Ambitious and diverse, models are representative tools non-exclusive to architects. Peculiar fascination with miniatures – and what they tell us about our larger world- extends to all ages, cultures, and purposes. From scaled temples of clay from 200 B.C. found in Mexico, ceramic models carried during medieval Islamic journeys, Victorian doll houses, and LEGOS, models are more than baby buildings. Miniatures unveil the essentials, explain much larger concepts, contain intimate and historical data, and invite us to challenge our known selves and perspective.
Architecture Models: The Latest Architecture and News
Why are Scale Models So Appealing?
The Allure—and Importance—of Architectural Models
This article was originally published on Common Edge.
In this week's reprint, author Mark Alan Hewitt talks about models and their importance. "For those of us lucky enough to have grown up during the 1950s and ’60s, models were hot stuff—and not just the kind that statement may bring to mind", he states. Going back to the realistic models of the 70s, similar to today's virtual renderings, this essay retraces their history and the artists that produced them.
Virtual Classes: Will 3D Models Replace Hand Drawn Renderings?
2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic forced architectural students around the world to go virtual with their classes and coursework, transforming the way architecture was both taught and learned. Once based primarily on in-class participation, and collaboration, architectural workshops had to take on whole new methods of instruction. Conversations and debates between students and their instructors, a key element of architectural education were relegated to phone and video calls as well as written documents, making digital formatting an essential tool for students to share their ideas and receive feedback on their work.
Reflection, Experiment, Innovation: Morris + Company Reflecting on Model Making
As lockdown provided architects with the opportunity to reflect on their design processes, it prompted Morris + Company founder, Joe Morris, to create On reflection, a series of short films discussing the fundamentals of the practice, centring the conversation around model making as a critical element of design thinking and a wide-ranging architectural tool.
Our Readers Show Off Their Most Impressive Architectural Models
In many ways, architectural models are strange objects. On one hand, like drawings, models are a representation of something else—a building—that might exist already but in most cases is so far only hypothetical. On the other hand, they are miniature constructions in themselves, which can be appreciated for their craftsmanship and intricacy. Perhaps this is why architects find models so fascinating; they can be simultaneously admired as an object in themselves and as a vision of something greater.
Earlier this year, we asked our readers to send us images of their most impressive models, and the response clearly showed this fascination. We received photographs of a wide variety of models, from sensible and meticulously constructed miniatures to jaw-dropping expressive outbursts. From over 300 entries, we've narrowed down our readers' submissions to just 21 of the most awe-inspiring examples, splitting them into 5 categories to reflect the incredible range of ways that people have made their models worth looking at.
WAY Studio Explore the Fun Side of Model-Making with a Series of LEGO Creations
Architects always find themselves searching for the most innovative ways of presenting their projects, going for elaborate models or Virtual Reality technologies driven by a passion for design, building, and creation. Perhaps this passion of architecture was triggered at an age earlier than expected, playing around with LEGO’s.
Now that LEGO has created an architecture-themed collection, the brand gave architecture lovers the opportunity to explore famous landmarks and recreate their structures with basic geometric blocks. Innovative architecture firm WAY Studio discovered the possibilities of model-making with LEGO’s and used its blocks as a design tool for a series of their projects.
Detailed Sculptures Capture the Beauty of Brutalism and Art Deco in Northern Irish Architecture
Northern Ireland-based architect John Donnelly has launched a studio dedicated to the production of finely-detailed plaster-cast architectural models exploring the diverse built environment of Belfast, Northern Ireland. “Model Citizen” was founded to promote public understanding and appreciation of the architecture and craftsmanship present in Irish cities, manifesting as an ongoing series of intricate sculptures.
Model Citizen sees its sculptures, available for closer inspection here, as a “mechanism to emphasize the beauty and significance of our built heritage,” translating art deco, brutalist, and internationalist styles into tangible, tactile sculptural objects that can be held, felt, and explored.
Centre Pompidou Acquires 12 Architectural Models by MAD Architects
The Centre Pompidou in Paris has acquired 12 architectural models by MAD Architects, depicting 10 significant projects undertaken by the firm. Each model embodies MAD’s core values that “look to envisioning a futuristic architecture that is akin to dream-like earthscapes – one that creates a conversation with nature, the earth, and the sky.”
The collection, permanently acquired by the Pompidou, represents projects developed by MAD between 2005 and the present day, demonstrating the evolution of the firm’s design process. The Pompidou has become the first major European cultural institution to acquire such a collection of MAD’s work, on display in an exhibition beginning in April 2019.
These Crafted Bookends are Inspired by the Alleyways of Tokyo
Tokyo-based designer monde has created a series of bookends inspired by the narrow back alleys of Tokyo. As described by My Modern Met, the bookends convey the “dizzying feeling of wandering the city’s back alleys” through a mixture of laser-cut wood and lighting.
The results of the two-year project were debuted at the Design Festa arts and crafts event, where they caught the eye of outlets across Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.
Chisel & Mouse Recreates Miniature Architectural Icons Perfect for Your Coffee Table
Have you ever wanted a miniature model of the Flatiron Building, Burnham and Root’s famous Monadnock building, or even a 3D map of Amsterdam? Would you want to have your home transformed into a dollhouse-sized replica? UK-based Chisel & Mouse is reconstructing these architectural icons and custom pieces, and bringing them right to your shelf or mantle.