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Playing with Architecture and SketchUp - The Boano Prišmontas way

July 15, 2020 Lauren Donnebaum

Boano Prišmontas are a London-based architectural firm, founded by Tomaso Boano and Jonas Prišmontas. The studio adopts a creative and hands-on approach as a strategic tool to propose design solutions to the contemporary world. Each project draws inspiration from myriad aspects of art, architecture, and technology. The duo’s approach to design is via a combination of play, craft, questions, investigation and challenges to both themselves and the environment around us. We spoke to them to find out how SketchUp plays a key role in their visual storytelling talents.

Boano Prišmontas

Tell us about Boano Prišmontas and what you do

Boano Prišmontas is an architectural firm and creative consultancy that deals with architecture, design, manufacturing processes and new building techniques. We focus our architectural research on self-buildable modular systems and plug-in spaces.

How you came to a career in design/architecture?

We always loved the mix between creativity and rationality, which are both essential in the architect’s work. Before starting our own practice, we worked in large-scale architectural companies for many years. At some point, we felt trapped in an ordinary office life and wanted to gain back that motivation and passion for construction and experimentation that originally triggered our interest in this field. Architecture is a diversified and somehow undefined discipline that allows you to pursue and implement your research, as well as question the way we perceive ourselves and the world around us.

Boano Prišmontas
Berghersh House

How did you get started in SketchUp?

We belong to that generation of architects who, at the beginning of their formation years, embraced 3D modeling as a tool for studying spaces and representing architecture. Since the beginning, using SketchUp seemed an obvious and powerful choice, due to its instinctive simplicity and high-quality results, which enable us to clearly communicate conceptual ideas and spatial layouts.

Boano Prišmontas
Quiubox - Reference of Scale

Boano Prišmontas
Quiubox - A modular System

Boano Prišmontas
Quiubox - Single Unit

Boano Prišmontas
SketchUp-powered design concept comes to life during Milan Design Week (2007)

How does SketchUp impact your work?

One of the most challenging aspects of our work is merely about “communication” and passing of information with the design team, clients, contractors, and internet audiences. SketchUp facilitates all that with immediacy and quality. It allows architectural spaces to be designed quickly and with great precision. Every detail is just one zoom-click away. SketchUp helps the designer to focus on solving all geometric relations among elements that concur to define the look and the feel of spaces.

Boano Prišmontas
Arch 510 - Nigh

Boano Prišmontas
The Arches Project - Vision for London

Boano Prišmontas
SketchUp model for The Arches Project

Boano Prišmontas

Boano Prišmontas
The Arches Project coming together

Boano Prišmontas


What are your most used SketchUp extensions?

We don’t use many extensions as we find the basic 3D tools more than sufficient when developing our projects. However, we really appreciate V-Ray and Enscape; delivering the highest-quality images to our clients is always essential to convey the feel and the quality of the space.

Your work portfolio is so diverse - what are your favourite kinds of projects to work on?

We are lucky to be working on a wide range of projects that are all diverse and special to us. From residential schemes to bespoke furniture, from urban design strategies to art installations and structural systems, we believe our work has to be fun and interesting - otherwise what’s the point of it all? :) Our latest work The Arches Project is probably the most interesting one to us as it is still developing and scaling up. We digitally fabricated modular plywood structures to make temporary use of abandoned pocket spaces such as railway arches, undercrofts and carparks. The project, developed with Meanwhile Space, supported by the Mayor of London and the Lambeth Council, recently ranked among the 5 finalists of the Building of the Year 2020 Award by Archdaily. We are most excited working on projects that we feel are useful in some way.

Boano Prišmontas
Minima Moralia - Vision for London - Bird's Eye View

Boano Prišmontas
Minima Moralia - affordable workspace for creatives

You work on a range of initiatives in London. At the moment, with a saturation point for housing and living costs, do you think London can remain a hub for creative minds?

London is at the center of a radical political and social change. We always stress how granting access to creativity to anyone is truly important, and we criticize that often only privileged people are able to afford studio/workshop rents and art university fees. We believe in the power of creativity not as a mere artistic output, but as a methodology, as a way to discover and question things and processes. Our project Minima Moralia was the first attempt to launch a strategy about creating affordable spaces for creatives by making use of underused public spaces and private backyards. Since then, affordable spaces and modular systems became a constant subject in our work and design research. We often employ our creative thinking in finding ways to challenge the status quo, and we know that many other creatives in this city are doing the same, so we do believe there is hope for London!

You can see more of Boano Prišmontas’ work via:
Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channel.

Since the Covid-19 crisis hit, Elmtec and SketchUp UK are proud to sponsor Boano Prišmontas in a crowdfunding effort to make PPE for the NHS. If you or your company would like to further support them please visit this page. Thank you, and most of all - thank you to our NHS.










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