Sonata was a 3D building design software application developed in the early 1980s and now regarded as the forerunner of today's building information modelling
Sonata was commercially released in 1986,
having been developed by Jonathan Ingram
independently and was sold to T2 Solutions (renamed from GMW Computers
- which was eventually bought by Alias|Wavefront),
and was sold as a successor to GMW's RUCAPS
. It ran on workstation computer hardware (by contrast, other 2D CAD
systems could run on personal computers). The system was not expensive, according to Michael Phiri.
Reiach Hall purchased "three Sonata workstations on Silicon Graphics machines, at a total cost of approximately £2000 each" 990 prices
Approximately 1000 seats were sold between 1985 and 1992. However, as a BIM application, in addition to geometric modelling, it could model complete buildings, including complex parametrics, costs and staging of the construction process.
founder Gábor Bojár has acknowledged that Sonata "was more advanced in 1986 than ArchiCAD at that time", adding that it "surpassed already the matured definition of 'BIM' specified only about one and a half decade later".
[In Appendix 6: Letter to the author, p. 281, .]
A large number of projects were designed and built using Sonata including Peddle Thorp
Architect's Rod Laver Arena
in 1987, and Gatwick Airport North Terminal Domestic Facility by Taylor Woodrow
The US-based architect HKS
used the software in 1992 to design a horse racing facility (Lone Star Park
in Grand Prairie
) and subsequently purchased the successor product, Reflex.
The Sonata business was founded in 1984 and, by one account it "disappeared in a mysterious, corporate black hole, somewhere in eastern Canada in 1992,"
after new owner Alias Research discontinued marketing of the product.
[Weisberg, David (2008), ''The Engineering Design Revolution: The People, Companies and Computer Systems That Changed Forever the Practice of Engineering''. Chapter 16. Availabl]
Retrieved: 17 October 2015
Ingram then went on to develop Reflex
, bought out by Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC
) in 1996.
As of 2016, Sonata continues to run on an occasional basis at BAM Construct (UK) in St Albans
, making it the oldest running BIM system in the world.
Category:Computer-aided design software
Category:Building engineering software
Category:Building information modeling