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You are here: ARCH 653 - Project 1Edited on: 2012-04-21

ARCH 653 - Project 1:

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Walt Disney Concert Hall

Mass Modeling Process

As it is obvious from the design of Walt Disney Concert Hall, regular Revit walls and roofs cannot mimic the irregular curves in this project.  To create a similar 3D model for this project I used Revit mass modeling feature.  In the Revit application using the mentioned modeling feature I tried to do the following steps to come up with similar curves for my model.  In these steps I:

1.      Tried to understand the curved walls and how they could be regenerated using the tools available in Revit;

2.      Created one or two (based on the nature of the curves) line as the profiles for each curve (I used mostly the “Spline” which had a lot of good features for my purpose);

3.      Created a solid mass by those line for each curve;

4.      Turned the “X-Ray” feature on to see all the controlling points of the newly created surface;

5.      Adjusted these points and controllers to fit the curve to the real project walls as much as possible;

6.      The turned the “X-Ray” off;

7.      Selected the curved wall and made a solid mass from it;

8.      Assigned the “Positive Offset” and “Negative Offset” to two previously defined parameters for further use;

9.      Modeled as much curved wall as I could determine;

10.  Did the followings for the parametric design (Look at the screen shot at the end of this document):

a.      The two main front walls over the main entrance of the building were chosen;

b.      The two end points of profile line for the Wall 1 (left) were locked to two different reference plans;

c.       Aligned dimensions and associated parameters defined to handle the height of the wall;

d.     Similar approach for the entire line of Wall 2 (right) was done, it mean that the whole line was locked to a reference plan;

e.      Also as mentioned before the thickness of the walls were linked to two parameters.  These two were equal and another parameter controls both of them.  By this the thickness of the wall would be increased in both directions;

f.        All the materials (curved walls, main building, surrounding walls and exterior floors) are assigned to different parameters.

11.  Created the South-West regular buildings;

12.  Created two levels as exterior floors;

13.  Added the main building mass by creating two different profile and a solid mass from those two;

14.  Adjusted to main building roof slops to something similar to the real slops of the building;

15.  Created and added patterns to the 3D model for the following parts of the model (for this part I tried to determine the actual sizes of the elements and created the similar size patterns for it):

a.      The two elevations creating two exterior floors (the pattern represents a 20’X20’ rectangular surface with 1” spacing between and depth of 1”);

b.      The glass walls of the main entrance of the building and lower level walls located on East side of the building (a rectangular family pattern with 6’7”X10’7” green-blue glass windows surrounded by 6” diameter white metal pipe);

c.       The brick walls all around the model, specifically for the surface of the South-West regular buildings (a “1/3 Step” pattern with fixed distances of 1’6”X2’6” width 1” depth and 1” spacing in between were created.  But by assigning this patter to all the walls with this shape, the file size would get much bigger that caused Revit not to be able to handle the family model and it could not be imported to the project file.  It kept freezing!);

d.     The metal plate pattern for the curved walls (another “1/3 Step” pattern was created with the fixed distances of 3’8”X9’4” with 1” depth and 1” spacing to represent similar surface.  This pattern surface also didn’t worked.  This time Revit wouldn’t allow me to assign the patterns to the wall and it kept saying “Can't make type "1/3 Step : 1-3 Step Surface (Solid)".” With almost hundred errors for each wall).

16.  Imported the mass model to the project file and created the mass walls and roofs.  Again Revit gave some error while creating the irregular roofs of the main building.  It kept saying “Can't make roof.” for three parts.

17.  Chose the South-West buildings for the BIM part of the project and the mass floors created for all of them as well as the mass walls and roofs.

18.  Placed three row of five windows for three different floors as seen in the real building;

19.  Created interior walls and some furniture and lightning for the rooms to have a realistic rendering. 

Parameters Behavior


Designing Facade

1/3 Step pattern used for curved walls and surrounding walls


Rectangular pattern used for exterior floors (1" depth and 1" void space around)


Window panel used for main entrance wall of the main building and east lower wall of the model (green-blue glass with 6" diameter white metal pipe)




Descriptive Video


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