Placing a Gate in a Terrain Wall

Reference Number: KB-00874
Last Modified: June 19, 2018

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I have placed a terrain wall in my design, but can't seem to add a gate to it. How do I do that?


In many ways a Terrain Wall acts like a fence, and follows the contours of the terrain features, regions, and elevation lines that you have placed. They are actually a type of Terrain Path, however, so it's not possible to place a gate into one.

gate is placed within a terrain wall

The solution is to replace part of the Terrain Wall a section of solid Fencing and then placing a gate into it.

To place a Terrain Wall

  1. Select Terrain> Terrain Wall and Curb> Straight Terrain Wall , then click and drag in plan view to create two sections of wall with a gap between them. A gate will be placed into that gap. In this example a gap of 9' (108") is created.

  2. To make sure that the two Terrain Walls are aligned:

  • Select one of them and click the Center Object  edit button.

  • Move your mouse pointer over the end of the other Terrain Wall.

  • When you see a dashed centering axis line running the same direction as both walls, click once.

  • Click the Select Objects button and then click on one of the Terrain Walls to select it. Hold down the Shift key and click on the other Terrain Wall to add it to the selection set.

  • With the two Terrain Walls selected, click the Open Object edit button to open the Terrain Path Specification dialog.

    • On the General panel, increase the Width from the default value of 6" to 15" and lower its Height from the default value of 60" down to 36".

    • On the Materials panel, select "Terrain Path" from the list of components, then click the Select Material button.

  • On the Library Materials panel of the Select Material dialog, browse or search to find the material that you would like to use. In this example, the Cambria stone material in the Eldorado Stone Manufacturer Catalog is used.

  • To download the Eldorado Stone and other Bonus and Manufacturer Catalogs, select Library> Get Additional Content Online from the menu.

  • Once you have selected the material that you want, click the OK button in both dialogs to close them and apply your changes.

  • With the Terrain Paths in place, a gate can be added between them.

    To place a gate in a Terrain Wall

    1. Select Build> Fencing> Straight Fencing , then click and drag to draw a fence segment between the two Terrain walls.

    2. Click on the fence segment to select it, then click the Open Object edit button to open the Fencing Specification dialog:

    • On the General panel, set the Thickness to be 21". Making the Fencing thicker than the Terrain Walls will create the appearance of large square columns on either side of the gate.

    • On the Rail Style panel, select Open and uncheck Follow Terrain.

    • On the Newels/Balusters panel, increase the Newels/Posts Height to 48" and the Newels/Posts Width to 21" and notice that the preview image in the dialog updates to show this change. Also uncheck Use Defaults and Draw Newels and Draw Balusters/Panels.

    • On the Materials panel, set the "Newel" component's material. Here, it is the same the Terrain Walls: Cambria from the Eldorado Stone Manufacturer Catalog.

    • Click the OK button to apply these changes and close the Fencing Specification dialog.

  • With the fence still selected, center it between the two Terrain Walls using the Center Objects  edit tool, as described above.

  • Select Build> Door> Hinged Door and click on the fence to place an opening in it.

  • Click on the door to select it, then click the Open Object edit button to open the Door Specification dialog.

  • On the General panel:

    • Click the Library button to open the Select Library Object dialog, then browse to Architectural> Fences & Railings> Gates. In this example, the "Wrought Iron Gate (arched)" is used.

    • Set the Width to be 65" so that a double gate is created and increase the Thickness to 4".

    • Specify the Floor to Bottom height, which is the height of the bottom of the gate off the terrain. Here, this value is left at 0".

    • Click the OK button to apply these changes.

    In plan view, the fence and gate should now look like this:

    To place a cap on top of the Fencing columns as shown in the image of the gate, you can use the Closed Boxes Shape out of the Library Browser, resize them, and place them over the columns.