is a computer-simulated view of Frank Lloyd Wrights
Larkin Building from the upper interior balcony adjacent to
the dining floor. Though demolished 50 years ago, the building
is still legendary for its light-filled spaces and progressive
amenities. U.Va. professor Earl Mark, along with research
associates Eric Field and Duncan Morton and former graduate
students Khanh Uong and Seth Peterson, coordinated such displays
as this one in an exhibition at the National Building Museum
in Washington, D.C.
team designs high-tech Wright model
are at the forefront of designs for the future and research of
the past in the Universitys
School of Architecture.
continually integrate traditional methods in the design, planning
and historical examination of built and natural environments with
new computer-based methods to visualize, observe and analyze,
said Earl Mark, associate professor of architecture and director
of computer technologies.
and a team of research associates and former graduate students
recently used their high-tech analytical tools to create computer-related
interactive displays and an online catalog for the exhibition,
On the Job: Designing the American Office, at the
National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The show runs through
the original architectural working drawing and historical photos,
the team also created an animated three-dimensional reconstruction
of Frank Lloyd Wrights Larkin Building in Buffalo, N.Y.,
a state-of-the-art office building constructed in 1904 and demolished
in 1950. Their reconstruction shows simulated effects, including
lights that turn on and off, the constantly changing effects of
sun and shadow inside and out and interactive three-dimensional
computer models of all lighting, furniture and cabinet elements.
pushed the technology to create photo-realistic representations
of the buildings complex intersections of geometry and light
and included every documented light fixture, desk and sign, as
well as juxtaposed the drawings and model for a better understanding
of the building, Mark said.
Mark and his team received a grant from the National Building
Museum to explore the Larkin Building and obtained technology
for the exhibition from Apple Computer.
a daily basis, architecture students and faculty increasingly
use digital terrain modeling, GIS, CAAD, computer graphics animation,
image processing, digital video production, structural analysis
simulation, lighting analysis, desktop publishing and soon will
use three-dimensional laser printing applications as the bases
for their visual analysis.
software tools allow historians and designers to reconstruct important
buildings to analyze their design, structure and materials. To
test various proposals, animated three-dimensional computer models
examine numerous designs and site specifications.
that technology is constantly evolving, Mark is quick to add that
technology doesnt replace the foundations of higher education
learning. Teaching specific techniques is no substitute
for instructing students to think critically and imaginatively
about solving problems with computer technology, Mark said.
benefit of this analytical use of computer technology is the blurring
of lines between the architecture, landscape, history and planning
disciplines, according to Mark. Shared interdisciplinary
models of the built and natural environment are opening the doors
to collaborative efforts.
analytical approach is not unique in architectural education at
U.Va., Mark said. We are among a handful of schools
now moving in this direction and its causing a broad-based
reflection on our curricula.