Grimshaw Architects video case study
“Our presentations must reflect the quality of our buildings. We engage with the outside world, and vice versa, through the images we produce and how we present them, so choosing the right imaging technology is critical.”Background
Jolyon Brewis is chief executive of Grimshaw, an award-winning architecture practice which has been enhancing the global landscape for over 30 years. Grimshaw’s projects include the iconic geodesic biomes of the Eden Project in the UK, Southern Cross rail station in Melbourne, Australia, Ludwig Erhaud Haus, the home of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, and the contemporary Caixa Galicia Art Foundation in La Coruña, Spain.
Established in 1980 by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, the practice employs over 350 staff in London, New York, Sydney, Melbourne and Doha. Jolyon Brewis describes many of these projects as: “complex, infrastructure-based and civic in nature — they’re used by many different people during the day, and are often open to the public. Some take decades to realise, but four to five years is more usual.”
The first ideas for a project might be rendered by simple hand-drawn sketches, but CAD technology often takes over almost immediately. Thereafter, says Brewis, as ideas evolve, presenting them professionally becomes increasingly more important.
“We have to communicate with a wide range of stakeholders — clients, planning authorities and, of course, the people who will use the building. In each case, we need to convince them that what we’re designing is what they expect.”The Solution
The favoured media for presenting is print and projection, and the further along in the process, the greater the demand for photorealism, especially when presenting to planners and users.
Jolyon Brewis says: “Designers can spend as much as they like getting images right on screen, but that effort is wasted if colours and details don’t print correctly.”
Grimshaw has chosen Epson to provide their print and projection technology. The major reason, says Brewis, is that “Epson technology is absolutely reliable when it comes to quality — and quality is what matters to us, whether it takes the form of accurate colour rendering or precise reproduction of critical details; after all, a lot of architecture is about getting the details right.” He adds that printing speed is also important: “Before a presentation we’re often working till the 11th hour, and beyond, so that we can show people our absolutely latest ideas, so we need to be able to print to really tight deadlines.”
Print output falls into two main categories: CAD drawings and fine toned CGI images, produced on an Epson SureColor SC-T7000 printer, and photorealistic colour and photographs, which is handled by a Epson’s Stylus Pro 9700 printer. Grimshaw uses Epson EB-G6350 projectors for internal presentations and portable Epson projectors externally. “We can’t always rely on someone else’s projectors to do justice to our work,” says Brewis.
Use of both printers and projectors is frequent due to Grimshaw’s rigorous “peer review” process, in which every project is continuously assessed by individuals from both inside and outside the practice.
“CAD drawings are being produced almost constantly” says Brewis, “and the number of colour visuals we print isn’t far behind. Projector use is likewise pretty constant, so we need reliable equipment. Flexibility is also important as we’re presenting a real variety of content — drawings, CGI, photography and animations.”
The MicroPiezo TFP print heads in the Epson SureColor T-Series features enhanced variable-size ink droplet technology that delivers very small 3.5-picolitre droplets at resolutions up to 2880 x 1440 dpi, rendering the extremely precise line details, crisp text and photo-quality graphics which are important to graphics. The ability to use a variety of media is also key. The UltraChrome XD pigment inks are optimised to produce brilliant colour across a wide variety of media, from inexpensive plain paper, premium photographic papers and archival films, to 1.5mm-thick poster board.
The Epson Stylus Pro printer features Epson K3 ink with Vivid Magenta, which uses nine pigment inks to print extremely wide colour gamut on a wide variety of photo, fine art and proofing media — including, again, 1.5mm-thick poster board. The exceptional colour stability and accuracy ensures consistent, repeatable colour imaging.
Jolyon Brewis said: “As chief executive, I’m ultimately responsible for ensuring that we project ourselves in the best possible way, so investing in the right technology is vital. Thanks to Epson’s technology, and the relationship we have with the company, I’m certain we’re doing both.”