Lake|Flato has been designing award-winning houses and buildings since 1984. Our designs have been featured in the media, periodicals, and books, including our newest manuscript published by Rizzoli: Lake|Flato Houses: Respecting the Land. We have also just been awarded a 2022 AIA Architecture award for a Marine Education Center at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Communicating the design intent is of paramount importance given the time, energy, and resources our clients invest in developing their forever homes. To this end, one of the tools we use is Enscape, a real-time architectural visualization tool, to deliver high-quality immersive experiences to our clients. This includes on-screen project tours, videos, and virtual reality walkthroughs of the yet-to-be-built project. Approximately 80% of our design staff utilize Enscape at various stages of a project.
Enscape is a game-changer as clients are immediately able to understand and experience our vision, eliminating the subjective interpretation of sketches and the resulting misunderstandings and redesign.
Brian Comeaux, Project Architect, Lake|Flato
The Featured Project
The Ponte Vista House is a 6,000 sq ft four-bedroom residence on a bluff overlooking Lake Waco. The main house and lap pool sits at the edge of the bluff where the land drops away, allowing for sweeping views of the lake. The house is separated from the street by a private courtyard created by the garage and the guest wing. The approach to the house is through this courtyard which is on axis with the lake and the outdoor living room.
Enscape rendering of main house overlooking lap pool
Lake|Flato has gained recognition for designing houses that resonate with the inherent nature of each site, respond to the region’s climate and connect its inhabitants to the natural environment. We listen to each client’s dreams and aspirations and carefully craft a design through an inclusive and collaborative process.
Lake|Flato website, Houses page
The images below are rendered directly from Enscape without any post-processing (i.e. Photoshop work). What’s more, they are derived from a single-source-of-truth, our primary design platform, which is also used to create the construction documentation, daylighting, and energy analysis calculations.
This project utilizes a custom collection of high-quality textures (e.g. woods, stones, tile, etc.) and assets (people, trees, etc.) we have developed or optimized for use in Enscape.
The images really speak for themselves, which is also a leading value proposition of the tools and workflows employed.
Entry court with guest wing and orchard
Guest wing and main house flanking entry porch
Dining room and stairs to master suite
Living room view to Lake Waco
Master bedroom view to Lake Waco
Master bath suite
Guest bedroom view to Lake WacoWine cellar and tasting room
We deliver virtual reality in different ways, depending on the project. One option is what I call “full VR” which requires a high-powered computer and allows the person in VR to explore all areas of the project. Another option is a cloud-based platform which hosts stereo panoramas generated by Enscape. These are static/fixed spherical views with hotspots allowing the viewer to jump between scenes.
The lightweight panorama views (each being a single raster image file) can be loaded on a wireless VR device which does not require a high-powered computer. Additionally, the platform we use allows views to be updated remotely, which is a great way to engage with the client throughout the project design.
In addition to a VR experience, the panoramas can also be viewed on a mobile device or computer. Here is one example from this project: click here. This example is hosted by Enscape. The result can also be viewed in Google Cardboard.
Panorama view of dining room hosted by Enscape
Sharing a prerecorded video moving through the building or animating daylight is another favorite feature in Enscape. The exported video file is in a common format and easily viewed by clients. Here is an example from our highlighted project again, animating the view from the second-floor bridge.
Modeled in Autodesk Revit
Like most of our residential projects, the project is modeled in Autodesk Revit as shown in the image below. This is a favorite design and documentation platform used by architects around the world.
While we certainly use a lot of tools to develop and deliver beautiful and high-performing projects, we have a special place in the process for Enscape. The workflow is streamlined, consistent, and we see a great benefit to our clients.