Brandon Architects, Inc

The secret of success for the switched-on, vibrant team at California-based Brandon Architects

Mir Gaskari, Jeff Van Voorhis and Tyler Wilson from Brandon Architects of Costa Mesa, California explain how this young architecture firm is combining their flare for design with BIM technology and Lumion. They offer fast and appealing results to clients looking for high-end residences in prime locations in Southern California.

Above: the Brandon Architects team. First from the left is Mir Gaskari, the third from the left is Jeff and the fifth from left is Tyler.

What sets Brandon Architects apart?

We’re just 5 years old but are very busy and growing fast. We do high-end residential mostly and our focus on ‘smart design and better living’, using a BIM approach based on Revit & Lumion, sets us apart. Our clientele understand what we are designing and what we are aiming for because of our ability to get them inside the designs with our visualizations and breakthroughs.

 

We do a lot of projects with a coastline and have 3D modeled the whole coastline topography in the area in Revit. Context is a big deal for us. The area around the design. This is one of the things that makes us unique.

Expectations now require a quick process but a lot of other architects are struggling to get onto a 3D platform. That’s what puts us ahead. We have a young staff recently out of college but none of us has a software background. We all use Lumion

How did you get into event design?

We are just 10 people at the moment.
It’s a dynamic tight team and everyone gets involved on most projects. It’s a great studio atmosphere and we don’t want to lose that as we grow.

What challenges do you face?

There’s a lot of regulation in California and space is at a premium, especially in high end areas. So maximizing plot design is important and tricky. We have to be very detailed. It’s really important that the design team maximizes the potential of a plot of land, while still conforming to the regulations. To get the all-important ocean view right, it is often critical to get heights and viewpoints right too. We model neighboring properties to put our client’s house in context in Lumion and then investigate the viewpoints.

Can you explain how you used BIM and Lumion in an example project?

We did a really interesting project called the “Coral Cove” project. The residence was in a high-end neighborhood and for a unique client. It was in a gated community with great mountain views. It was a stand-out project with unique materials and a few challenges. Great views were essential and these required a lot of glass and light but privacy was important too.

Lumion was crucial in helping us visualize the design and communicate it with the client, to show the kinds of views that were possible and explain how their privacy would be maintained.

Lumion also helped us to find the solution to the privacy/view problem. It allowed us to get inside the model and look around it with all the context in place, including realistic vegetation.

I honestly don’t know if we could have created such a complex design without BIM. MEP issues, structural questions and general complexity were tackled by involving specialist contractors and consultants, who all used the same database and together helped build the total model for the project by contributing multiple models which were all brought together. The combination of Lumion and our BIM approach, based on Revit was critical to the success of the project.

This was a design-build project and we included subjects like materials scheduling and budgeting as part of our BIM approach. We had various kinds of schedules like for doors & windows, metal screens with different material take-