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What is Architectural Model? Concepts – Types – Materials

What is an Architectural Model?

Architectural model is a physical, scale representation of a building design before it is constructed. You can see the future size and configuration of a building or interior design project by architectural model design. In order to reflect the construction concept, 3D models created by model companies are commonly used.

What Is Model Making In Architecture

Model making is an important phenomenon in architecture. Therefore, it should be done meticulously. Model making in architecture has many aspects and these aspects should be understood for an attractive and impressive model. Thus, you can learn the basics of models and what model making in architecture is by reading this article. 

Conducting an Architectural Model

Model making in architecture is a process to visualize a project. Since it has various benefits, conducting a model should be taken seriously. While there are different kinds of architectural models, such as a conceptual model, working model, and presentation model, the basic purpose is the same, which is to transform the project into a three-dimensional thing. If you want to find out what model making in architecture is, first you should acknowledge the need for these models. In this way, you can be more aware of this process.

Since the purpose of conceptual, and working models is for architects to observe and point out the mistakes, they are being made of simpler materials. On the other hand, presentation models are for customers to evaluate the project. Hence, it needs to be more professional and impressive. Model making in architecture can be conducted by many different materials. And this is where the purpose becomes important. A temporary and quickly put-together model would be enough in the early stages of the project. However, the representation to customers requires more energy and effort.

Model making in architecture has three basic steps, which are (1) measuring, (2) making prototypes, (3) using the right tools, (4) using the right glue, and (5) adding land spaces. By taking these steps, it is possible to conduct a successful architectural model. Model making in architecture is also about adding enough details. For instance, if there is one building’s model, there should be many details, such as people, cars, roads, parks, and so on. However, if there is a model of a site, the main point should be the site and what is within it. So, choosing the right amount of details is also essential for model making in architecture. By taking the right steps, it is not hard to come up with a model that will impress everyone.

What are the Architectural Model Concepts?

As Frank Gehry mentioned there are 3 different types of architectural design model:

Concept Design

Architectural Model - Concept Design

It can be useful to see the starting type and shape at the first level of design proposals. Most designers start the design with a simple 2D drawing. However, a simple model design gives a different perspective as well as a guide for architectural design teams. Typically, a conceptual model is made from materials such as balsa wood or foam and put together quickly. Typically, they are created abstractly white.

As mentioned by Wikipedia “An architectural model is a type of scale model – a physical representation of a structure – built to study aspects of an architectural design or to communicate design ideas.”

Working Design

You should convert it into a working design model once you’ve built a more detailed understanding of what you’re making. If in your initial design you have encountered some bugs or issues, designing the design pattern will help you fix them and shed light on new, creative ideas that you might potentially implement. To build a working concept model, model makers also use more durable materials such as wood, acrylic glass, and dummy cardboard.

Presentation Design

Architectural Model - Presentation Design

A presentation model has a greater degree of detail than the first physical model, which fits the final product’s materials and size more closely. Design presentation models are used when you are ready to show your client or the public your concept. For the production of a presentation model, model makers use high-quality materials such as acrylic, wood or polyurethane.

What are the Architectural Model Types?

In these 3 different forms,

These are also for display purposes. Furthermore, models are created to ensure that your project is accepted.

You can find detailed information about the model types below in our recent article Architectural Model Types Explained

  • Urban Planning Model
  • Landscape Planning Model
  • Office Building Model
  • Residential Building Model
  • Villa Model
  • Shopping Mall Model
  • Hotel Model
  • Stadium Model
  • Tower Model
  • Museum Model
  • Industrial Model
  • Bridge Model
  • Airport Model
  • Interior Model
  • The Congress and Cultural Centre Model
  • Shipyard Model

How to Make an Architectural Model?

Architectural Models are a perfect way to view your architectural design, interior design or urban design project with a 3D edition. It provides an idea of what a picture it would ultimately make as various elements come together. For those without architectural experience, it often encourages a better understanding of the project. Aesthetic presentation is taken into consideration when designing an architectural model. Also, sequence, scale and tools are taken into consideration.

Now let’s talk about how to build an architectural professional model. You can read details in our recent article “How to Make an Architectural Model

Architectural Model Making Materials

Physical modelling has formed the basis of architectural education and practice for decades. Architectural models allow the designer and client to explore a scheme in plan, height, and perspective at the same time. By simulating the spatial relationship between volumes, it aims to understand constructive structures. Ultra-high-quality process is applied in model production. In addition, material types are important in the design process and presentation phase.    The materials used help clearly express ideas. Material selection allows designers to test the physical properties of structural systems. It contributes greatly to the process of developing the model.

In demonstrating design ideas, the architectural model needs to be more descriptive than the design itself. Architectural scale models have been made mainly of paper, foam, wood and clay in the past. Architectural model businesses today offer a wide range of material choices to enrich their show effects.

You can read more detailed information in our recent article Architectural Model Making Materials

  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
  • Acrylic Sheet – Plexiglass
  • Wood and Balsa Wood
  • PVC Sheet
  • Cork Sheet
  • Craft Paper and Cardboard
  • Sulphite Paper
  • Foam
  • Insulating Sheeting
  • White Foam Board
  • Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF)