By Brianna Bailey
Frankfurt Short Bruza participates in online design charrette
A conference room at Frankfurt Short Bruza was transformed into a war room of sorts on Wednesday, with the walls covered with rough sketches and color-coded maps. Designers and engineers huddled around laptops at a long conference table worked on 3-D models of their ideas for a new development on the banks of the Oklahoma River.
The daylong session was streamed live over the Internet for viewers to get a sneak peek of the design. Frankfurt Short Bruza has been preparing for weeks for its design for BIMStorm OKC, an international online design charrette for architects, engineers and students to share their ideas for Oklahoma City’s Core to Shore area. Designers from around the United States and several foreign countries use 3-D building modeling software to come up with new designs. BIMStorms have also been held for Boston, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Oslo. Frankfurt Short Bruza was the only Oklahoma City architecture firm to participate in the Oklahoma charrette, but several other firms both nationally and internationally also came up with designs for the project, as well as students at the University of Oklahoma College of Architecture.
The FSB design for the BIMStorm consists of a crescent-shaped development that radiates out from a manmade cove on the north bank of the Oklahoma River. The lofty plans include a wakeboarding course on the river, as well as a theater, housing and a grocery store. The idea for the wakeboarding course came from a designer at FSB who is a wakeboard enthusiast. Designer Chris Reiter even brought in his wakeboard to the office on Wednesday for inspiration. “We really wanted things to tap into that excitement around the riverfront and make it something active,” Fred Schmidt, principal at FSB, said. Participation in the BIMStorm is an exercise in team building for FSB, as well as a way to generate new, creative ideas, Schmidt said. Shane Thompson, an engineer for FSB, said the project allowed the team’s ideas to run wild. “It’s really been interesting to get started from scratch, because usually we’re working for a client who has some ideas,” Thompson said. “It’s also been fun to think about the future of Oklahoma City and what that might hold.”