Recommend to Me Architectural Design Software

Hope this is the right place for this. I have an interest in designing buildings and would like some software to help me do it. I have absolutely no experience in this, but as I see way too many hideous office buildings/parks on my way to work in the morning on the Dulles Access Road, I am sure I can do better. Please make some recommendations.


Have you tried Google Sketchup? It’s free, pretty easy to learn and quite intuitive.

My sister graduated in architecture/engineering (Dutch term: bouwkunde, which is sort of the middle ground between those terms) about 7 years ago. They used AutoCAD for most of the course work. There’s much more advanced software out there.

ETA: Note that real advanced engineering software is expensive as hell, and designing useful and safe buildings entails a lot more than just making pretty looking virtual sculptures.