Portfolio of Ruben Borup
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neworleans_v2_waterfrontNewOrleansV2_Foyer NewOrleansV2_fullNewOrleansV2_Room_with_a_view

New Orleans - a multifunctional skyscraper
February 2014
I revisited my Master's project from Aarhus School of Architecture; a multi-functional skyscraper. Based on the original concept, I applied new techniques and refined several parts of the project.

The project is situated on Wilhelmina Pier in Rotterdam, Netherlands surrounded by designs from Fosters, Renzo Piano, and OMA.

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Site registration for Studio MAD
September 2013

This site registration consist of 45 laser scans and with a total of 701M points. The point cloud was used by the students as a guide for designing site specific "space activators" - anything from reflective screens to swings.

After being introduced to the gear, the students were able to perform the majority of the laser scanning themselves using the Faro Focus 3D laser scanner. The scans were loaded and aligned in Faro Scene and finally filtered and rendered using Bentley Pointools.

Portions of the 16 GB point cloud were loaded into Rhino and used for precisely measuring and modeling site specific features.

For more information about laser scanning see my laser scanning playlist on YouTube.

experiment_r Experiment R
June 2013

This four week workshop used robotic hotwire cutting for creating molds in polystyrene. The final design will be cast in concrete at a concrete factory as the parts are too big and heavy to handle in-house. The structure is 21 meters long and 3 meters tall.

A topology optimized design was modeled as T-Spline NURBS geometry. From the T-Spline model the geometry was broken into ruled surfaces needed for hotwire cutting (Hyparninps). This process involved several steps but we were able to speed things up by using custom Grasshopper scripts. Molds were modeled in Rhino based on the Hyparninp geometry, then converted to code using HAL for Grasshopper. The molds were cut piece by piece using a hotwire and an ABB IRB 6620 robot.

A 1:20 scale model of the structure was 3D printed for reference.
Also, samples were cast at full scale during the workshop to check mold precision and concrete finish.

tektonik_optik Tektonik Optik
December 2012

This is the result of a three week workshop for 36 second-year students at Aarhus School of Architecture.

The students were given a set of design criteria (span, height, supports). Next, the students would create a three dimensional design space for topology optimization. By adjusting supports and loads, several iterations were made until we reached desirable resluts. After the reviews, design were revised and modeled in Rhino using T-Splines, then sliced and laser cut in 4mm plywood. All models were assembled by hand.

Techniques covered:

  • Topology optimization (solidThinking Inspire)
  • Organic modeling (T-Splines)
  • Digital fabrication (RhinoNest and laser cutting)

More info: Watch the video or read the book

youtube YouTube Channel
November 2012

For teaching purposes I began making video tutorials in my spare time. Video tutorials are a quick and easy way to introduce students to new software and techniques. It also reduces the number of times I have to answer the same question over and over again.
The channel took off in the spring 2013 and recently passed 850,000 views and 2.500 subscribers.

Techniques covered:

  • Sketching and drafting (Rhino 3D)
  • Parametric Design (Grasshopper)
  • Digital Fabrication (nesting, laser cutting, etc.)
  • 3D laserscanning
  • Topology optimization
  • Rendering

More info: Visit my channel at http://youtube.com/rubenborup

bricks Bricks
August 2012

This four week workshop introduced first-year students to bricks and masonry. By mixing traditional craft with parametric design, the students were able to control and explore systems containing hundreds of bricks in real-time.
After a series of revisions, the final designs were built on site. In order to do so, individualized tools were made to control rotation and spacing of the bricks. To keep the number of tools at a manageable level, the students were introduced to quantization

Techniques covered:

  • Specific modeling (Rhino)
  • Parametric modeling (Grasshopper)
  • Fabrication aids (Quantization, color coding etc.)

More info: Read the book

architectural_parametrics Architectural Parametrics
January 2012

The focus of this workshop was to investigate light and spatial conditions in relation to a specific site through the use of parametric design. In addition, the parametric system facilitated material use; materials cost, and live fabrication drawings.

By combining mass fabrication with digital fabrication, it was possible to achieve highly individualized designs and build a full scale design in only three days (+ design phase).

The final structure consists of 3,648 parts of which 1,026 are digitally fabricated using laser cutting.

As part of the workshop, a group of students were asked to document the process.

More info: Watch the video or read the book

empty Irigo engine rack unit design
November 2011

The objective was to design a full server rack with two custom rack units for the Irigo engine.

The S1 storage unit contains 36 hard drives in a 4U form factor, so cooling is of extreme importance. Airflow is maximized by a highly perforated front and intermediate fans.

C1, the processing unit, holds 16 mini ITX motherboards with one i7 CPU each boast a total of 128 processing cores. The same layout was used for both designs to facilitate maximum airflow.

More info: Read the brochure

The design has undergone some changes, but the general concept is the same. More info on Cabo's Origo Engine here

Adnec Arena, Abu Dhabi

One of numerous visualizations done for 3XN when working at Cadpeople. The project is, to my knowledge, currently on hold due to financial issues.

The movie was made in less than two weeks, so naturally this was a huge team effort. I modeled some of the context, including the skyscraper, and some interiors.

Modeling: 3dsmax, Rhino 3D
Rendering: V-Ray
Post production: After Effects
Editing: Premiere Pro

More info: Read about the case at Cadpeople's website

Vestas Season's Greeting
December 2010

This Season's Greeting video was made as a spin-off from a much longer demonstration video of the Vestas Tower Crane.

We did pitch, storyboard and animatic in just two days.
I was in charge of rigging, character animation and rendering while my colleague Rune would do effects and post production.

The video was completed in 10 days.

Modeling: 3dsmax
Rendering: V-Ray
Post production: After Effects
Editing: Premiere Pro
Vestas V112 3.0 MW presentation video

This video was made for the European Wind Energy Conference (EWEC) in Marseilles, 2009. For the release of their biggest wind turbine, Vestas asked Cadpeople to come up with a story that would highlight key features of their new flagship wind turbine.

I organized storyboarding, and did extensive scenography design as well as modeling and animation.

The project was finished within three weeks.

Modeling: 3dsmax
Rendering: V-Ray
Post production: After Effects
Editing: Premiere Pro

More info: Read about the case at Cadpeople's website

New Orleans
June 2008

My Master's project from Aarhus School of Architecture.

The project is located on Wilhelminapier in Rotterdam; hosting the Holland America Line for more than 100 years. Today Wilhelminapier is undergoing tremendous transformation. My project is named New Orleans after the original warehouse at the site.

The building is h-shaped to avoid blocking the view of the buildings on the middle of the pier. This furthermore clears space on the pier, creating a public space for recreation with direct access to the water.
Connecting the two towers is "The Bridge", a public indoor square 70 meters above ground level. From here you can see the entire city.

The project was modeled in SketchUp and 3dsmax, then rendered using Mental Ray and edited in Premiere Pro.

Watch the slideshow explaining the process.

Show reel 2005
June 2005

This is my very old show reel displaying selected projects from my studies at Aarhus School of Architecture (University), CAVI at Aarhus University, and a few freelance projects.

Software used:



Post production

SoftImage XSI
Rhino 3D

Mental Ray
3dsmax scanline
After Effects
Premiere Pro

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DTU architectural competion
November 2002

For the master plan of the Technological University of Denmark, I did the visualization of the proposal from Jorn Schutze Architects.

It was a huge project, and time was short, so everything was done in 3dsmax using the default scanline renderer. Last minute details were added in Photoshop.

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Visual identity design

I've done a few freelance jobs on visual identity design.
Here is a list of selected projects:

  • Scribo (tool for organizing your writing)
  • Personics (interactive communication for handicapped)
  • RoninWorks (3d navigation system)
  • Silex science (server hosting)
  • Tunnel 2 (software logo)

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Product visualization

In order to improve my visualization skills, I did several modeling and visualization projects. A few of my own designs like the charger and the coffee grinder are here too.

Modeling: 3dsmax, Rhino
Rendering: Scanline, Mental Ray, V-Ray
Retouch: Photoshop

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