Wilkhahn: A Chair Positioned at the Head of the BIM Table

Designers from around the globe seek out Wilkhahn’s premium quality office chairs and furniture due to their reputation for excellent, innovative design and quality construction. Wilkhahn saw creating a high quality Revit content library as being a key component of the service they offer their specification clients and was adamant that their Revit library reflected the quality of their brand and the products themselves. UNIFI created the Wilkhahn Revit content library which rolled out through their worldwide distribution network. Wilkhahn initially engaged with IGS BIM Solutions which was acquired by UNIFI in 2016.


With the aesthetic aspect of Wilkhahn’s products being a major focus for both the supplier and the client, like most manufacturers undertaking their first BIM library project, there was a high priority in the mind of the client that the 3D component of the Revit families accurately reflected and accentuated the design integrity of the products in a visual sense.

A large number of the products included geometry that was highly organic. There were very few straight lines and angles, especially in the range of office chairs. Modelling this kind of geometry in Revit is challenging, especially when creating manufacturer’s content where a major consideration is to keep the file size to a minimum and performance in a project environment is extremely important in the eyes of most commercial project designers and model / BIM managers.


As is often the case when working with manufacturers developing Revit content for the first time, the UNIFI team had a number of discussions with Wilkhahn surrounding how and why Revit content is used by designers. Specifically, there was considerable time spent explaining the trade-off between modelling products to a high Level of Detail / Development (LOD) that accurately reflects the ‘real life’ aesthetics of the product and produces great renders vs Revit families that are a little less detailed but perform more efficiently in a project environment. The final Revit library created by UNIFI was done to a higher LOD to meet the needs of Wilkhahn’s primary clientele – mostly high-end interior designers and architects designing workspaces – who put a high priority on being able to utilize the 3D geometry in Revit to create aesthetically accurate renders as part of their design process.

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