model is a type of a
scale model, tangible (also called sometimes physical) representation
of a structure built to study aspects of an architectural design or to
communicate design ideas to clients, committees, and the general
public. Architectural models are a tool which may be used for show,
presentation, fundraising, obtaining permits, and sale purposes.
Rough study models
can be made quickly using
cardboard, wooden blocks, polystyrene, foam, foam boards and other
materials. Such models are an efficient tool for three-dimensional
understanding of a design, used by architects, interior designers and
exhibit designers. For a highly detailed presentation model, architects
would employ a professional model maker or model making company.
promoting highrise condominium.
Architectural models are used by architects for a
range of purposes -
- Quick, ad hoc
models are sometimes made to
study the interaction of volumes, or to get an idea of how they look
from different angles. Designing a building using rough models can be a
very open-ended and practical method of exploring ideas.
- Models are an
efficient method for exhibiting
and selling a design. Many people, including developers and would-be
house buyers, cannot visualise a design in three dimensions (3-D) from
two-dimensional (2-D) drawings. An architect may employ small-scale
physical models, or digital computer models, to help explain the ideas.
- A model may be
useful in explaining a
complicated or unusual design to the building team, or as a focus for
discussion between the design teams such as architects, engineers and
- Models are also
used as show pieces, for
instance as a feature in the reception of a prestigious building, or as
part of a museum exhibition (for example scale replicas of historical
Some types of model include -
- Exterior models
are models of buildings
which usually include some landscaping or civic spaces around the
- Interior models are models showing
interior space planning, finishes, colors, furniture and beautification.
design models are models of
landscape design and development representing features such as
walkways, small bridges, pergolas, vegetation patterns and
beautification. Landscaping design models usually represent public
spaces and may, in some cases, include buildings as well.
- Urban models
are models typically built
at a much smaller scale (starting from 1:500 and less, 1:700, 1:1000,
1:1200, 1:2000, 1:20 000), representing several city blocks, even a
whole town or village, large resort, campus, industrial facility,
military base and so on. Urban models are a vital tool for town/city
planning and development.
- Engineering and
construction models show
isolated building/structure elements and components and their
Model of a museum
Over the last few
decades, detailed construction
has been increasingly designed in CAD (Computer
Aided Design) systems. The technology is improving rapidly.
Early virtual modelling involved the fixing of arbitrary lines and
points in virtual space, mainly to produce technical drawings. Modern
packages include advanced features such as databases of components,
automated engineering calculations, visual fly-throughs, dynamic
reflections, and accurate textures and colours.
While virtual tours
are undoubtedly useful, they
are still limited to images on a computer screen and lack the sensory
impact, or qualia, of a physical model.
Model of a building
Common materials used
for centuries in
architectural model building were card stock, balsa
wood, basswood and other
woods. Modern professional architectural model builders are taking
advantage of twenty-first century materials, such as Taskboard, a
variety of plastics, wooden and wooden-plastic composites, foams, foam
board and urethane compounds.
A number of companies
produce ready-made pieces
for structural components (e.g. girders, beams), siding, furniture,
figures (people), vehicles, trees, bushes and other features which are
found in the models. Features such as vehicles, people figurines,
trees, street lights and other are called "scenery elements" and serve
not only to beautify the model, but also to help the observer to obtain
a correct feel of scale and proportions represented by the model.
Increasingly, rapid prototyping and solid freeform fabrication ('3D
printing') are used to automatically construct models straight from CAD
The challenge with
using these tools lies in the
CAD file format. The majority of 3D printers accept the
stereolithography (.STL for short) file format, which is basically a
mesh that wraps around the object in 3-dimensions. It helps to
visualize this as a bag of oranges wrapped in a mesh bag. If there is a
"tear" in the bag, the oranges will spill out. This is similar to what
happens when an STL file is not cleanly produced and prematurely sent
to a 3D printer.
Clean STL files are a major challenge for architecture models produced
using this technology.
prototyping technology, also CAD
based, which become very useful for architectural model making is CNC
carving. Large CNC carving plotters are able to carve out of high
density foam boards up to 10' x 4' topography for architectural or urban model.
Recently a small
profile CNC carving plotter has
been released which allows low-cost rapid prototyping of buildings and
topography from other file types, including Google SketchUp's KMZ
format and ArcGIS. ()
Model of an historic
are being constructed at much
smaller scale than their 1:1 counterpart. Standard architectural scales
are different, although some of them are close to the standard scales
acknowledged in the model/hobby industry. Such similarities allow us to
provide high quality scenery elements for architectural models.
Sometimes model railroad scales such as 1:160
and 1:87 are used due to ready
availability of commercial figures, vehicles and trees in those scales,
and models of large buildings are most often built in approximately
that range of scales due to size considerations. Models representing
1-2 buildings and a modest piece of surrounding landscape may be built
at a larger scale such as 1:50 or
even 1:24. Here is a useful *Scale Guide to obtain more information
about standard architectural scales and to help with scale selection.
usually employ a professional model maker or model making company to
create such models.
of two residential towers,
made of earthenware during the Han Dynasty,
2nd century BC to 2nd century AD
Paper Architectural Model
architectural models exist and are like origami. This
takes a high level of skill in order to accomplish in a proper manner.
Models of (left to right)
a Bungalow, an Office and a House.
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