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Firm Profile: Candusso Arquitetos – Architecture Visualized on the Mac

In this latest installment of our Firm Profile series, we turn our attention to the work of architecture firm Candusso Arquitetos, who specialize in several large building types, including residential towers and hotels. The firm is entirely Mac-based and uses a highly developed arsenal of software applications to skillfully compete for its highly prized commissions.

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RC: We work from the design conception through the construction supervision stage; and with the help of BIM technology provided by Vectorworks and its interaction with CINEMA 4D we have a complete visualization system for all phases of the work.


Candusso Arquitetos developed its projects using CG (computer graphics) technology as a tool since the late 1980’s. It makes no sense to us to use graphics computing in just part of the process. And it is important to note that our process is fully integrated and digitally controlled, by a tool created by us called ACOBRA. We have been using that tool since the early 1990’s to help monitor and describe each stage of the project, thus creating valuable historical data for future learning.

The BIM (Building Information Modeling) approach came in to reinforce our process which was already rich with data from ACOBRA.

AFR: That sounds quite amazing. The vast majority of architecture firms lack this kind of digital structure reinforcing and serving their practice goals at this level. At nearly 100 people, your firm is a large firm and you can’t grow to such a size without disciplined and efficient developed workflows. What other interesting technologies have been employed?

07 - Candusso's ACORBRA information management software is a custom-built application that runs on Mac, Windows and iOS-based Apple iPad for field use. ACOBRA is built on FileMaker Pro. In the view above we see it running on an Apple iPad. The top tabs translated from Portuguese to English are: Creation, Prefecture, Model, Execution and Map.

RC: Well, for years we were already developing stereoscope animations. Initially we would place cameras side by side and render two separate films and then merge them together. Now that capability is fully automated and easy with CINEMA 4D.

AFR: Renato, can you tell me more about this custom built ACOBRA software your firm uses? It sounds like a project and office management tool that might be database driven.

RC: Sure, the ACOBRA software our firm uses is custom built on top of FileMaker and it can run on both desktop computers and on an Apple iPad. (see images 07-09)

08 - Another image of ACORBRA, a FileMaker Pro based application, on iOS.

09 - ACOBRA, which is built on FileMaker Pro, is the kind of thing that many firms in AEC can and do develop to streamline information workflows.

AFR: Thank you for doing this interview.

RC: You are welcome.

[Editor’s note: We’d like to thank the Brazilian Maxon distributor who served as translator for Renato to enable this wonderful interview on Candusso.]

Closing Comments

It is rare to see such large practices entirely on the Mac platform and we enjoyed learning about this large Brazilian firm which as you can see from the office photo shown above seems to utilize a fleet of iMac computers for many of their workstations. We imagine that their modeling group is not on iMacs but given today’s performance over price ratio on the iMac computers perhaps even today they run C4D on them. Our guess is that they have several high-powered Mac Pro workstations being utilized for their more dedicated visualization efforts on CINEMA 4D.

10 - This is the final image from Candusso, a night rendering from CINEMA 4D.

This is a heavily Apple invested and technological savvy AEC enterprise. ACOBRA is built on FileMaker, which as we have pointed out in this recent feature on FileMaker 12, is a proudly owned Apple subsidiary. They even have brought over their ACOBRA application to iOS on the iPad, making field and site specific work more integrated into mainline office information.

Candusso Arquitetos is located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with a regional associated office in Rio de Janeiro. You can learn more here at:

Candusso’s Primary Toolset

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