Page T1.1 . 26 February 2003                     
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    Towering with ArchiCAD

    by Elizabeth Bollinger

    When completed, the 90-story Eureka Tower in Melbourne, Australia will be the tallest residential building in the world, rising 985 feet (300 meters) above street level. The builder, Grocon Pty. Ltd., takes pride that this large-scale venture is right on schedule. The construction firm attributes their efficient communications to the decision by Fender Katsalidis Architects (FKAU) to use object-oriented architectural design software.

    FKAU used ArchiCAD from Graphisoft for the design and documentation of the project, and information from their digital models continues to inform the construction process.

    Eureka Tower is being built in the arts district on the Yarra River within the Southgate precinct of the city. With a facade of glass and aluminum, it will have 500 apartments. Its base is an eleven-story complex containing a parking garage, shops, and office facilities.

    Nonda Katsalidis, principal and design director of the Melbourne-based architecture firm, explains: "by exploiting the intelligence of the 3D computer model, we have been able to not only provide construction documentation when needed by the builder, but to prototype the design options as part of that process."

    Rethinking Design Processes

    For good design to emerge, it is essential that an architect respect the need for multiple iterations in design development despite the pressure of limited time available to do that work. David Sutherland, director of planning at FKAU, believes that by fully exploiting the strengths of ArchiCAD, his firm has found a way to concentrate on their core skills of design and management. While the architects test their design ideas, other participants provide much of the construction information.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    Photomontage of a model of Eureka Tower, designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects, in its Melbourne streetscape.
    Image: Fender Katsalidis

    ArchWeek Image

    Two ways to cut sectional perspectives through an ArchiCAD building information model.
    Image: Fender Katsalidis


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