A whole building?!

A whole building?!

Visitor, you want to build a whole building!?!  That's great news.  I have an architectural style job for you.

ca. August 1993 --- American architect Frank O. Gehry works on a model of his latest building design as an assistant looks on. Gehry has gained notoriety for the unconventional shapes, angles, and styles in his building designs. Behind the architects is a model of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which Gehry also designed. --- Image by © Douglas Kirkland/CORBIS

Architectural modeling

Architects model, like other designers, but more often than not, they make models using paper, cardboard and foam-core.  Buildings are easier to model with these types of materials.  Famous architect Frank Gehry (right) preferred to build his buildings in paper in order to discuss and refine them before presenting to clients.


Initial sketching

CAC is in need of a new building.  Once the old Middle School building is torn down, we'll need an interesting and attractive small shop to replace it, for the Boosters and the Parents' Association to use for selling food and souvenirs during athletic and other events on campus.  It should blend with existing architecture on campus, but also be a bit unique.  It should also invite community members - it should make them curious to come over and take a look.

Sketch at least 3-4 ideas of buildings that meet these specifications.  Try to come up with 3-4 really different solutions for this.

Sketching again

  1. Now pick one of the ideas that meet your design specs, which you think is the most feasible.
  2. Sketch it out in detail.  Show all the sides and the roof clearly, so you know exactly what it will look like.
  3. Include dimensions so you know how large it will be.  You may want to take a walk over to the old Middle School area with a tape measure to check actual dimensions.

Once you've done that, you're ready for the next phase.

Next, it's time to watch some videos!  Here are a series of great videos to introduce the tools and techniques of building architectural models.  All 3 are fairly short.

Architectural Model Making: Tools

Architectural Model Making: Scaling and cutting

Architectural Model Making: Gluing and connecting

There is also a series of 4 videos on working with foam core specifically.  These are a bit more detailed, so they may give you tips and hints the first set skipped over, but on the other hand, they're specific to foam core only.  So the two video series complement each other nicely.

Foamboard model making: Architectural Models

And finally, here is a time-lapsed video of someone building a complete architectural model.  It's about 20 minutes long, so I'd recommend watching at double-speed.

Ready to get into it?

Ok, pardner.  Take your sketches and build an architectural model of that building.  Feel free to review the videos as you work if you want to check procedures while you're right there doing them.

If you need any supplies or tools and don't know where to look, check with Number One or Mr. Ahmed.  When you're done, click "Final."

That was no small potatoes, Visitor.  For the final bit, reflect on your Portfolio what you learned about making architectural models.  What would you do differently next time?  Once you've posted, click the "Master Again" button for your final payday on this job.  (These notes will disappear when you do that.  It's ok.)

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