Visualization of Refugee Housing Project in Istanbul

The aim of this course was to master the visualization of timber in a specific software (Lumion), focusing on preparing a 3D model for visualization, setting scenes, and editing effects within the software.

The 3D model selected for this exercise was from the previous module’s (Project 2 MMTD) Collective Housing Project which was a housing complex designed for refugees in Istanbul.


3D Model

Before importing the model to Lumion, the model needed to be reorganized; layered, and grouped in a way that would be logical to import into Lumion. The elements had basic colors assigned as materials so they could be replaced with realistic materials once transferred to Lumion. The physical environment was also organized and included in the model.

The surroundings, main structure, wood cladding facade, windows/openings, green roof, and details such as the balustrades, etc. were all individually imported as separate layers.  After assigning realistic textures to elements, a couple of scenes were created to show key features and spatial characteristics of the project.



After creating a certain number of scenes and renders, the next step was to make a phasing animation showing the layers of the project.

Scene 1



Scene 2



Scene 3



Scene 4


The intent of the phasing animation was to visualize the basic process of the construction. The main structure, facade, green roof, and shading elements and windows appear in order. While in some projects, the logical approach could have been showing each floor stacked on top of each other, this project was based on the idea of the units being constructed and brought to the site as vertical elements. Therefore in the animation, the main structure is shown as a whole, followed by the facade layer.

Vertical Units, Image from the previous module



Visualizing Mass Timber – Refugee Housing in Istanbul is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed for MMTD in 2021 by student Esin Zeynep Aydemir. Faculty: Firas Safieddine. CourseMMTD03 – Tools 3