The Art of Architectural Visualization | EYRC Architects

EYRC Ridge Mountain Residence Visualization by Jessica Moon

Written by Jessica Chang

Architectural visualization plays a critical role in EYRC’s approach to design. Different forms of representation helps our clients understand the design throughout all phases of the process.

In this blog post we will be highlighting the drawings generated by EYRC staff during our Digital Practice Committee’s Visualization Competition. The only prompt for this competition was to create a piece of visualization for an EYRC project using at least one digital tool. This exercise allowed us to be free with ourselves and to shake out of our default rendering style without the usual project pressures. 

In order to discuss what brought about this competition idea it is helpful to look back at where we started.


Top Left: Schulman Residence 1992; Top Right: Kalfus Studio, 1981; Bottom Right: Windward Circle, 1991; Bottom Left: Windward Circle 1991

The History of Architectural Visualization at EYRC

Prior to the use of computer modeling and rendering, the firm represented projects in detailed 3D models or in 2D conceptual elevations. The series of images above were drawn in a style that was often used at the firm, with an elevation at the top of the page and an additional drawing that further expressed the project concept below. For example, in the Windward Circle drawings, Steven outlined the previous structures below the new designs. The elevations illustrate how the rhythms and forms of the old hotel and roller coaster can be remembered in the new buildings.


675 Kendall Square, 2002

As the firm began to use 3D modeling in the early 2000s, this opened a new world of visualization options. The early renderings from the firm took on a bit of abstraction as the technology was not good enough to create a photorealistic image yet. The renderings of Kendall Square above show the building material mapped in a very simple way with the context ghosted in the background. Photoshop was used to place scale figures and the overall effect is very stylized and high contrast to compensate for the lack of photorealistic capability at the time. 

Left: ASU Cronkite School of Journalism, 2007; Right: 800 Apollo, 2014
Waverley Residence, 2015

Burroughs Middle School, 2017

Baxter residence, 2019

El Segundo Creative Office 2020

The series of images above show the progression in realism in our renderings from the early 2000s to today. As our methods and technology grew more sophisticated, our visualization became more and more detailed and realistic. This followed the trend within the architectural community to achieve photorealism. Recently, however, the style has been moving back to something more conceptual. As with art, when realism is achieved - abstraction becomes the next endeavor. Thus, the 2020 Visualization Competition was born. 

EYRC’s 2020 Visualization Competition

With everyone working from home during Covid-19, a visualization competition was a fun way to encourage a more critical view of the renderings we had been generating. The hope was to return to some of the conceptual clarity that the firm’s early drawings had. Everyone in the office was encouraged to participate with the only rule being at least one digital tool needed to be used to generate an image of an EYRC project.

Please enjoy the competition entries below.

Laidley Visualization by Jessica Moon
Produce LA Elevation Abstraction by Nicholas McMillan
Stradella Residence visualization by Gibran Villalobos
UCSD Theater District Living and Learning Neighborhood Gateway Carbon Clock Visualization by Alex Jiang
Stoneview Nature Center Visualization by Travis Frankel
Produce LA Visualization by Sam Tannenbaum
Stoneview Nature Center Visualization by Patti Rhee
Varda Landing by Matthew Ininns

You can see more of the submissions to the Visualization Contest by clicking here. To learn more about our work, we encourage you to visit our residential and commercial portfolio pages

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Jessica Chang

Written by Jessica Chang

Jessica Chang, AIA, is a graduate of the University of Southern California and an Associate at EYRC. She has led projects in both the commercial and residential studios since joining EYRC in 2018. With her passion for design, Jessica brings an energetic perspective and critical eye to the firm. Prior to her tenure at EYRC, Jessica worked at Morphosis Architects for four years on internationally recognized projects ranging from hotels and train stations, to embassies and city-scale masterplans. Her dedication to the field extends beyond design projects as she leads the Digital Practice Committee and co-leads the Design Justice Committee at EYRC. Her determination to innovate and promote equity makes her a valuable and empathetic architect.