The fine art of architectural illustration is something I admire. I've known several oustanding artists who are legendary in their skills and vision, and who came into animation from this discipline, usually as background designers, prop designers, and visual development artists.
Check out Global 3D Arts and some of the samples of their work. They're based in Hays, Kansas, the geographical heart of the USA. From their renderings, to their scale models, and their walkthrough / flyby animated videos, this is a company of highly skilled professionals. Below is just one example of what they do. You can find more at the Forum topic.