Journey of an Architect is a blog started by Tim Ung to document his journey to design 30 projects by the age of 30 (May 2020). His posts focus on his design process, thoughts, struggles, and successes throughout his journey.

Revit Model for One Seneca Tower is Complete

Revit Model for One Seneca Tower is Complete

Every Architect has been through the process of designing a project from its conceptual phases through to the drafting and/or digital modeling phases. Throughout this process, we’re always making minor changes that lead down a long road of chain reactions; a wall shifts over a foot so the ceiling lights have to be revised, a door needs to shift, a handrail needs to extend or shorten, and so on and so forth. So there’s always an overwhelming feeling of excitement and happiness that every Architect has when they finish any digital model.

These past few months, my friends and I have been working on our own projects at school or in professional practice and meeting on weekends to work on one of my 30x30 projects. We’ve been spending a lot of our time developing project 3x30 which is a renovation proposal for the One Seneca Tower building in Buffalo, NY.

After developing a draft Revit model, we divided our efforts and my friends focused on designing the smaller high rise structure on the site that connects to the skyscraper tower, and I focused on designing the skyscraper. We decided to set deadlines to complete our schematic designs for our spaces and finally, we’ve completed a full schematic design in Revit! I’m excited to finally move onto the next steps of refining any major errors in the model, setting materials, cameras, and developing final diagrams and visualizations!

A brief overview of the completed model

For this schematic design Revit model of One Seneca Tower, my friends and I had long discussions about the exterior façade of the existing building and decided to clad the existing concrete enclosed steel columns with terracotta panels. Our decision to use terracotta was influenced by the Guaranty Building located near One Seneca Tower and designed by Louis Sullivan. It’s one of the early skyscrapers in Buffalo, NY and is clad in beautiful terracotta panels.

So we designed a series of panels that would come together on the exterior of the concrete enclosures of One Seneca Tower and create a faceted façade out of terracotta panels. The terracotta panels would be attached to the concrete enclosures and be an economic alternative to re-cladding the entire building. The composition of the faceted façade would also alleviate the starkness of the tower as it exists today in Buffalo’s skyline.

Once we completed the interior designs of the high rise structure and the skyscraper tower, we moved onto developing the designs of the terracotta panels. We decided that the panels would be large and proportionate to the size of the skyscraper tower. So I developed each panel to span between each bay on the existing grid patterned façade.

As the first Revit model that I’ve developed for a building of this size, I’ve now learned that I should separate my digital models so that one focuses on the core and shell of the building while the others include furniture, lighting, millwork, and any other components. Although the model looks amazing, it’s difficult to maneuver and make any modifications. See below for some axonometric views of the Revit model.

One Seneca Tower Schematic Design Revit Model

One Seneca Tower Grid Pattern Facade

One Seneca Tower Faceted Terracotta Panel Design

Next Steps

Now that our Revit model is finally complete, it’s time to apply materials, setup camera views, make any necessary modifications for our renderings or diagrams, and develop our final graphics for this project. I’m so excited to be up to this step and our goal is to complete project 3x30 One Seneca Tower before the end of the year! As we all know, it’s time to close the Revit model and get some rest!


Setting Cameras in Revit for One Seneca Tower

Setting Cameras in Revit for One Seneca Tower

What I’m Grateful for in 2016

What I’m Grateful for in 2016