Computational design

Designing with the help of computer technologie

ZJA has worked with computational design right from the start and our architectural studio has always continued to develop in this field. And now we'll take this even a step further. 

With the help of AI we will now be able to make even better informed, integrated and sustainable designs, right from the initial sketch to the implementation phase. 

Added value computational design

Computational design, including parametric design, is a design method that uses a combination of algorithms and parameters to solve design problems with advanced computer processing. That does not mean that the computer makes the design. The 'computation' is the recipe and the designer determines the ingredients and preparation method: the parameters and the algorithms.

While there is little room in a traditional design process to quickly create multiple variants, this is possible with computational design. This not only gives the designer a lot of freedom and possibilities, but also has major advantages for our clients, the builders and the people who use our projects.

Making the seemingly impossible possible

Using computational design we can make the seemingly impossible possible. Methods such as computational design have now become commonplace, but at the time of the design of the Lightrail station in The Hague, ZJA was breaking new ground. It is one of the first projects we have completed entirely using this technology. And with that we came up with more logical, beautiful and material-saving solutions, which we would never have been able to find otherwise.

Reborn as Capital C Amsterdam, ZJA has made the former Diamond Exchange sparkle again as a monument that reflects both the present and the past. We designed the crowning achievement, in the form of a transparent dome of steel and glass, completely parametrically designed. The more than 200 panels, some with integrated PV cells, are made of flat glass, and only a quarter of them are the same.

View our papers and the design process of our projects for more innovative projects realised with computational design.

Computational design appeals to me because of the great freedom of form it provides, allowing to better accommodate the spatial wishes of clients and users.  

Kiana Aryan Kia - Computational & generative designer at ZJA

In the ever-evolving world of architecture, where innovation and design intertwine, a new frontier is emerging. ZJA stands at the forefront of this transformative journey, as we embark on a research and development (R&D) venture into virtual spaces and the profound implications they hold for the future internet and the architecture.

Arav Kumar - 3 D Specialist at ZJA


Design process

Developing a spatial roof structure with parametric design

Lightrailstation, The Hague

This was a commission that made the architects of ZJA feel utterly in their element. The terminus of the new Randstad Rail E-line had to be…

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Diamond Exchange, Capital C Amsterdam, Amsterdam

New life for a monument

Historically an exchange is the meeting place of markets and people, goods and ideas, and that is how the renewed Diamond Exchange meets…

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Elevated Lightrail System, South Korea

In the fall of 2018 the architectural studio ZJA welcomed a delegation of South Korean researchers, engineers and contractors that the…

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Design process

Making room for the river

Extended Waal Bridge, Nijmegen

With its 244-metre span, in 1936 the bridge over the Waal at Nijmegen was the longest arched bridge in Europe. Still today it offers a…

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