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

“UNIFI was able to accurately
recreate our products in
Revit, reflecting the aesthetic
and engineering qualities of
our products, incorporating
an appropriate balance of
LOD (Level of Detail) and
file size requirements.”
– Dan Connell,
Industrial Designer

OVERVIEW

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 services 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.

CHALLENGE

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.

SOLUTION

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.

Revit