Bluesky 3D Building Models Provide Sense of Place for London Design Agency
Leicestershire, UK, 17 September 2020 – London agency DCSK is using 3D building models from Bluesky to inform the design of high profile urban residential developments. Derived from the most up to date and accurate aerial photography the Bluesky 3D models allow DCSK to place a design within its real world context, consider sensitive view and vantage points and communicate ideas to clients, planning authorities and the public. DCSK has used a number of models from Bluesky including a detailed representation of central Birmingham for the design of a 24 storey student accommodation on Lancaster Street.
“We have always had to consider how a design sits within the existing cityscape and how it will interact with the buildings and infrastructure that surround it,” commented James Khamsi, Director of DCSK. “Before geographically accurate computer representations, such as the Bluesky 3D models, were available and affordable, we relied on a combination of site photographs and traditional 2D maps. This was a crude workflow that raised potential concerns about the currency and accuracy of information that was informing both the design and resulting planning permissions.”
DCSK uses 3D models from Bluesky to provide context to and inform the design of projects such as Curzon Circle Student Accommodation and a number of current projects in London. Photogrammetrically derived from stereoscopic aerial photography, the Bluesky models are fully rendered and are provided as either wireframe or block models in a format suitable for use in both CAD and GIS software. All Bluesky 3D models are supplied complete with a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) depicting the topography of the underlying surface.
DCSK import the Bluesky data into its 3D modelling software Rhino where it is used to create a background layer for the design. The development site is isolated and this data removed from the background layer allowing for the detailed design to be ‘dropped in’. The proposed development can then be viewed and analysed in its real world context with detailed assessments of access ways and viewpoints, for example.
“The Bluesky models allow us to inhabit the site and experience the design as if we were there,” continued Khamsi. “We can explore potential sensitivities, and, as the models are agile, we can massage the design exploring different options without leaving the office. The Bluesky models are also intuitive and therefore easy to interpret allowing us to communicate complex design ideas.”
Bluesky International is the leading aerial survey and geographic data company in the UK producing and maintaining seamless digital aerial photography and height data on a national scale in both Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Bluesky also undertakes bespoke surveys, including LiDAR, for a range of public and private sector clients.
Bluesky International operates a range of aircraft and sensors including three Ultracam Eagle Mark 3s, a CityMapper which allows the simultaneous collection of vertical and oblique imagery as well as LiDAR data, and a Galaxy LiDAR which is mounted with a thermal sensor and survey grade camera. These systems put Bluesky International in the enviable position of being able to provide customers with unique and cost-effective geospatial solutions.
As well as being an established and respected aerial survey company Bluesky International is also highly innovative and continually strives to develop new products and services by embracing new technology and methods. This has resulted in the development of some unique products such as the National Tree Map (NTM).
These datasets underpin long term contracts with local and central governments and many major blue-chip companies from a range of market sectors including financial services, utilities, telecoms, web portals, construction and environment. Bluesky International has offices in the UK, US, Republic of Ireland and a dedicated production centre in India.