When hiring an architect, I insisted that they must render the architectural design in SketchUp, a 3D modeling software that is now owned by Google. SketchUp is the best way to visualize spatial designs; it's relatively simple to create models, and even simpler to navigate through them once they are built. Did I mention that it's also free? Fortunately for me, my architect was quite skilled at designing in SketchUp.
While plan and section, 2D CAD drawings may suffice as a visual aid for some architects and builders, it's quite clear to me as a customer that 3D modeling is a far superior way for the average mortal to understand a complex design. A 3D model is essential to understanding a building's site and landscape design elements such as fences and trees, proximate relationships between standard home features like windows, doors, and cabinets, and it can even be astutely used to get a better grasp on the implications of aesthetic choices like furniture, textures, and finishes.
Every architect should provide customizable SketchUp models to their clients, and every client should be able to navigate their way through a SketchUp model. In an earlier post, I included some screen shots of various views in the model. What follows are two fly-through animations of the ADU design, in which I attempt to convey the physical spaces in the building.