Brilliant Tips to Make An Architectural Model From Concept

published On Aug 17 2017

Brilliant Tips to Make An Architectural Model From Concept

All architecture students have spent sleepless nights on their submissions. The feeling of dread that creeps into your heart as you see the deadline approach closer is all too familiar. Architectural models, though generally, the last step of a design submission is one of the most critical parts of the design presentation. However, because it is necessarily the last step, it also becomes the part where one can give the least time to.

With the advent of 3D software such as Google Sketchup, 3Ds Max and even software that offer excellent correlation between the 2D layout drawing and the 3D model such as Revit, an increasing number of people are choosing to not build physical models. However, an amazing way to showcase your design is actually a physical architectural model because a well-made, informative model that can be held in your hands offers a much better understanding than a few perspective shots of a software based model.

Architectural Model making Tips

Photo credit: Flickr

PLANNING YOUR MODEL

Establish a clear goal for your model. Ask yourself these questions: What am I making the model for? What is the purpose of the model? What do I want to communicate through this model? These questions will help you address what YOU want out of your model and can help you prioritize. For example, would you rather highlight a special feature of your design? Or would you rather design a monochrome massing model that shows the overall layout and form in reference to the context?

Here, we share an insight on The Life Of An Architecture's Student

Architectural Model making Tips

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

DECIDE ON THE BASE

A good base can make or break your model, quite literally! While a lot of students use plywood or a thick sheet of thermocol as their base for the model, a simple and ready-made solution can be your drawing board! Most architecture students have one lying in the hostel that they work on! A drawing board is sturdy, flat and is easy to work on. Choose one that can be laid flat instead of one that is mounted on a drafting stand. Cover the drawing board with a base chart paper and when your submission is done, simply open it and carefully move the model off the board!

Architectural Model making Tips

Photo credit: Pixabay

STICK (TO) THE PLAN

After selecting the scale of your model, take a clear printout of your site plan in grayscale and stick it on the base of your model. This will ensure that your model is accurate and exactly to scale since you are quite literally building off your 2D plan. Once you have the site plan ready you can easily figure out where you want to use which material. For example, green sawdust for the green areas, wood peelings in outdoor areas and so on.

Drawing plays a vital role in an Architects' career. Do read here to know more about Purpose to make Architectural Drawings for an Architect

Architectural Model making Tips

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

WHAT ARE THEY MADE OF?

This is a tricky one. What material you choose to use in your model can have a huge impact on the finished look of your model. Since a lot of students are choosing to keep things monochrome, white is a natural choice for most. Sun-board is an excellent material to build models with. It is easily available, pure white can be cut easily and offers super smooth edges. Likewise, a lot of people choose to use cardboard for a more rustic look or even wooden blocks, polystyrene and foam. In general, always choose a material that you can cut with a sharp blade and stick together with shop bought glues.

Also, read Top Things To Know Before Starting Architecture Programme

Architectural Model making Tips

Photo credit: Poly Centric

GO TECHNOLOGY!

The long arduous hours spent in cutting your material into pieces and occasionally you find your fingers are gone. Ouch! This is the age of laser-cutting. While it may prove to be costlier than the conventional method it cuts down on time drastically and ensures well-cut pieces that have smooth edges that ultimately lead to the better finish. It is being universally adopted in many architecture firms around the world and today many enterprises offer the same to students at low prices!

Architectural Model making Tips

Photo credit: Flickr

GLUE IT TOGETHER

Choose glues that are transparent and flowy. Thick glues often result in making the material soggy and don't let them stick together properly. Also, glue should ALWAYS be applied to the interior edges of the pieces to keep the outside edge of the model squeaky clean! There are a variety of glues available in the market but choose wisely based on your material. Some glues are too strong. For example, dendrite burns thermocol.

Tip: Use a glue-gun to avoid the mess.

Architectural Model making Tips

Photo credit: afrc

THE X-FACTOR!

This is your opportunity to give your model ‘that’ thing. You will find that a lot of things we use in our daily lives can be useful in giving your model an edge over others. Have you ever thought about using a safety-pin as a part of your building? Or maybe toothpicks to make a pergola or ice-cream sticks to decorate a deck? Thermocol balls are great for using as trees while blue cellophane paper gives a great illusion of water!

Architectural Model making Tips

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

To conclude, there are a few tips to keep in mind when you are making your architectural model. Planning your work ahead of time and having patience all go into the making of a great architectural physical model!

Lastly, take a read to Architecture Student's Encounter with Reality

And, How An Architectural Student Deal With Case Studies

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