Visibility Analysis

Visibility Analysis for 3D Urban Environments
Research development and practical application

Anastasia Koltsova1, Bige Tunçer2, Gerhard Schmitt3
1,3Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland, 2Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore
1,3, 2
[email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

This paper by Anastasia Koltsova, Bige Tunçer and Gerhard Schmitt, presents a visibility analysis tool for 3D urban environments and its possible applications for urban design practice. Literature exists for performing visibility analysis using various methods and techniques, however, tools that result from such research are generally not suitable for use by designers in practice.

This visibility analysis tool resides in Grasshopper, Rhino. It uses a ray casting method to analyze the visibility of façade surfaces from a given vantage point, and of a given urban setting, in particular, buildings and roads. The latter analysis provides information on the best visible buildings/ building facades from segments of roads.

Authors established a collaboration with a practicing architect to work on a design competition together, using this tool. The paper elaborates on the visibility analysis methods, presents the tool in detail, discusses the results of their joint work on the competition, and briefly reflects on the evaluation of the use of the tool by design practitioners.

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