstone National Park.

Undersea (marine), underground – Great Barrier Reef, Guilin Underground Cave.

Hill, mountain, cave – Niah Cave, Mount Fuji, Mount Everest.

River, sea, stream, valley, falls – Nile River, Niagara Falls, Yellow River, Red Sea, Bermuda Golden Triangle.

desert – Sahara Desert.

Islands (man made or natural) – Penang Island, Palm Islands, World Islands.

The pictures above are not of my own and obtained from internet. These images are just in thumbnail sizes. For more details on each examples given here, you may search for yourself. Maybe you might wish to take a visit to these places some days.