Orban Design

Providing the highest quality architectural rendering for Charlottesville and beyond.

Highlight on architectural services

The original intent of this space was to create a portfolio of my work as well as discuss computer 3D rendering. I have found from off-line inquiries that this focus has hidden the other aspect of my business — traditional architectural services primarily focused on residential new home construction and renovations. I welcome inquiries for any type of residential project, whether it’s a porch addition or a completely new home. I have over 20 years of experience in residential design and planning and I would be very happy for the opportunity to prepare your house plans. I’ve written up a bit more on my “About” page if you’d like to read about my range of services.

The following images are of a typical renovation project by Orban Design. The request was to design a covered section over a patio to mitigate the intense summer sun. I worked with the client using 3D tools extensively to compose the design as well as to work out the details and the material options. Then, I prepared a set of construction drawings, allowing the owner to request multiple builder quotes to find the best match for quality and price. The final images show the completed project. I’m pleased with how accurately the 3D studies were able to convey the proposed design.

Converting drawings to renderings

Here’s a brief behind-the-scenes look at the variety of information that I can start out with when I begin on a project. These are three recent projects for which I prepared renderings, and before each finished rendering, I have included an image of the base information from which I began my work.

This first project is a house rendering for a homeowner who was interested in seeing some color options for their new house under construction. I was given the builder’s hand-drawn elevations and site plan from which to build and render a view of the house.hand drawing of elevation

The next project had a similar requirement of generating a visual for a homeowner to see how the house would look in real life. With this project, I had CAD drawings of the plans, elevations, and site from which to generate the 3D model.


The third project is one where I took an already completed Sketchup model and added lighting and materials to prepare some marketing images of the project for the designer/builder. The first image is a screenshot of the Sketchup model, and the completed render follows.

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June 2014 renderings

These renderings are of a pair of apartment buildings by the same architect. The first building is just starting construction, and so the rendering was done for the client for marketing purposes and use on a jobsite sign. The second building is in review currently by the zoning administration, as well as being presented by the developer to the community. There are several iterations of the second building that I didn’t include, which has different versions of massing of the rooftop/ penthouse volume.

render-benning-front-final render-benning-aerial-final

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For these interior views of a nursing home renovation and expansion, I used a softer watercolor style to prepare these renderings.


from concept to reality

The most powerful testament for the use of 3D renderings is to see a finished space that was conceived and designed in 3D.

Here is the final rendering of this kitchen addition (I had featured it previously here and here.) The computer model was used throughout the design to test various cabinet configurations and material choices. It also provided a useful reference during the depths of construction to make sure that the decisions that were being made lead to this goal.

final interior rendering of proposed kitchen

The next image is the finished kitchen interior as it exists today. From the wood countertops and stainless steel sink, to the cabinet layout and butcher block table, all the different choices for interior materials and arrangements were filtered through the 3D model and through continuous iteration.

completed Locust Avenue kitchen addition

It proved very useful to also test different designs for the renovated areas of the house. This enlarged dining room is where the old kitchen and dining room used to be. The original dining room was on the left, separated by a non-bearing wall from the kitchen to the right. The stairs were originally accessed through a door opening, and one of the ideas was to open up the stairs with a stained wood bannister. The design of the bannister was done in 3D and then the measurements given directly to the carpenters. Here is the rendering of the stair opening.


And here is a photo of the finished space:

Locust Avenue kitchen addition dining room remodel

It was a very gratifying process to have the renderings to guide both the decision making and the construction process to give the desired result for the happy home-owners.