HomeDigital and Parametric Design in Residential and Urban Architecture

Digital and Parametric Design in Residential and Urban Architecture

Our Sponsor:

1 Formal CPD Hour

6:00 pm Registration and Networking


6:30 pm – Tony Owen Partners
Digital and Parametric Design in Residential and Urban Architecture – Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice


In recent years Tony Owen Partners has been realising a large number of residential projects which explores the potential of these ideas. TOP have been pioneering a digital approach to commercial design; an approach that is once experimental and practical. This involves using parametric modelling to open up new frontiers as well as explore new solutions to old problems.


Digital and Parametric design in Residential and Urban Architecture


Operating largely in the residential spere we recognise that we are increasingly dealing with a new and unprecedented set of realities and responding to a new set of imperatives. These impertives include increasing population and densities, limited resources and space, changing climate and the new realities of the globalisation. At the same time, technology has delivered new digital tools and capabilities which are impacting the means which architecture is realised. This includes new software, new thinking about network strategies and new means of fabrication.


We find that when designing high rise buildings in urban areas, the design parameters change at different levels and in different directions. By using digital models at the early stages of multi-unit and urban projects we can explore the impact of changing variables in real time. This includes different solar conditions, outlook and view sharing, wind, acoustics, ventilation, energy use, structural loads, reflected light, unit mix and size and price point. These changing variables result in different plan forms, building shapes, orientation, façade and envelope treatment, shading etc. The supple digital modelling process throws up new solutions and the potential for exciting, efficient, affordable and beautiful design. Some of the issues we explore include the following:


Green Digital Design and apartment living


  1. Micro-climates and balcony design and lifestyle; We have been re-examining the whole concept of the balcony on terms on indoor-outdoor living. This includes balcony size, height, amenity, shading, enclosure, privacy, green micro-environments, sound control etc
  2. Shading and solar amenity for energy saving. Responding to the harsh climate of the southern hemisphere, we are examining window shading to reduce energy use, maximise views and the interplay of surface and private open space.
  3. Apartment layouts and typologies. This includes micro-apartments, pre-fabricated modular design, reconfiguring public and private space and luxury.
  4. Breathable cities. Looking at the urban fabric and the building interface as a new frontier in making cities more human. This includes having a dialogue with the existing fabric, cultural issues, sustainability, air quality, urban cooling, healthy place making, individuality and identity.
  5. Fluid buildings and energy efficiency. By tracking the energy loads at different levels and orientations we are using more supple models to explore efficiency and as well as unprecedented and uplifting form.
  6. Creative cities and the happiness factor. Globalisation can reduce regional identity and erase memory, but it can also offer opportunities. We are dealing with the effects of different information flows, social media, work from home, fitness, nomadic living and fly-in/fly-out employment. These impact cultural norms, socialising and living patterns. In this market, creativity is the most valued commodity. This can lead to new ways of thinking and configuring public and private space. It is important to find new opportunities to maximise the human experience. This includes considering concepts such as happiness, fulfilment, fitness, convenience, social interaction and individuality.


Fabrication Tools

We are all dealing with the realities of new fabrication technology. Advanced digital modelling can be sent directly to the fabricator. This improves accuracy, speed, efficiency. It allows us to realise more complex and non-standard designs affordably making possible what was only fantasy just a few years ago.


Working on large urban projects we have the opportunity to explore the potential of digital fabrication. Each project is an opportunity to learn and refine the process.


  1. Façade design; variety and rationalisation. Parametric approach can result in more complex and solutions and networks, but if they are not affordable they will not be built. We are conscious that rationalisation, modularity and efficiency is key to realising new forms and geometries. This is one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of the process.
  2. Global procurement. Over the years we have developed relationships with fabricators in different countries and look to solve problems globally. This involves issues of quality control, information flow, delivery and materials.
  3. Bridging the gap between digital data and existing technology. Often we are dealing with a construction process with limited technology and traditional practices. The trick is to use our digital approach to facilitate this process.
  4. Budget and efficiency; How to realise innovation in the cost driven commercial environment of high density residential development.




  1. Alpha Apartments, Sydney
  2. Eliza Sydney
  3. Moebius House, Bondi
  4. Breeze, Mooloolaba
  5. The Melbourne Residences, Brisbane
  6. Boston University, Student Housing
  7. Bankstown Gardens
  8. Danks Street Commercial
  9. Abu Dhabi Ladies Club
Wilkhanh Showroom
Wilkhanh Showroom


30 Aug 2018


$15 Non Refundable Admin Fees


Wilkhahn Showroom
74-80 Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills
InHouseGroup3 the CPD Provider 

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