Archikey.com is the result of a couple of guys thinking that information on the built environment should be easily accessible, structured in a better way and freely available to anyone in the world.
In order for this to work, we came up with the concept of Keys (hence the name Archikey.com) to specify information about buildings. These Keys are short snippets of text about characteristics of the building. For example, the architect that designed the building or the height of the building. These Keys can either be textual, for example all building by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Or these keys can be numerical, for example all buildings between 100 meter and 150 meter high.
Building Information Modeling
We kind of stole this idea from the concept of Building Information Modeling (BIM), a rather new methodology of creating buildings in which drawings are not merely a collections of lines, but instead are a representation of actual building elements with specifications on how they preform (for example: insulate) your building. An other aspect of such a Building Information Model is that it is multidisciplinary, it contains information that is of interest for the architect, engineers, contractor, you name it. By working in the same model, errors in communication are reduced. As you might have guessed, Archikey too provides multi-disciplinary information.
An other thing we see in the Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry is that companies are becoming more and more globally active. For example, architectural firms like Rem Koolhaas‘ OMA are erecting buildings on every single continent. What is so great about this notion of Keys is that they are easily translated. Most of the keys are just a few words, that once they are translated into an other language can be used for every building for which that Key is assigned. Even better, for some reason people decided to use different units of measure and currencies all over the world. On Archikey.com it will be possible to convert the numerical Keys on the fly to your units of preference and search in the units you are comfortable with.
The built environment is immensely large. We count on you to help us in helping you provide all this information. All the buildings and pictures on this website are added by people like you and me. So create an account on Archikey and start sharing your knowledge.
As you might have noticed, the whole website looks like a rather dusty filing cabinet, but we try to spice things up by adding some nice architectural photography. In this blog post we have tried to sketch our vision of what we hope Archikey.com to become, but we are not there yet. We hope that you will follow us on Twitter and visit Archikey.com regularly to stay posted on updates of new functionality and exciting features.