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.
For a lot of architects, models hold a special place in our hearts. Whereas a building can take years to construct and usually can't be drastically altered as it nears completion, a model provides architects with the immediacy and flexibility we crave as designers while also allowing us to feel like we're really making something—a feeling that digital modeling software can rarely provide.
Models have even played decisive roles in the careers of many world-famous architects. Peter Zumthor, for example, is known to prefer the tactility of models over other forms of representation, while early in his career Steven Holl gained recognition for his visionary "Bridge of Houses" proposal for the Highline in New York, presented through a series of provocative models. And, physical models have even been key in some of the great advancements of the profession: In the 1990s, Frank Gehry's pioneering work in digital design involved tracing the forms of his digital models into CATIA software, whereas Frei Otto's models using soap films from the 1960s were key in his research into tensile structures.
Site models: they are intriguing and playful things by nature, making you feel like a giant looking down on a city. These miniature neighborhoods, however, are often large and bulky and only suited for architecture schools or offices. Imagine being able to have a site model in your home or office. Microscape has launched a Kickstarter to produce 1:5000 scale models of America’s Windy City, Chicago.
South Australian artist, Joshua Smith has created yet another true-to-life miniature, a locksmith shop in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The miniature was created for an exhibition at the Arcade Art Gallery in Kaohsiung called, ‘When the Sun Goes Down’ as part of the Streets of Taiwan festival. Miniaturist Joshua Smith selected the shop by using google maps, with supplemental reference photos taken by the gallery -- Joshua has not been to Taiwan, let alone the shop itself.
When it comes to tall building design, it’s often the structural system where the most groundbreaking innovations are made. Premiering this week in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial is a new exhibition highlighting the innovative structural systems of an architecture firm that has completed their fair share of tall buildings: SOM.
Titled SOM: Engineering x [Art + Architecture], the exhibition uncovers the concepts and forms of the firm’s greatest achievements, including revolutionary tall buildings such as the John Hancock Building, the Willis Tower and the current world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The exhibition reveals the research and thought processes through a range of media: hand-drawn sketches, interactive sculpture, immersive video, and most notably, a lineup of models at 1:500 showing the structural skeletons of 30 significant projects.
Nine Toronto architecture studios and artist groups have been invited to propose ideas and prototypes in model form that foster analytical, conceptual, physical and tectonic frameworks for inhabiting and constructing urban space and the public sphere. They are: CN Tower Liquidation; LAMAS; Lateral Office; Nestor Kruger and Yam Lau; Mitchell Akiyama and Brady Peters; Public Studio; studio junction; Terrarea; and UUfie.
Produced in various scales that involve speculative, functional, representational and/or relational approaches, these architectural models, in response to the theme “Meet Me There”, take as their point of departure an exemplary public space – the Sir Daniel Wilson quad, an
Although trained as a Control and Computer Engineer, Ali Alamedy has since turned his hand to manufacturing scaled, miniature dioramas. After being forced to leave his home in Iraq, he and his family are now based in Turkey – and it is here that he has honed a skill in constructing these tiny, intricate worlds from a broad range of ordinary materials. All scaled at 1:12, these complex and often hyper-realistic models are inspired by the environments around him, complemented by his experiences and, of course, his imagination. In this study of Alamedy's work, ArchDaily asks: how do you do it?
Physical models have, for centuries, been a highly-effective way of explaining an architectural idea, allowing the audience to experience a concept in a plan, section, elevation and perspective all at once. However, a model can communicate so much more if you deviate from traditional cardboard materiality. If you want to express the monolithic massing of your latest scheme, or its expressive texture, then a model of plaster or cement may capture so much more than a digital rendering ever could.
Creating a concrete model is profoundly engaging, as it forces us to follow a methodology similar to that of large-scale construction: make a mold / formwork, mix the cement or plaster with water, and then pour. When done correctly, the resulting model could stand as an architectural sculpture in its own right.
Below, we have rounded up concrete models from the ArchDaily archives, giving you the inspiration to set your concrete model ideas in stone.
The “Never Built” world so far includes Never Built Los Angeles, a book and exhibit, and the book, Never Built New York. Now, the Queens Museum hopes to continue the exploration into the New York that might have been with a Never Built New York exhibition and has launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $35,000 to make it happen. The exhibition, curated by Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin and designed by Christian Wassmann, will explore 200 years of wild schemes and unbuilt projects that had the potential to vastly alter the New York we know today.
138 images, 14 albums, 20 magazines, 13 original models and one projection are part of Modeling for the Camera: Photography of architectural models in Spain, 1925-1970, the current exhibition of the ICO Museum in Madrid, curated by Iñaki Bergera, PhD of Architecture from the University of Navarra.
The exhibition is tied to the book of the same name that was published in 2016, edited by La Fábrica and the Ministry of Public Works (Spain). In times when 3D visualization software has popularized, accelerated and perfected the rendering industry, both materials choose to value the legacy of architectural model photography in the 20th century.
Joshua Smith, a miniaturist and former stencil artist based in South Australia, constructs tiny, intricate worlds for a living. His work, which exhibits astonishing observational and representational skills, focuses on the "overlooked aspects of the urban environment – such as grime, rust and decay to discarded cigarettes and graffiti," all recreated at a scale of 1:20. Smith, who has been making model kits for around a decade, only recently chose to move away from a 16-year-long career creating stencil art. With his creative talents now focused on model-making, and all those skills which accompany the craft, ArchDaily asks: how do you do it?
This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Kenneth Frampton on the Art & Artifice of Architectural Models."
For decades, students at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation signed up for Kenneth Frampton’s legendary class, Studies in Tectonic Culture. The course tasked students with creating realistic representations of buildings “as a pedagogical exploration of the history of architectural tectonics”—and the models long spilled into the hallways of the architecture school before being hidden away in the archives.
Now, the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery has decided to pull some of these models out from obscurity and display them in a whole new light for the show Stagecraft: Models and Photos, which opened February 9th. Produced during the 1990s and early 2000s, the models are of significant 20th-century buildings around the world, from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Samuel Freeman House to Peter Zumthor’s St. Benedict Chapel.
You've seen the floor plans of famous TV homes, but this fun new endeavor from Drawbotics is something a little different. With detailed 3D models of offices from Parks and Recreation, Suits, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Mad Men, The IT Crowd, Silicon Valley, and, yes, The Office, the marketing agency provides a new level of familiarity with the sets of these cult workplace TV shows. Take a break from your own office and check out each model after the break.
The Danish Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, curated by Boris Brorman Jensen and Kristoffer Lindhardt Weiss, is dense with models – "a wunderkammer of architectural prototypes." The exhibition, which attempts to present new insights into how contemporary Danish architecture has been influenced by critics of Modernism (the "Modern approach"), features Jan Gehl—a famed Danish architect and urbanist renowned for his focus on improving the quality of urban life—as its standard bearer. In this exclusive film, shared by the curators, Gehl puts forward his position.
As part of a new exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C., twelve dollhouses tracing the history of British domesticity have been lent by London's Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood. The show—Small Stories: At Home in a Dollhouse—spans 300 years and presents a miniature-sized, up-close-and-personal view of developments in architecture and design – from lavish country mansions, to an urban high-rise.
As part of a new exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C., a group of 24 American architects, designers and architects have been commissioned to create "dream homes" in the format of the contemporary dollhouse. Part of Small Stories: At Home in a Dollhouse, in which twelve historical dollhouses spanning the past 300 years from London's Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood are being presented in the United States for the first time, these 21st Century interpretations intend to showcase a "diverse array of perspectives, demonstrating the limitless creativity of building in miniature."
As part of the Danish contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale Urban Agency embarked on a challenging feat: the construction a 1:50 concrete model. The firm—based in Dublin, Copenhagen and Lyon—contributed three projects to the "Human Architectures" exhibition at this year's Danish Pavilion.
The video shows the careful, painstaking process of molding, setting and assembling the 150kg model. Urban Agency told ArchDaily,
ArchitectsJoão Gomes da Silva and Paulo David
LocationCentro Cultural de Belém, Portugal
ExhibitionLandscape as architecture - João Gomes da Silva and Paulo David