Most people probably don’t associate architecture with art so much, but when captured through the lens of someone creative, everyday buildings and cityscapes can prove to be true works of art and, at times, they might even look as sculptures of a noteworthy artist.
Rapid technological advancements in the field of photography nowadays allow virtually anyone to become an awe-inspiring photographer, so it may be hard to find good examples of architectural photography unless you know exactly what you’re looking for.
If you’re not sure where to start looking, Instagram is a great place to begin your quest. Many amateur and professional photographers share their works daily so you might even feel a little overwhelmed with the amount of artful structures. To help you stay on track, we scoured the web to compile a list of photographers you should keep an eye out for.
Matthieu Venot is a talented and self-taught artist based in France. He became well known for his minimalist style which many describe as inspiring and soothing. Matthieu’s pictures often feature parts of buildings cropped out of context or isolated architectural details which form almost alien-like geometrical compositions. His pictures often capture the essence of aesthetic in buildings or their integral details.
It is challenging to describe Iwan Baan’s work in a few words. He describes his work on Instagram simply as a diary of travel with the iPhone. While he does take most of his shots through an iPhone, his photographs are so much more.
Scrolling through his account you might find visually stunning cityscapes, otherworldly structures nested in everyday life and much more. He is known for his masterful use of light and shadow in creating amazing compositions.
Dephreq is another artist with a unique style and obsessive attention to detail. While his work is not as diverse as some other photographers’, he is famous for his ability to create a feeling of depth which seems to draw the viewers in his pictures. His shots are stunning and jaw dropping at times so be sure to check him out.
Serjios is the pseudonym used by renowned Lebanese photographer Serge Najjar. Over the years Najjar developed an instantly recognizable style since he uses a model in each of his photographs. Through his lens, Serjios has managed to merge man with architecture thus creating unique scenes which can drastically shift the viewer’s perception.
In his own words, his work makes: “shadows become geometric sculptures; three-dimensional shapes morph into planes. Perspectives tilt; the image is constructed; reality is cut; riffled through and rebuilt by the lines that surround us.”
Mike Hollman is a world-renowned artist whose work is respected internationally. New Zealand’s Institute of Professional Photography even gave him the title of the Grand Master of Photography. And that is truly the best way to describe Mike, as the Grandmaster.
His work is diverse and covers everything from buildings, parks, architectural details to atmospheric shots evoking an almost mystical sense of the unknown. His shots have the power to transport his audience to a magical reality underlying the everyday existence of our lives.
Matthias Haker’s unique style of architectural photography sometimes makes his shots look more like baroque oil paintings than photographs. Through his work, he masterfully fuses his love of art and architecture.
He is acclaimed for his use of space and color. Browsing through his shots you might find decrepit, old buildings invaded by lush nature, stunning cityscapes and alluring shots of old, luxurious buildings that can captivate your attention and take your breath away.
Some people use drones for racing, some people use them for recording concerts, but architectural photographer Joao Morgado uses them to create amazing works of art in which he combines aerial and architectural photography.
His visually pleasing aesthetic creates a sense of peace and serenity in his audience. Most often he portrays modern buildings and open, clean spaces although he doesn’t shy away from picturing minute details of buildings or shots of nature coexisting in harmony with the city.
Daniel Hewitt rose to prominence with his Geometry + Geology series which featured modern city architecture compared with rural geological structures.
His work is somewhat less colorful than the works of others on this list but it features raw, bold shots of brutalist architecture. While he mostly takes shots of concrete structures, his impeccable attention to detail and sense for light and shadow composition make up a style that is truly distinctive.
While the art of Josef Schulz does feature many beautiful shots of cityscapes and famous buildings, he is mostly known for his appreciation of abandoned, lone buildings which most others simply never bother trying to look at.
Josef manages to capture the fragile essence of these forgotten pieces of architecture to remind us that beauty can be found anywhere, even at an old toll booth left to fall apart on some dusty road.
Fernando Guerra’s work appeals to people’s sense of purity and geometrical perfection. His shots capture the impeccable beauty of buildings in their most ideal state.
His photographs are quite diverse as he also occasionally takes aerial pictures to point out the mathematical beauty of different landscapes and buildings. Guerra’s work is colorful, full of light and simply perfect, so be sure to check out his Instagram page.
Well, we could go on and on as new artists rise to prominence daily and often times even amateur photographers capture awe-inspiring shots. However, this article features a compilation of our favorite architectural photographers who might be a good starting point if you want to delve further into this type of photography.
Having said this, many artists are still waiting to be discovered so go and explore, as you may find plenty of inspiration.
Architectural rendering allows an architect to create two-dimensional animations or images with the main goal of showcasing all attributes that should be included in the final design. Since we live in a digital age where computers have the last say, we have all sorts of rendering options that greatly help artists create the most amazing visuals.
Today, architects mostly use three-dimensional modeling software to generate computer renderings for various purposes, with one of those purposes being creating presentations. Before technology took over, people used to create their architectural renderings by hand.
Even today, where almost everything we see is created by some kind of software, there are still artists who prefer to create their renderings entirely by hand rather than lean on the power of technology to help them. Some of them went one step further and are combining computer technology with traditional ways to generate their linework.
In truth, architectural renderings help the architects get a clear picture of where they stand with their current projects. They also provide valuable and useful insight into all the necessary details that they should add or remove.
Architectural renderings are most usually created for:
1. Design analysis
For example, one of the major roles in the real estate industry is reserved for 3D renderings. Why? Simply because 3D renderings allow the architects to make important decisions related to design before the project enters the final stage and actually gets built.
This is crucial to real estate sales. By creating 3D renderings of a building that is about to be built, they get a clear insight into what details fit just perfectly and what needs to be changed. This way of doing things helps them do their job as architects more effectively, creating the most amazing design that money can buy.
Put together, architectural rendering and technology can revolutionize the way people build things. In a way, 3D renderings put an architect in direct control over the entire project from start to finish. It also gives them the ability to experiment with the visual aspects of any building design. Architectural rendering is about lifestyle, business, process, design, and visualization.
Basically, it's possible to elicit an entire set of emotions by showing 3D visualization to the potential buyers. When they can see how something will look in real-time and 3D space, it's much more likely that they will agree to invest. Architectural agencies have been able to increase their sales greatly since they started using 3D visualization and rendering.
It's no wonder since the world of today is all about the visuals.
Architects sell their services just like any other product. With that in mind, it's safe to say that by using 3D or any other rendering technique, the architects are doing everything within their power to get one product sold to the highest bidder.
In this case, architectural rendering isn't just about showing if something looks good. It actually gives clients a good reason to believe that they should invest in it.
By relying on digital imagery, the architects have a much better chance of selling their services. Therefore, they can use architectural rendering as a design, advertising, and marketing tool to better promote their work and get more clients.
Architectural rendering is an excellent artistic way to express ideas related to an architectural plan. By using digital information, an architect can present realistic scenes of one project to get their clients interested. There are two sides to architectural rendering: psychological and emotional. 3D renderings can impact the emotions of the viewers. That's exactly why architectural rendering plays the most important role in retail.
The three-dimensional view of an architectural project increases the chances of selling the idea. Real estate companies and architectural agencies are using this modern, digital way to tell a whole story through their work. They use rendering to create impressive photo-realistic visuals of decorations and surroundings.
These details can be incredibly impactful, detailed, and authentic to the viewers. That's exactly why so many experienced and skilled architects are using rendering as their main architectural tool to sell their art pieces. This tool allows them to highlight different perspectives of one project, with visual graphics playing a vital role in eliciting an emotional response from their clients.
Architectural rendering allows the architects to constantly upgrade their skills and become experts at what they do. The more technology advances, the more architecture will advance with it. Architects will be able to create even more complex presentations, covering every aspect and detail of one project to ensure maximum safety, security, and sustainability.
These are the three most important things when it comes to constructing an object or whatever it is that needs to be built. Rendering is a digital way to build things where each team member can greatly contribute and get an insight into what the end result will be. This is important for many reasons.
Let’s say that there's a need to build a bridge. Using 3D renderings, the architects can determine right away how the entire building process will go, point out the most important aspects of the project, and find out what the upsides and downsides are. It saves money, time, and effort while improving creativity and productivity.
Using artificial intelligence in architectural rendering will give way to a lot of new innovations, allowing architecture to develop even further as an art form.
In the past, visual representations of future architectural models were drawn by hand. This method had many drawbacks compared to what you can do now. Technological improvements have revolutionized this process with software which allows experts to present their project in a 3D environment.
However, this has set the bar high for any architectural rendering expert. To be honest, even basic 3D renders do really look better than old ones, but the current standards require more detail and complex visualizations.
This means that everyone with a bit of knowledge can do 3D renders, but only those with experience can make professional ones that have value in the world of architecture. Architectural rendering is not easy, and here is why.
Architectural renders are perceived by viewers as a movie, or a combination of 3D models the viewer can inspect from any angle. It is this camera-like view that contributes to the render looking more convincing, or more real. This is often an issue with renders; even though the models and the details are dome fine, the camera view isn’t, and this completely destroys the credibility of the render.
Modern rendering standards require final presentations to be as realistic as possible and this is impossible without proper eye high adjustments throughout the whole render. It is essential that the person making the render puts him or herself in the shoes of a photographer and ensure that the whole view of the render is like a quality photograph, no matter which area is currently being examined.
The Sun and its effect on the overall render is crucial. How it is positioned can greatly affect how real the whole structure will look. Proper Sun placement and light animations play a big part in creating realistic and appealing visual effects. If the Sun placement is not adequate, this can make the whole exterior look artificial.
Too much light will make the whole model too bright and people won’t be able to see the fine details, nor perceive the depth of the model properly. The position of the Sun needs to be natural to create a realistic environment, but at the same time, it cannot disrupt the form.
If you have the sun, then of course, you need the sky. Adding a sky is probably one of the most difficult tasks for renders, as most architects don’t get any training in this kind of design. This means that architects are forced to go out of their comfort zone and completely switch to something new.
If not done properly, the sky can ruin the whole image even though all the other aspects of the render are on point.
For a proper render image, the sky needs to fit in perfectly and not stand out from the rest in any way, nor should it draw attention from the exterior. Architects that want to get this right need to train to make it look natural. After this, they also need to work on adding it to the render properly.
A lot of architectural designs come with many windows and this is why it is of the utmost importance to ensure that reflections on these surfaces are as detailed as possible to make the whole thing realistic. However, there is an even a larger issue with the exterior if you have glass surfaces present in the interior, such as tables or mirrors.
This could require multiple reflections to keep up with the standards. The reflections are affected by the Sun, the landscape around, the light, and the sky. All of these things need to be considered to create proper reflections that look natural. This can be a very tiresome task as it requires a lot of time and attention to detail.
When it comes to exterior architecture rendering, the surrounding vegetation is a big part of the whole scene. The architect needs to add plants and trees which have the proper dimensions, thus creating a better perspective of the entire model. The vegetation near the model needs to be presented using 3D images, while the background can be a series of 2D images as they are less noticeable.
This is how everything will look more natural. Viewers will be able to visualize it in a better way, leaving a greater impact on them. To make the whole thing realistic, it is essential not to use the same plants. Ensure that they have different shapes and sizes. Otherwise, your render will look monotonous.
To make renders as lifelike as possible, it is crucial to pay attention to details. This includes adding more elements such as vehicles or even people. Not only this, but you need to ensure that everything you include is customized and detailed as well. Still, people are not necessary, unless the client requires them explicitly.
To make the render convincing, you need to let viewers see details such as license plate numbers on vehicles, facial expressions, branches, leaves, realistic weather conditions, and so on. You can even expose certain quirks and features of the model by having people or other elements “interact” with it to show its practicality.
In this visual and technologically advanced age, it is essential that 3D architecture renders look as realistic as possible. Construction companies rely on them to supporting their architectural needs. At the same time, potential customers want to be able to see how a certain building or house will look like to get interested and hopefully make a purchase or an investment.
For architecture and design studios, finding consistently good 3D rendering services can be the rusty cog in an otherwise well-oiled studio machine. Most offices, especially small ones, don’t have the resources to employ a 3D rendering artist full time, and must rely on freelancers and part-timers. Even for firms with large enough teams to have fully employed visualization specialists, being able to quickly assign important rendering deadlines is an incredibly valuable resource.
Thankfully, architecture studios have a few streamlined options for connecting with freelance rendering artists when the demand for such work exceeds the firm’s ability to turn things around quickly. Easy Render is one of these architectural rendering services.
With Easy Render, architecture and design studios can browse thousands of portfolios and hire a capable rendering artist in a matter of hours. It’s the job-finding service tailor made for the freelance rendering artists and the firms who require their services. Whether your project calls for photo-realism, diagramming, working drawings, or animations, you’ll be able to review and hire an artist who specializes in exactly what you need. You’ll soon develop a small group of team members you only have to hire when you need them.
Easy’s in the name, and it couldn’t be more appropriate. Artists are listed by their going rate, so you won’t have to look far to find someone who will save you money. Having access this kind of architectural rendering service ensures your design staff will be able to focus on making the building better, more buildable, and more important to your future business.
Perhaps the best feature of Easy Render is their satisfaction guarantee. If you aren’t totally happy with the services provided, you’re entitled to keep your money. This includes deadlines that aren’t met or images of poor or substandard quality. Easy Render protects both the artists and the architecture studios, which cultivates an online environment built on trust, good work, and reaching far beyond expectations.
In addition, Easy Render has developed collaboration tools that allow architecture offices to quickly communicate with their freelancers. That keeps the workflow flexible and accurate. Changes happen often in the design world, so it is important to have a direct line into all team members so the finished product correctly reflects the work that went into the design.
There are other architectural rendering services out there, but few include a more robust pool of rendering artists, or a better reputation of taking the pain out of outside hiring. They are your own personal recruiter, and operate to bring the right people together to produce the best results. There are few things more valuable to an architecture studio than having a capable rendering artist available at a few clicks of the mouse.
Real estate agents and architects haven’t always seen eye to eye - a weird revelation considering one can scarcely exist without the other. One designs the building, works with clients and engineers to manifest a conceptual melting pot of ideas and constraints into a code-compliant dream made up of wood, steel and herringbone curtains. The other sells that dream...
The easy answer is: architects are pretentious, ego-maniacal, status-quo disruptors who look down on real estate agents as a mother pig would look down on her teet-feeding piglets, all the while real estate agents speak nothing but ill-will towards architects at company cocktail parties due in large part to their misunderstanding of the words “budget” and “schedule”. While faint hints of accuracy pepper these brash assessments, there is so much to gain between a healthy relationship between the two stubborn sides… and all I can really say is:
I’d like to start this session of couples therapy by focusing on an important aspect of that relationship: marketing. An architect’s design is only as good its hype train. Since Don King is busy reminiscing about the good ole days of Tyson, Holyfield and Foreman, it’s up to designers and real estate agents to pack that train full of fast burning coal.
Architects are great at making things. They are an eclectic bunch who think weird and dream big. They are idea men and women who take bold risks and champion quality of design and cultivation of unique human experience above all else. So, how do you sell experience? How do you sell quality?
It all starts with the communication of design from the architect’s pencil to the consumer’s eye. The buyer must be told what the thing is before the thing is made. More often than not, speculative development is sold before it’s fully constructed. A tour of a half-framed building surrounded by a construction site filled to the brim with discarded red bull cans and rusty nails is nice, but often leaves people with an apprehensive taste in their mouth. There has to be something to facilitate the finished design so the perspective clients can digest the entire meal before forming a proper opinion.
In these instances, real estate marketers can rely on 3D rendering and other architectural drawings to spoon feed them what they weren’t able to get from the site visit. Elegant animations and spatial processions put together with 3D rendering software such as VRAY, 3D Studio Max, and Maxwell and platform such as Easy Render provide the tools architects and designers rely on to give buyers the experience of living before the paint dries and the keys are turned. This is where agents must work closely with architects to best develop an imaging strategy that sells the most essential components of valuable real estate.
These should be represented in the house itself, but also in important views, landscape and garden potential, as well as location and context in the form of bird’s eye drawings of an entire neighbourhood. When potential clients get fatigues with numbers, closing costs and construction schedules, these 3d rendering and visualization images can put a positive spin on the process of purchasing a home.
More important than the beautiful images at the end of the marketing brochure, though, is the up-front collaboration between the architect and the agent. I’m talking about the groundwork - the conversations about site potential, target market and design possibility. This is where the foundation of the entire project gets ironed out, and it all boils down to what “can we get in this particular market for this particular location”. That’s all the real estate agent is really concerned with, and it’s up to the architect in speculative projects to squeeze the most design out of limited opportunities for compelling architecture.
Floor to ceiling windows and exposed steel columns don’t just look nice, they add tangible dollars and cents to an already profitable endeavour. The only real way to accomplish this is by making a case through 3d visualization and 3d design communication techniques. Explain to developers and agents through 3D renderings and images exactly how increasing the quality of the final project adds more value than simply cranking up the square footage. This isn’t always an easy task to take on, and requires the proper tools and skills to pull off.
The tools architects and agents utilize together to woo prospective clients are, in fact, the same tools architects use to legitimize their designs to real estate agents in the first place. That’s where the first sale takes place, and can be the point in their relationship where things fall off the rails. If the two entities can’t move forward with an agreed upon set of criteria for the end product, distrust seeps in and ruins a potential mutually beneficial relationship. The architect must communicate the design intent to the real estate agent just as they would to a contractor, albeit with a different set of rules and goals.
Let’s take a look at a few design components that can add value to a project strictly through good architecture and smart design.
· View Potential. This is a no brainer for any architect. The site must be analysed in order to identify the best views from the site. This might be towards a mountain range or body of water, or perhaps between structures in an urban environment. Framing views appropriately can add immense value to a realtor looking to sell high (and which ones aren’t?). Google Earth is a great tool to quickly get an idea of lines of site, with tools that allow you to import 3D models and explore potential using their mapping data.
· Solar Orientation. Not only can proper tracking of solar exposure give way to passive heating and cooling techniques, it also has a massive effect on interior natural light. It’s an easy design step that can lower monthly electric bills (something to put in the marketing brochure) and promote bright and interesting interiors. With the help of 3D rendering and 3D modeling software designers can give realtors and buyers location specific 3D renderings that will replicate realistic sun tracking to show exactly where the best solar exposure is at any time of the year.
· Exterior Space. In many cases, the subtraction of sellable interior square footage can make for a more desirable piece of real estate. Designing exterior spaces that are site and region specific can expand upon interior space and present a total package that is worth more than simply maximizing lot potential. Cantilevered building mass to produce covered exterior gardens, patios and decks add a lot of value, especially in urban centres where greenery can be scarce.
These are just to name a few. These visual and experiential components of the design can’t be properly measured by numbers on a page. That’s where the intersection between architecture and real estate marketing works its magic. Because the fact is, people who are about to send a pirate’s ship full of money on a stunning new home want to know every nook and cranny their money is giving them. They want the whole picture - a picture that can only be properly painted by the left hand of the designer and the right hand of the agent.
Architects and realtors might not always get along. They might take underhand (and overhand) jabs at their respective place in the development process. They might think they’re better and more important and the real reason the perfect client finds themselves the perfect home. But at the end of the day, both parties go to bed at night whispering to themselves an undeniable fact:
You complete me.
It’s the age-old question in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry: Which is better, natural or urban? The question, though straightforward, doesn’t necessarily lend itself to easy answers. And rightfully so as there are a lot of nuances, aspects and factors that need to be considered before you choose the style that fit your needs, tendencies and expectations. And while you’re at it, throw in the different 3D rendering challenges that come with both natural and urban architectural techniques for good measure.
It goes without saying that before we start to seek for answers, we must first know the basics, the nitty-gritty if you will, of the two fascinating, yet totally disparate disciplines in the AEC industry.
So what is natural architecture? First and foremost, it is more of a movement as much as it is a technique, approach or discipline. It is an art form that takes us back to the basics; to the primitive, when mankind was still closely connected to nature and when natural environment was considered an asset and not as a liability to the overall designing and building process. It’s main thrust and aspiration is to form a harmonious and lasting relationship between man and nature, hence the name ‘natural architecture’.
Its roots can be traced back in the late nineteen sixties via the land art movement. Though initially the movement was aimed to protest against the commercialization of art, it has evolved into somewhat of a different thing entirely. It became an activism; an awakening if you will that helped a new generation of designers and builders respect and appreciate nature in every aspect of the designing process.
Natural architecture is a minimalist art and it utilizes the simplest, most basic yet most fascinating materials nature has to offer. Though it requires the most elemental skill, it requires a great deal of imagination to integrate living materials into the building process and come up with a structure or design that not only is economical and sustainable but is also something that is profoundly moving. In a nutshell, this style or movement is quite simply the seamless melding of humanity and nature through architecture. It’s a bit ambitious but its potential is undeniably boundless.
Urban architecture on the other hand is a totally different animal. One can even argue that it is the polar opposite of natural architecture in terms of approach and aspirations. Unlike its natural counterpart, urban architecture is highly focused on the efficient use of space because just like what its name suggests, its design is specially intended for an urban setting, where people live and work in close proximity. Great examples of urban architecture are high-rise buildings like Tapei 101, Empire State Building, Pertonas Twin Towers and Burj Khalifa among others.
With half of the world population now living in urban cities, the demand for urban architecture has been at an all-time high. And looking at how things are going, the numbers would surely be up for several years, if not generations to come. In urban architecture, efficiency and practicability is king and unfortunately, nature is an afterthought. The only time when it gets in the picture is that when architects and engineers are required to make buildings that are safer for the environment. But that’s few and far in between. Having said that, urban architecture is an integral part in modern living as it provides designs that make city life that much bearable. And with visionaries now in the forefront of architectural design, there seems to be a conscious effort to merge natural and urban design when the occasion calls for it and when technology would permit it. It’s not a lot but it’s a great start.
Now that the differences between the natural and urban architecture have been clearly delineated, the next important question would be: What are the different 3D rendering challenges that both pose? Because at the end of the day, the one that sells the idea or design is the final step in the designing process which is architectural rendering. Unfortunately again, there are no simple answers to this question. The most challenging part however whether it be natural or urban architecture, is choosing the right 3D rendering firm that fits your needs and vision.
So how do you do it? How do you know that such firm is the one for you? Some would say that the ‘almighty dollar’ would determine that. If it fits your budget, then it might be right for you.
Well, that’s not entirely true in most cases because there are firms that offer more but are not better or worse than those that offer less. Why? Because now everything is wired and interconnected and workloads and talents can now be outsourced with a flick of a button--which makes the market and pricing that much competitive.
In fact, there are firms in China and India that offer less but are as good if not better than the more established alternatives in the market. They can do this because they don’t have huge overhead costs plus the fact that the cost labour in countries such these are comparably low compared to their western counterparts. And then there are freelancers who provide architectural rendering services at a very cheap price. My point is this: The choices are unlimited and if you only base your decision on the pricing, then you’re leaving the future of your project to chance.
Additionally, choosing those more affordable firms can also cost you more money in the long run because, in outsourced work, you don’t know what you going to get until you try it. Sure there are portfolios or feedbacks that you can look at but they are just glimpses to what they can really do. At the end of the day, communication is the key to a successful 3D rendering project and in outsourced jobs, proper communication dissemination and management is the ultimate challenge that you need to get over.
What you need to do is do a little bit of research, ask people in the business that you personally know and you go from there. It’s the least that you can do to save yourself from unnecessary headaches and additional costs in the future. So do yourself a favour and choose wisely. It’s not a question of whether or not natural architecture poses more 3D rendering challenges than its urban counterpart or vice versa because when all is said and done, even if they are distinctly different, the right 3D rendering firm would be more than capable of dealing with the challenges that each poses.
Comparing natural architectural to urban architecture is like comparing colours, it’s a matter of preference aesthetically speaking. Their functionality however, is not as subjective as it may seem as there are instances in which one is applicable and practical to employ than the other. In the end, it’s not actually a matter of preference but a matter of need; just like everything else in the demand-oriented world of the AEC industry.