Tangram 3DS is Giving Life to a New Cultural Hotspot in Portsmouth

The massive renovation of 135 Congress Street underway in downtown Portsmouth is resurrecting an historic building that will soon become a cornerstone of Portsmouth’s arts and culture scene. Anticipation is growing as construction progresses on what will soon be a new contemporary art museum, prominent jazz and blues music club, and restaurant. For Jared Foley, our longtime Creative Director at Tangram 3DS, helping bring the Jimmy’s On Congress vision to life is deeply personal. Foley is the talent behind the multimedia designs – virtual reality renderings and three-dimensional images – that depict what Jimmy’s On Congress will look like. Jared has walked Congress Street since he was a toddler. Born and raised in Portsmouth, Jared says working on a project so close to home and creating the renderings that helped the Labrie brothers and their team bring the development to fruition is “exciting and gratifying.”

As an internationally recognized design studio specializing in 3D solutions, Tangram 3DS works with developers and architects across the globe. But when our Kittery, Maine-based firm collaborates on significant projects on the Seacoast, it’s incredibly satisfying because we get to witness the progress of each project firsthand. And because we are the only studio in the northern New England region with the skill sets, technical prowess, and experience that produces high-end architectural imagery, we have been happily busy during the recent building boom, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

For our creative and technical wizards like Jared, it takes many different talents to create the renderings and videos. “Our team at Tangram 3DS needs to be great artists, but they must be very technically savvy as well. The software and hardware we work with are demanding and extremely expensive to purchase. It takes considerable time to learn to use the software. Everything we create is custom. And in a deadline-driven industry, there’s often much stress. But we have learned to work efficiently and conquer whatever bugs might pop up.”

Jared says that to create the renderings, which achieve photo-realistic levels of quality through the high level of design detail, the architects and construction managers must pick out the finishes that, in the past, had to wait until the project was underway. With the Jimmy’s on Congress project, Jared credits architect Andrew Sidford with marrying both historical and modern architecture; “Keeping the historical integrity of the building while adding a wonderful modern rear of the building makes this project even more interesting. I love the “Dick Tracy” inspired film noir feeling of the interior and modeling the different areas of the restaurant was challenging but so much fun.”

After modeling the entire structure, Tangram 3DS created a virtual reality tour of the building to allow visitors to move through a digital space on a set path. Says Jared, “There are 52 locations that guests can walk through- it took a long time to create the photo-realistic images, but it paid off because there is widespread support and enthusiasm for the project, and the renderings were a critical component of helping people visualize what the end product will be.”

Architect Andrew Sidford says, “Jared’s models were precise and realistic. It was a huge help for our client, the Labrie brothers because they were able to show the general public and the Historic Commission how the finished project will look. The renderings have also been a critical tool for Jimmy’s On Congress to attract and promote the space to potential artists and musicians.” Andrew says working with the Tangram team was seamless and an essential part of the project’s success; “Having an accurate portrayal of the future contributes to the public’s understanding and excitement of building projects.”

The collaborative approach is vital as planners and the general public expect tools that portray realistic depictions of developments and construction projects. Down the line, Jared believes that more demand for video animation is on the way, which he says is the wave of the future. “The sky is truly the limit on what we can do!”

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