GRAPHISOFT Extends Partnership with Nikken Sekkei for BIM in Asia

After signing a mutually beneficial five-year contract, GRAPHISOFT and Nikken Sekkei will continue to codevelop BIM tools and applications.

In 2013, GRAPHISOFT signed an agreement with one of the world’s largest architecture firms, Nikken Sekkei, to establish the BIM Competence & Research Center, which was created to advance BIM in Japan and Southeast Asia. Five years have passed, and now the two partners have decided to extend their association with the goal of developing new BIM workflows for the entire GRAPHISOFT product ecosystem.

The Hoki Museum in Chiba, Japan, by Nikken Sekkei architects. (Image courtesy of GRAPHISOFT.)

The Hoki Museum in Chiba, Japan, by Nikken Sekkei architects. (Image courtesy of GRAPHISOFT.)

When the partnership began, Nikken Sekkei—known for designing Tokyo Skytree, the tallest self-supporting tower in the world, and the redesign of Camp Nou, the largest stadium in Europe—had the primary goal of simply incorporating BIM into the firm’s architectural practices. Now, the partnership has brought benefits to both Nikken Sekkei and GRAPHISOFT, including improvements in ARCHICAD and the introduction of algorithmic modeling. The partnership enabled GRAPHISOFT to learn about Nikken Sekkei’s “cutting-edge design workflow,” as GRAPHISOFT CEO Viktor Várkonyi described it.

Together, the partners aim to further improve the workflow around GRAPHISOFT products. GRAPHISOFT aims to make it easier for Nikken Sekkei to access its tools and the technology behind ARCHICAD, which will make it possible for the architecture firm to further develop and utilize the new design process.

Tomohiko Yamanashi, Nikken Sekkei’s senior executive officer and deputy chief of the Architectural Design Department, said of the extended partnership, “As members of this strategic partnership since 2013, we are pleased to have played an important role in the evolution of GRAPHISOFT’s products and the development of BIM in the construction industry. We are looking forward to working on the next generation of the design process.”

In an interview, Yamanashi explained some of the ways that his firm has benefited from BIM technology. Choosing ARCHICAD for its ease of use and openness to third-party platforms, Nikken Sekkei has now benefited from BIM through widespread use of simulation, designing buildings with IoT in mind, utilizing new methods of “computational design” (also referred to as generative design), and using BIM methodologies in the manufacturing of components as well.