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ArchiCAD firm Urban Strategies Inc. wins prestigious awards for innovative designs

GRAPHISOFT, the leading Building Information Modeling (BIM) architectural software developer, has announced that Urban Strategies, a GRAPHISOFT client based in Toronto, Canada, has won a number of prestigious awards for work recently completed in Singapore, all designed using ArchiCAD

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Canadian planning and urban design firm, Urban Strategies, Inc., based in Toronto, has won a series of prestigious awards for its Punggol sustainable waterfront town development, winning the 2014 Waterfront Center for Excellence on the Waterfront Awards for waterfront plans category.

Innovations in the urban design, tropical building typologies, and conservation were integral to achieving the vision for this 957 ha. area—a sustainable framework of mixed use districts with a special emphasis on diversity, flexibility, and quality of life. The close integration with nature and water within an urban living concept are key elements of this tropical garden city.

01 - The Punggol Master plan development by Urban Strategies Inc. of Toronto, Canada. The urban design and planning firm uses ArchiCAD for creating such models.

01 – The Punggol Master plan development by Urban Strategies Inc. of Toronto, Canada. The urban design and planning firm uses ArchiCAD for creating such models. Click on the image for a 2600 pixel wide view. (image: courtesy Graphisoft Inc. Copyright Urban Strategies Inc. All rights reserved.)

In close collaboration with Singapore’s Housing and Development Board, Urban Strategies led a multi-disciplinary team which included Buro Happold along with Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg.

Winner: 14th Singapore Institute of Architects Architectural Design Awards

Urban Strategies was also recognized for its work on the Bidadari Estate Master Plan at the 14th Singapore Institute of Architects Architectural Design Awards, in the Special Categories category.  Their plan for this 93 ha. property, a former cemetery site located in Singapore’s central region, envisions a “Community in a Garden” featuring a generously landscaped setting, 12,000 residential units, community and commercial uses clustered around subway stations with a large regional park and numerous greenway park connectors. In close collaboration with Singapore’s Housing and  Development Board, Urban Strategies led the plan with MKPL Architects, along with ARUP.

02 - Bidadira Estate Master Urban Plan, by Urban Strategies Inc.

02 – Bidadira Estate Master Urban Plan, by Urban Strategies Inc. (image: courtesy Graphisoft. Copyright Urban Strategies Inc.. All rights reserved.)

“ArchiCAD enables us to balance between the ‘pragmatic and poetic’ requirements in our work: Seamlessly developing our designs with the level of accuracy and immediate feedback our clients expect, while creating visually engaging imagery and graphics, which bring our work into the best light,“ said Michel Trocmé, Partner, Urban Strategies Inc.

About Urban Strategies Inc.

Urban Strategies Inc. is a Toronto-based planning and urban design firm offering services to public and private clients in North America, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.  What started as a small partnership in 1986 has grown over three decades, into a firm with 60 staff and an award-winning international portfolio.

Architosh Analysis

The work of Urban Strategies Inc., is quite remarkable in its expertise, focus, and scope. The firm practices around the world. What is interesting about this announcement is that one wouldn’t naturally think about a BIM authoring tool being such a centerpiece of the technology in a planning and urban design firm. Yet, ArchiCAD has excellent modeling tools for just this purpose. Modeling and visualization are likely the basis for its use but surely not its terminal point.

As data becomes more important in urban development, the concepts behind BIM, insofar as data is concerned, extend to the city itself. The Center for Urban Science + Progress (CUSP at NYU) uses the term “urban informatics” to reference the uses of data to better understand how cities work. Traditional BIM technology may find its way beyond the building’s edge in urban models like the ones shown in this story. Software developers simply must begin building in the extensible technology into specific tools that urban designers and planner can use.