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Success Story: Architecture Is Fun Advances the Power of Play with BIM

Posted by Julie McClure on 8/26/14 11:12 AM

For award-winning architecture and design team Peter and Sharon Exley, fun elevates the everyday. In fact, as founders of the Chicago-based firm Architecture Is Fun, this husband and wife have crafted their professional ambitions toward making meaningful, interactive places and spaces for families. One of their first clients was the internationally renowned Chicago Children’s Museum; other children’s museums, exhibits, and adult cultural spaces soon followed.

In this new Vectorworks Success Story, learn about three projects designed by Architecture Is Fun, beginning with the St. Chrysostom’s Day School, where the firm transformed an underused, 450-square-foot space into a bright and airy gothic garden where children explore and interact, paint, perform, tell stories, and sit with friends.

St. Chrysostom’s Day School. © Doug Snower Photography.

Next is the 22,000-square-foot Young At Art Museum in Davie, Florida, where the Exleys worked with the museum's executive director to introduce art usually reserved for serious adult museums. They supplemented work commissioned from 75 acclaimed artists with highly sensory interactive pieces, including engaging sculptures, plush seating areas, curvy tunnels, soothing water play structures, and cozy reading nooks.

Young At Art Museum. © Doug Snower Photography.

Generating data-rich models with Vectorworks Architect software enabled Peter's coordination with the building architect and consultant’s BIM models. Often, the exhibit concept was in development before the interior space, so having a comprehensive model informed the architectural design.

“The ambition of Vectorworks Architect is a robust example, illustrating a workflow that is familiar and analogous to traditional architectural design process while producing a forward-looking, data-rich, and coordinated BIM," Peter says. "Compared to experiences of competitive products, Vectorworks Architect presents a superior outcome with less effort, that’s profitable to the architect and client partnership,” Peter says.

More recently, Architecture Is Fun upgraded the main floor family gallery at the esteemed Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University with small building blocks, tablet computers with proprietary activities, and comfortable child-height seating that invites people of all ages to explore in a non-linear fashion.

Frost Art Museum photo courtesy of Florida International University.

Peter notes that the Vectorworks model for this project was used to prototype scale models of furniture and millwork using a MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer, and digital files went straight to millwork fabrication with only minimal need for shop drawings.

Visit our website to read the entire Architecture Is Fun Success Story.

Topics: Architecture, Chicago Children's Museum, Firm Profile, Florida International University, Sharon Exley, St. Chrysostom's Day School, Success Story, Vectorworks, Vectorworks Architect, Young At Art, 3D Modeling, 3D printing, Architecture Is Fun, BIM, Case Study, Chicago, Frost Art Museum, MakerBot, MakerBot Replicator, Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Peter Exley, Project Highlight

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