Lovelock Mitchell Architects

Interview

Michael Chevasco is an architect working for a long-established, yet innovative architectural practice.

Lovelock Mitchell is renowned in the UK and beyond as a trustworthy, artistic architectural practice with around 20 people. It aims to over-deliver on its promises of design excellence and client engagement.

Implementation of BIM has helped keep them ahead of the curve in the UK. Since Lumion has come along, things have moved to a whole new level. Michael Chevasco tells the story of Lumion at Lovelock Mitchell.

What kinds of project does Lovelock Mitchell do?

A wide variety of architectural projects. For example, we’ve done schools, town developments, houses and interesting large scale projects, like an ongoing one, which is called the mid-town development project in Gibraltar. That one is particularly large!

How did you find out about Lumion?

About 5 years ago a student told me about Lumion and what it could do, that it was a so-called real-time renderer. I saw it and thought it was impressive but I also thought you probably needed a NASA computer to run it! Then I found out that you don’t, so I downloaded the free version and tried it out.

I made a walkthrough and showed it to our managing director and he was really impressed with the results. He said for me to test the free version on a project, so I did and the results were again very impressive to both him and the client, whose project we had used for the test.

Then we got a request from that same client to make still image renders of the project. We bought a license of Lumion 4 Pro (the up-to-date version, at the time) to make the renders and the fee we collected was more than the cost of the license. So we actually earned the investment back in one project! Since then it’s been no looking back. Lumion is now used on every Lovelock Mitchell project.

“Lumion fits very well with our ideas of what BIM means in practice.”
Michael Chevasco
Architect

What was so impressive about the Lumion results?

It was a combination of things but mainly that something of this quality could be produced in such a short space of time. And the learning curve for Lumion was so short that we had trouble believing that it was actually possible. Lumion also fitted perfectly because we moved fully to BIM (Building Information Modelling) some years ago. We moved away from AutoCAD and implemented Revit, which means that our projects always have 3D data available. Exporting to Lumion is easy because it interoperates perfectly with our Revit-based workflow.

What is the normal workflow in Lovelock Mitchell?

It’s quite simple these days. We create our BIM models in Revit and that’s the basis. Moving to Revit has brought a great improvement to us in terms of efficiency.

For example, if anyone needs a side elevation or a plan elevation, we no longer need to draw anything because the BIM model already contains the data, we just have to request the elevation we want and because the data is already there, we get the result we need, directly from Revit.

This way of working also means that 3D data can easily be exported from Revit at any time and simply imported or updated in Lumion.

So we create a Lumion project in parallel with the Revit BIM project and at any time, whenever we need a visualization, we export the Revit 3D file, which is trivial matter and reload it into the (already created) Lumion scene.

Within a few minutes, we’ve got the still images or if we wait a bit longer, the animation that we need to show our customers. The reload button in Lumion is perfect for this, as just a single click updates the Lumion scene with any model changes we made in Revit.

Our workflow for visualization before Lumion was very different and less effective. We normally used to render still images in the cloud and then we used Ph