The Role of Materials in Architectural Visualization
A modern rectangular home with a large balcony, swimming pool, sunbeds, and a gardenThe Role of Materials in Architectural Visualization

Architectural visualization is creating a two-dimensional or three-dimensional object, which is, in this case, a building, a house, or any similar structure. It enables clients to see a project before it gets built, and they can see it in realistic surroundings.

However, architectural visualization is not as simple as it sounds. The designer of this 2D or 3D object needs to use many supporting tools and present various project examples.

One of the things that an architectural visualization designer needs to have in mind is the materials their clients will use for those projects. Materials in architecture can completely change the building they are applied to: they can make it warmer, colder, darker, lighter, etc.

Including materials in architectural visualization can make a particular building more realistic and accurate. Your client will get the complete picture of what their project can or will look like once built.

Materials play a significant role in architectural visualization, and here are the crucial reasons why.

They add realism.

Architectural visualization is closely connected to the notion of realism. However, would that be the case without appropriate materials?

Can you imagine a visualization of the Colosseum in Rome, where it is made of, for example, metal or wood? Can you imagine the Eiffel Tower made of stone or the One World Trade Center made of bricks?

The role of materials is to add realism to the project you have in mind. You will make an educated decision about the design of a particular building or a house when your architectural visualization reveals it in its true light and with suitable materials.

Moreover, using different materials can change the whole look of a building. By using stone, the structure may look more contemporary, and by using wood, it may look more natural and earth-like. Thus, materials in architectural visualizations will realistically show you how materials can affect a specific building or an object.

Materials let you showcase your design skills.

If you are working with architectural visualization, the materials in your projects can make you prove that you are a unique, creative designer.

You could be an architect or a designer with a handful of creative ideas. Now, imagine those ideas with the perfect materials. Materials in architectural visualization can be a game-changer because you can show off your creativity and design skills.

Some of the most famous architects, such as Mies Van der Rohe, Philip Johnson, Richard Rodgers, and many more, became famous because of the materials they used in their projects.

Their creativity with the materials made them some of the best architects in history. You, too, could become a legend by taking a page from their book.

They tell a story.

In architectural visualization and all visualizations that follow, the design can tell us a story about a two-dimensional or three-dimensional object. With different materials, the story of the project changes completely.

We will give examples of how architecture can tell a story, through the strangest buildings ever made.

We cannot assume that, for example, the Mind House in Barcelona was made to have a religious story or that it was supposed to be a family home where they would celebrate all the holidays. The design of this building tells us a story about fairytale-like beings, and we can imagine fairies or dwarves living there.

Another example of how materials tell a story is Casa Da Musica in Porto, Portugal. By using concrete and glass, the architect tells us something unique. The architect specifically intended this building for the creation and performance of music. You cannot imagine a different story behind it just by looking at it.

More accurate visualizations

As you know by now (or from experience), architectural visualizations can look and feel realistic, but what happens when you complete the project?

These visualizations are precise and accurate – what you see in the pictures is what you will get. Still, the materials play a significant role in the overall design of the object.

Materials in architectural visualizations give you a clear picture of what a building will look like once it’s built. They provide details that will make the building the way visualizations present it.

Adding materials to visualizations is crucial because they can change the whole concept of the project. They can turn an ordinary building into something innovative and unique.

They are essential for creating an atmosphere.

Like telling a story, materials in architectural visualizations can create an atmosphere for the object. They can turn a dark, cold place into a warm, comfortable building, and vice versa.

Depending on your preference, the materials you use can create an atmosphere to your liking. If you want to design something more nature-like, you might want to use natural materials, such as wood or stone. If you wish to have that modern, industrial feeling, you can use materials such as concrete or steel.

The atmosphere of a building can be crucial, and you should, therefore, consider what kind of atmosphere you want to create. Accordingly, choose materials in your visualization that fit your preferences. Whether it’s glass, wood, steel, concrete, or any other material, it will add to the project’s overall atmosphere.


Architectural visualization has become a critical process nowadays. It can give you a clear image of how a particular building would look upon construction. However, you can achieve realism through the materials you use in the visualization process.

Materials can tell a story about a building, make it look realistic, and even give you an accurate visualization and create an atmosphere for the property.

Overall, materials play a considerable role in architectural visualization. Without them, you won’t get the whole experience of a building or an object. Include materials in your future visualizations because they can completely change the story and the project’s atmosphere.