Re-Imagining San Francisco's Bay Bridge in modo

Bay Area Architect Ronald Rael Envisions a Landmark Public Park on Span Slated for Demolition

SAN MATEO, Calif. - Nov. 3, 2009 - A massive project is currently underway to replace the eastern portion of the 73-year-old Bay Bridge. But architect and Luxology® LLC modo® user Ronald Rael sees the bridge as a treasure, envisioning it as a public space with parks, houses and sporting facilities.

Ronald Rael is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at UC Berkeley and a partner in Rael San Fratello Architects. Rael used modo, Luxology's next-generation 3D content creation software, to develop a 3D model of his innovative Bay Bridge concept. The result is a transformational space he believes would become a San Francisco landmark, with housing units hung from the bottom span of the bridge and a trail that links public spaces along the top level.

"I love how quickly I can prototype ideas using modo," says Rael. "I believe modo has profound implications for architecture, even though it is not necessarily an architectural software. It opens up wonderful creative opportunities by bringing both freedom and efficiency to this kind of visualization."

Rael is a staunch advocate of repurposing old urban infrastructure. One of the main inspirations for his Bay Bridge design is a New York City apartment he once lived in that overlooked The High Line Park, an old elevated railway that is currently being converted into a public park.

"These structures are part of our collective culture, and creative minds can re-envision them using tools like modo," he says. "If a linear park was created on the Bay Bridge, people would come from all over the world to see it. At the least, I hope this proposal helps to gets people thinking about reusing existing structures instead of simply tearing them down."

In the meantime, Rael is involved in several other high-profile architectural projects that involve modo, including a UCLA-sponsored project called WPA 2.0 that examines new approaches to public infrastructure, with an upcoming presentation to politicians in Washington, D.C. this November. Rael is proposing the use of solar panels or water treatment facilities instead of fences along the U.S.-Mexican border, providing useful functions while preserving border security. He relied heavily upon modo's replicator feature for the creation of hundreds of photo-realistic solar panels and waterways.

Whether he's designing bridges, buildings, or fabricating new materials, Rael has found modo to be an essential tool for realizing creative designs.

"I think the language of my work has actually changed through the lens of modo," he says. "If you use a parallel bar, you would design a certain way, because you're limited by the linear orientation. But using modo, I actually feel as though I'm using the part of my brain that allows me to be more creative and makes the experience more enjoyable."

More information about Ronald Rael and his work with modo can be found at

About Luxology
Based in Mountain View, Calif., Luxology® LLC is an independent technology company developing next-generation 3D content creation software that enhances productivity via artist-friendly tools powered by a modern underlying architecture called Nexus®. Founded in 2002 by Allen Hastings, Stuart Ferguson and Brad Peebler, Luxology is home to some of the top 3D engineering expertise in the industry. More information on the company, its licensable Nexus technology, its flagship product modo®, and a gallery of artists' images from the active modo community is available online at


© Copyright 2009 Luxology LLC. modo is a trademark of Luxology LLC., in the USA and/or other countries. All products or brand names mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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