Hootsmans is known for being an extraordinary architectural practice. We admire their projects and their approach. That’s why every time I see them call me, there’s a smile on my face and it was no different this time.
Jan de Nul
It is one of these ‘old school’ offices where they work in 2D and it was our job to translate their ideas into a 3D model. Due to the scale of the project and the number of specs we had to book a whole month just for them. Within that time our task was to make a 3D model and based on that create 21 images. 11 exteriors and 10 interiors.
Although we had already done the images for the first round of the tender we were still surprised with the amount of detail that one has to take into consideration when working on a prison project. Every building and every courtyard have to be carefully designed so the prisoners won’t hurt anybody, themselves, or simply break out of jail. Even outside all trees have to be trimmed in a way that there are no branches up to 4meters high. Around the trunk, there is a special collar with spikes preventing prisoners from climbing up the tree. As you can imagine there are no tree libraries that could fit those criteria so we had to make a 3D model of trees as well.
Architects have given us a lot of freedom when creating moods for the images. We are known for making neat perpendicular shots with clean lines. We love playing with image composition and light layering. The idea for this set of visualizations was to display a diversity of spaces in various weather conditions. It is not always possible to do so but due to a long time of project completion, we had a chance to explore different options which in the end led us to a really complete set of images.
Finally, after 3 weeks of modeling, texturing, collecting assets and distributing greenery we started rendering and post-production of the images. A relatively easy task once more took us by surprise. Architects requested that all people in the images shouldn’t be holding phones or bags as they are not allowed inside the prison. Turns out that when selecting cutout people 75% of them have something in their hands. Luckily we do not rely on only one cut library and we have a green screen in our studio so with a bit more time than planned we managed to populate our visualizations.
New Prison in Antwerp was one of the most challenging project we have ever completed but the result (1st prize) fully compensates for it.
CGI Art Director, Architect
co-owner of ELEMENT VISUALIZATIONS
He believes that creating memorable visualizations is a process whose success consists of many factors. During his career, he has acquired design, photography and graphic design competencies and in 2015 he combined them by opening a company that creates visualisations for architects, developers and product companies. Together with his team, he helps companies around the world by increasing their recognition in the media, competitions and tenders.