BUILD Blog


The Irreplaceable Quality of the Architectural Model
February 25, 2009, 12:22 am
Filed under: Architecture, BUILD LLC

There is something about physical architectural models that digital renderings will never be able to reproduce. Don’t get us wrong, we’re no luddites; we use a variety of 2D and 3D software to explore form and to present our ideas. But for each project we design, if we don’t build a physical model there is a dimension of the exploration missing from the process. So today we’ve decided to post some of the physical models that have been produced around the studio lately. While rendering techniques come and go, the basswood and cork architectural model seems to be a timeless method of representation and exploration. These are just a few from our studio – there are some amazing examples of physical models out there, let us know about your favs.

build_park-modern
The Park Modern

build_bainbridge-residence
Bainbridge Island Residence

build_magnolia-house
Magnolia Residence

build_bainbridge-guesthouse
Bainbridge Guesthouse (unbuilt)

build_medina-residence
Medina Residence

build_whidbey-tractor-house
Whidbey Tractor House (unbuilt)

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6 Comments so far
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These are great examples of how the hand is involved in the craft. It is difficult to find firms that do models without the use of digital tools. Here are some examples I have found of some excellent models
http://www.arch.wsu.edu/11%20grad%20arch%20review/AGSReview2005_03.pdf

Comment by station 104

Who owns the model? I mean, if the client is paying for it… should the client be able to walk away with the model?

This was an issue at a place of previous employment, where the model and base cost about $2.5k in time and materials.

Also, the tractor house, is that a downturned metal roof?

Comment by mike

There is a very good professional model builder out on Bainbridge Island of all places. While his work tends to be more traditional in design, it has the craft that you’re getting at:
http://www.combsmodels.com/model1/

Comment by knudsen

Mike – I supposed ownership of the model depends on the firm. We usually build the models on our own dime so that it’s not an issue. The tractor house uses standing seam metal panels which can be factory curved to a certain radius. Still hoping to get it built eventually.

Knudsen – We actually worked with Rob Combs on a model years ago (a modern one at that!). He does nice work.

Comment by buildllc

makes sense, I guess. I think it was just a stingy client and there was some awkward history, I don’t think the client wanted the principle to have the model, mostly…

we’re utilizing a similar system for a small project @ magnuson park, but it’ll be field curved standing seam panels. went w/ the tightest radius possible.

In hindsight, I think I was very influenced by the work of Erick van Egeraat

Comment by mike

These are exquisite- I’m guessing that these types of beautiful objects are what make the practice of Architecture seem so glamorous, except for (what I imagine is) the incredible amount of effort that goes into making each of these- that kind of wears off some of that glamor.

Comment by Samuel




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