Alex Hogrefe’s Unique Renderings Spearhead a Stunning Portfolio

Here’s some more inspiration for those looking to submit to the One Rendering Challenge.

Nathan Bahadursingh Nathan Bahadursingh

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With early registration for the One Rendering Challenge underway, it is only fitting that we provide ample inspiration for those looking to submit a captivating architectural rendering. A successful visualization will powerfully communicate an architectural form or space and the experience of those that would inhabit it. 

This ethos is echoed through the work of Alex Hogrefe, a specialist in architectural visualization and a One Rendering Challenge juror. To have your visualizations reviewed by Alex and be in with a chance of winning $2,500 plus a host of other prizes, register for the competition today:

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Alex Hogrefe’s style and approach to architectural visualization is incredibly distinct. The architect and rendering artist is notable for his innovative use of different tools for portraying structures, moving beyond pure representation to reveal the conceptual thinking behind each design.

Hogrefe sees 3D renderings as just one of many mediums that can help tell the story of a project, and emphasizes that plans, sections and diagrams to have just as much power to communicate a design. Hogrefe also asserts the use of Photoshop for an efficient, quick, and nondestructive workflow. This is coupled with the incorporation of photographic imagery to form genuine settings and atmospheres, which can be seen in his widely publicized Cliff Retreat.

Vivid and detailed sections of Hogrefe’s Cliff Retreat project.

For the atmospheric setting of Cliff Retreat, Hogrefe pieced together photographs of real landscapes in Iceland.

Hogrefe is the cofounder of visualization studio Design Distill, and also operates a personal website,, where he provides educational content and showcases his own work. However, his published portfolios offer the most comprehensive, deep dive into his experimentation and exploration with architectural visualization.

Each portfolio reflects current questions that Hogrefe is investigating in both his own process and the broader architectural visualization process. In his most recent publication, Portfolio Vol. 05 of his Visualizing Architecture series, he focuses on questions of narrative and color. Four architectural projects are displayed with each showcasing a series of illustrations that tell the story of their designs. 

alex hogrefe protfolio 5

alex hogrefe protfolio 5

“A juxtaposition of styles adjacent to each other in a portfolio draws out the unique qualities that each brings to the table. This relationship of different styles is what interests me most and is something that gives individuality and energy to a portfolio,” states Hogrefe.

This statement is boldly stamped in the book’s preface, foreshadowing the many graphic styles, including photorealism, abstraction, diagrams, post-digital, and hand drawings, that are used throughout. The portfolio, as a result, extends past a single style and concept, allowing each project to be read independently.

As a whole, Portfolio Vol. 05, is an amalgamation of rich colors, diverse textures, strong compositional layouts, and contemporary typefaces, making this a unique, modern architectural portfolio. It strays away from convention and offers a refreshed perspective and approach to characterizing place and space.

Portfolio Vol. 05 is available to purchase through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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All images via Visualizing Architecture

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