Modeling for architecture: Turning Torso from Santiago Calatrava
The process of creating architectural 3d models for visualization sometimes presents us a few challenges, mostly because of the shape of the project. In some cases it's hard to construct in real life and in 3d as well, but in 3d we can work at an incredible speed. One of the subjects that I like the most in my classes about architectural modeling is to pick a great architect or project and use it as a subject for a visualization exercise, in which the students must model the entire building.
If there is one architect that can create cutting edge projects hard to build in real life and in 3d is Santiago Calatrava. I always loved his work, using shapes and structures that challenge constrictors. I have already used one of his projects in a modeling class. The project used was the Gare do Oriente in Lisbon. The metallic structure of the project is a great example of how to use tools like Array.
If you want to create a 3d model from Santiago Calatrava in Blender, I just found a great tutorial in video showing the technique to create a skyscraper designed by Calatrava. It's the Turning Torso building in Sweden. The building is a challenge to anyone with few or no experience in 3d modeling.
The tutorial was created by a user from the blenderartists forums called Ulfar. It's divided into four parts that can be watched directly from Vimeo. Here are the links for all parts of the tutorial:
- Modeling a Turning Torso – Part 1
- Modeling a Turning Torso – Part 2
- Modeling a Turning Torso – Part 3
- Modeling a Turning Torso – Part 4
In the tutorial we won't find the detailed process to create the full 3d model, instead of showing all the steps required, the author focus on the technique used to create a 3d model that looks like the Turning Torso.
If you are used to tedious projects for commercial architecture, this will be a great modeling challenge even for the most experienced users. I will point this video to my students and use the Turning Torso as a subject for a future class about architectural modeling, as a way to push the creativity of my class.