On Land

Environment Information
At Rill Architects we run ArchiCAD on Mac OS X. If you work at Rill, this is your stuff. If you don't, but you work in ArchiCAD, you may find something interesting. Anybody else, I don't know.

In the Archicad library, there are niche objects, such as W Niche and W Niche Round. These are actually windows. They are built on the WALLNICHE GDL statement. The trouble with these niches is that with the Doors & Windows display option set to Hide on Plan or Reflected Ceiling, they appear to be full, through-wall openings. In addition, they may not handle composite walls correctly.

This is fine:

But when you turn the Doors & Windows off, you get a misleading graphic:

Instead, try a slab and an SEO subtraction.

For this method to work, you need a layer which shows in plan, but is hidden in section/elevation. I have a layer called ‘X SEO Show2’ for this purpose. The model setting of the layer should generally be wireframe. Use a cover fill on the slab to mask the wall. You might have to bring the slab forward a bit.

In 3D:

The slab method has these advantages:

• Display is independent of D & W Display Option.

• The niche can be hidden completely in non-architectural (e.g., framing) plans.

• The niche can have a different pen from the wall, if you ‘inherit attributes of operator’.

It's not perfect, though: The niche will not move if the wall is moved; a window would. Grouping the slab and the wall mitigates this somewhat.