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ARCHICAD and Artlantis for small firms

Central Innovation 11 March 2015

ARCHICAD and Artlantis give small firms a significantly larger footprint.

Gallello Residence - Modern House ArchitectsGallello Residence – Modern House Architects

Gallello Residence - Modern House Architects

Project name: Gallello Residence
Location: California, USA
Modern House Architects
Size: 4,295 ft2 / 400 m2
Designed using ARCHICAD and Artlantis

We recently caught up with Curt Cline of Modern House Architects in Burlingame, California. An award-winning architect, Curt draws inspiration from Mid-Century or Classic Modern architecture, blurring the boundaries between the natural world outside and the created world inside. He masterfully brings these early “green” sensibilities into the 21st century, incorporating the latest ecofriendly building solutions.

Curt’s designs combine the deep knowledge that comes with over 25 years of experience, and an innate ability to make each space a personal reflection of its inhabitants. His work has been recognized in numerous architectural journals, including Architectural Record and California Home & Design; his commissions have included Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the renovation of an historical home by renowned architect, Julia Morgan. Whether residential or commercial, Curt designs living spaces that are unique, personal and respectful of the environment they share. Our discussion focused on the Gallello Residence, a recently completed project in California’s Silicon Valley. True to Curt’s style, the Gallello Residence is owner- and site-specific with a distinctly “Modern House” design vocabulary. The building site is located in the foothill town that is considered the birthplace of the silicon revolution.

Gallello Residence - Modern House ArchitectsGallello Residence – Modern House Architects

The site provides a spectacular close-up view of the “Valley.” The most challenging part of the design, however, was not negotiating the steep slope or adhering to the owners’ design program; rather, it was designing a modernist home in a planning jurisdiction, which had ordinances more or less prescribing typical, traditional, pitched roof homes.

“We were fortunate to have a great client with the patience necessary to get the home that was finally constructed. Thanks to the client’s efforts, along with my office, we were able to design and build a house that has removed some of the local planning prejudice around modernist homes.”Curt Cline, Modern House Architects

Once the planning impediments were negotiated, the firm focused on the openness this home required to capitalize on its easterly views; this meant finding the right structural engineer to allow for the glass walls designed for the home. As luck would have it, there were new structural products coming to market that the architects were fortunate to have access to, eliminating the need for oversized frames.

“As with most good residential commissions in our office, projects as successful as this one only come to pass when we are commissioned by great clients such as the Gallello’s,”Curt Cline, Modern House Architects

As long-time users of ARCHICAD and Artlantis, this house, too, was designed using both applications. According to Curt, the most important feature in ARCHICAD is “that it is the best program for those architects like us, who are not technophiles and want to concentrate on design instead of the software interface.” The small team of three at Modern House Architects must be proficient in a variety of areas necessary to win, design, and see to completion their commissioned buildings. ARCHICAD allows the team to model many schematic ideas quickly, and generate the associated planning documents required for project submittals nearly simultaneously. “We highly recommend modeling to completeness and maintaining a live model through the entirety of your project, which will save you a lot of time in the drawing process,” Curt stressed.

Gallello Residence - Modern House ArchitectsGallello Residence, Photo © Farshid Assassi

As with ARCHICAD, working with Artlantis is easy for someone with limited software skills and allows Curt’s firm to produce photorealistic renderings that enthrall their clients, and demonstrate with completeness the design intent and finish quality of what they can expect in the built project. “We routinely will generate our renderings from set-up with objects and textures to final renderings in a matter of hours instead of days,” Curt said. In addition to client presentations, Curt uses Artlantis to effectively communicate with city planning and other project approval departments. Using Artlantis renderings together with their submittal drawings offers a much clearer understanding of the proposed design. This results in smoother approvals and, at times, without the necessity of finish materials submittals, saving time and money.

“It is the best program for those architects like us, who are not technophiles and want to concentrate on design instead of the software interface.”Curt Cline, architect

Curt is convinced that using both ARCHICAD and Artlantis together make small firms like his appear to have a much larger footprint. They can move their project through as quickly as offices twice as big, and provide their clients with the highest quality drawings and renderings in a fraction of the time. Working with ARCHICAD in conjunction with Artlantis also allows Curt to continue refining a design without disrupting the flow of ideas or interrupting the evolution of a project.

Gallello Residence - Modern House ArchitectsGallello Residence


GRAPHISOFT® ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ARCHICAD®, the industry first BIM software for architects. GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud®, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment, EcoDesigner® STAR, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated “GREEN” design solution and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization. GRAPHISOFT has been a part of the Nemetschek Group since its acquisition in 2007.

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