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ArchiCAD 13 behind Sun City Palace in Kobe Japan

BAR Architects of San Francisco designs beautiful Kobe Towers in Japan – Leading Edge Senior Housing Project Using ArchiCAD


The award-winning BAR Architects of San Francisco has used Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD building information modeling (BIM) software to design one of the world’s largest and most refined urban senior housing projects, Sun City Palace in Kobe, Japan.

The 75-person firm used ArchiCAD to conceive, detail and coordinate plans for the 33-storey, 508,000 square foot complex, which features a signature nine-storey glassy “lantern” at the top of the tower. Those levels house premium living units and a penthouse-level restaurant.

Why ArchiCAD 13

“ArchiCAD is a great collaborative design tool for efficiently executing our vision,” said BAR Architects principal Mark Koester. “A high-rise like this entails frequent client-requested changes, and the BIM model helps our team stay current and on deadline as the design unfolds. ArchiCAD provides realistic 3D views that result in better and faster design decisions that 2D plans allow. And it helps the entire team–including architects, landscape architects, structural designers and interior designers–experience the spaces they are designing in the context of the entire architecture.”

The Sun City Palace complex is complex and using a BIM software tool helped the architects manage information. The structure houses an array of amenities, including a library, an atelier, a swimming pool, a spa and a 500-seat auditorium. BAR Architects used ArchiCAD for green design as well studying the building for optimal sunlight and integrating pedestrian flow with local transit. Other green elements of the finished building include permeable pavement to manage runoff, rainwater reuse systems, local materials and abundant plantings.

“Society’s elders deserve carefully crafted spaces, both in private and common areas, that ensure a high quality of life,” said Koester. “ArchiCAD helped us accomplish this ever step of the project.”

To learn more about BAR Architects and see some photos of this project visit their website here. For more on ArchiCAD 13 visit the Graphisoft website.

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