7 unusual details – Design done differently

8 min read
Part of the series:

Attention to Detail [#8] or: What is precious to you?

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Designs are the foundations on which a project can be built. But how can we best express ourselves in a design? Is it a hand-drawing, a skill ever fewer architects and planners possess, or is it the perfect illusion of an animated sketch? How do I convey my idea in detail, and how can make my concept comprehensible?

Let us show you seven examples of successful presentations.

Vanke 3D City - MVRDV

Architecture firm MVRDV won the Vanke Headquarters competition in Shenzhen with this skyscraper of the future. A mixed-use city block with flexible rental office space, retail areas, a restaurant, hotel and various outdoor areas.

The design shows a stack of eight blocks connecting the two relevant plots with one another, and bridging the street running between them. The result was a 250-m-high building with a total useful floor space of 167,000 m².

Each of the eight blocks represents a keyword inspired by Vanke’s core values: health, energy, openness, team, green, nature, future and creativity. Four of the blocks have recesses, forming semi-public plazas, expanses and green open spaces. The blocks and open spaces are interconnected with stairs and lifts, creating the impression of a complex, three-dimensional urban fabric.


Images: © ATCHAIN
Copyright: MVRDV 2018 – (Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries)_Vanke 3D City


Sonja and Gasper are landscape architects based in Berlin. They also initiated the Linescapes project. What began with their love of drawing their interior furnishings has now grown into a project that aims to emphasise the importance of drawing for design and architecture. They view hand-drawing as a way to convey ideas and communicate, enabling them to explain and pass on their thoughts to others.



Hand-drawing © Linescapes
Hand-drawing © Linescapes
Hand-drawing © Linescapes
Hand-drawing © Linescapes
Hand-drawing © Linescapes
Hand-drawing © Linescapes

Tatiana Bilbao Estudio

Tatiana Bilbao founded her practice in 2004 with the aim of imbuing architecture with social values. She always strives to find design-focused approaches and incorporate them in the architectural process. Her work is in an ongoing dialogue with research, attempting to raise awareness for reconstruction projects in crisis areas.

An interdisciplinary team of architects, scientists and 3D modellers supports her. Tatiana Bilbao Estudio always tries to view architecture from various levels and perspectives. To this end, the team often works with other architects, artists and economists.


Concept presentation collage © Tatiana Bilbao, Estudio
Concept presentation collage © Tatiana Bilbao, Estudio
City presentation collage © Tatiana Bilbao, Estudio
City presentation collage © Tatiana Bilbao, Estudio

Tallinn City Hall – BIG

The new city hall design for Tallinn involves a multi-part structure broken down into different zones and areas. Architecture firm BIG, headed up by Bjarke Ingels, offers a range of insights into and views from this building complex with various light wells, terraces and atria. The new city hall is transparent. The municipal administration should not have to work covertly, instead letting citizens see them work. Conversely, it also gives the employees a view of the city’s citizens and their immediate environment.


Images & Copyright: BIG

Perspective of the new city hall © BIG
Perspective of the new city hall © BIG


Founded by Sabrina Wilk in 2007, LineScape offers professional landscape architects and garden planners an attractive range of drawing and presentation courses. She knows exactly why it is so important to be able to draw freehand and provide well-presented architecture and planning visuals. Convince clients and developers and make them fall in love with their ideas is the planner’s bread and butter.

The qualified landscape architect has been a dedicated Professor of Drawing, Presentation and Visualisations at the Landscape Architecture Faculty of Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences since 1999. Her work focuses on how artistic interpretations can influence perceptions of landscape and architecture.


Koschany + Zimmer Architekten: Arne as part of the design for Essen 51

Have you met Alliteration Arne? The Koschany + Zimmer Architekten team created Arne during an intense design process, and he even became part of the project. For the Essen 51 competition, the firm submitted an urban development design for a smart and colourful urban district. In this context, Arne embodies people with different characteristics – Aged Arne, A-la-mode Arne, All-business Arne or Architect Arne. They represent the personalities who will later breathe life into the new district.

Arne has many different facets. Which is your favourite?


Lego Campus - CF Møller Architects

Eight volumes combine to form C.F. Møller Architects’ LEGO Campus in Denmark. A flexible and sustainable office complex with a park, epitomising LEGO’s corporate values and playful culture.

Bright and flexible offices grouped around an atrium form the building ensemble and reflect the product properties and diversity of LEGO in their shapes and colours. The individual building sections differ by size and play with different aesthetically pleasing façades. Where the individual building sections intersect, they create social meeting places generating attention with colourful stairs and signage.


Images & Copyright: LEGO & CF Møller Architects

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