Villa Savoye 1st floor stairs -- how did he do it?

Select the stairs and the railings and Scale 1-D vertically. The railings can be scaled successfully. The stairs cannot. No drawing maneuver discovered so far, such as Transform->stretch will stretch them as the associated video shows. The object can be stretched either be specifying a scale factor numerically, or with various techniques to define a point to stretch to, but it always snaps back, it never stretches permanently. There is one thing that scales it vertically that works, changing the VisualArq object height. But the video does not seem to do that. How was it done?
And that video needs a refresh. I got used to the narration, this one is like watching a mime. Five weeks of it have ruined me; my English sounds Iberian now.

Hi @stefank2 could you add the link or the page of the video you refer?

The video does have a VA object height set at about 1:20 (the text also mentions this) but correspondence between the video (Rhino 5?) and my 7.0 is a little fuzzy and I wasn’t quite sure what to believe. I didn’t fully appreciate that that must be what is really changing the height of the stairs. The stairs do stretch, they just don’t stay stretched, which confused me. The object seemed to be locked somehow; now I think stairs are a special case and just can’t be stretched – as railings etc. – can.

Hi @stefank2, thanks. That video is indeed very old. It was recorded with VisualARQ 1 on Rhino 4 version, more than 9 years ago, so there have been many changes since then, either in VisualARQ’s dialogs as in the Rhino interface.

If you plan to follow this video tutorial I recommend doing it from the one on the VisualARQ website: Video tutorial - VisualARQ or the VisualARQ 2 Tutorial YT Playlist: VisualARQ 2 tutorial - 0.1 Toolbars overview - YouTube

The last videos in chapter “Terrace floor” and "Documentation are still very old, but the rest are more recent. (The video corresponding to First-floor stairs is also old. I recommend you to watch the one of the ground floor stairs instead: 2.9 Stairs - VisualARQ)

Back to your comments:
The VisualARQ objects (like stairs) don’t really stretch. Well, you can use the Scale commands on some of them, but their dimensions are primarily based on properties. So in the case of stairs, the video shows how to change its height from its properties panel in order that it reaches the next level.

Please don’t hesitate to comment on any further detail you may find confusing on those videos or if you have any questions.

1 Like

Hi Francesc,
I am indeed following the lesson plan from the VisualARQ website.
Back in the last chapter, Ground Floor, I completed the ground floor stairs
in sequence.
I will make some comments in no particular order.
¤ At times I wish there were a little window showing dynamically key settings (the osnaps, ortho, smarttrack, etc.).
¤ Sometimes it is a little like learning to play the piano by watching a piano player.
¤ I set up all 4 elevation bitmaps to help with the windows.
¤ I must have missed where the back, left, and right windows are covered, because I had to do a little guessing.
¤ The windows in Villa Savoye must line up with internal walls but this does not seem to correspond to the bitmap drawings for the back, right, and left elevations. I moved my windows around a little. I am not sure what Le Corbusier would think of it.
¤ I believe VA doesn’t do much with plumbing and electrical wiring. This will be my next challenge after I finish the Villa Savoye series.
¤ I will also want to find a tutorial that exploits the VA roof objects.
¤ I need to do a little hacking on the staircase railings.
¤ my upper treads of the staircases (number 17) seem to project out too far. I am not sure about that yet.


You could use the Popup toolbar for that (the one that appears with the middle mouse button). You can customize it by dragging and dropping icons of other commands on it (after keeping pressed the Ctrl key (copy) or Shift key (move) ). So you could add to the Popup toolbar the desired Object Snap commands.


For the Ortho toggle you can use the F8 key.

Yes, the location of windows in that tutorial is based on the floor plan basically and one facade.

There are tons of drawings of the Villa Savoye out there, and they are not always accurate with the real project. I admit I omitted some design details in that tutorial in order to do not make last forever. Beg your pardon Le Corbusier.

Not really. You can take advantage of the VA Annotation object to manage symbols in plan views (take a look at this one: Electrical Switch | Food4Rhino), or some documentation tools to quantify elements or generate 2D drawings, but there are no specific objects for electrical or plumbing modeling.

You won’t find much about roofs in the Villa Savoye tutorial. Remember that you can always check the VisualARQ Help vaHelp to find out more about some specific topic. (This video is a bit old, but you can find some details about VA roofs: VisualARQ 2.0 sneak preview: new Roof features - YouTube.

Yes, I can imagine. Railings and stairs are not linked (it’s a quite requested feature), so you always need to adjust the position of railings to stairs manually.

What do you mean? Can you provide a screenshot?

No I don’t want a display of the osnap settings etc. for me, I want it for you, so that during manipulation I can see what state they are all in. The little indicators at the bottom of the Rhino screen are seldom visible in the videos but they have everything to do with how things work. I wish there were a floating indicator going all the time while the videos played showing stuff like all the osnaps, smarttrack, ortho, gumball, locks etc.

I decided that my 17th step was not so far out of position by taking apart the VS Model and looking at its stairs. As with mine, it is step 16 that is opposite step 1, not step 17, though something else is off, not sure what yet.

Ok, I get it. But aren’t the osnap settings visible enough in the video? I imagine some additional floating indicators as you mention (post-edited on the video, of course) but they might cover other areas and be a bit disturbing.

The position of the steps depends on the position of the stair flight control points, the stair tread dimension, the number of steps on landings. You can play with all these variables until you find the desired position for the steps.

Naturally there are places in the videos where the indicators are visible,
but no I find they are generally not. It’s the lack of knowledge of the state
variables that’s disturbing. You must realize this because there is some
attempt to remedy it already, at several points in the series there are statements
about whether the “Project Osnap” is on or not. I am just saying such settings
are not obvious to me but I have found through frustrating experience over the
3 years I have owned Rhino how critical they are to the behavior. I remap many
of such settings to F-keys. I have considered buying a foot pedal. They are

Yep, I understand what you mean. I still forgot many times I’ve got the Project snap unchecked, and working from the Top view causes a mess.