Much of our work involves conceptualizing forms and space, and the communication of those concepts to clients, jurisdictions, builders, and many others. Models have always been an integral part of architecture as a way to test and describe design ideas. We thought we’d show a few examples of different types of models to give you a better idea of how we do what we do.
Though for many firms handmade models have gone the way of the dinosaur, we still value their physicality–the ability to see, hold, and manipulate them. We often use them to test specific ideas of parts of a building (the configuration of the shade sails for Casa Nueva, below), and sometimes use them to show the entirety of a project (the Ecotarium, below far). While physical models can be labor intensive to create and modify, they remain one of the best ways to communicate forms and design intent.
Digital 3D models allow for the accurate representation of site topography and building materials, as well as quick exploration of design variations. Models can be updated as the project evolves, and both interior and exterior spaces can be developed with varying levels of detail depending on need.
Digital 3D modeling partnered with rendering software can simulate forms, materials, and lighting (both natural and artificial) in photorealistic detail. The renderings below are an example of the way this technology can be used to preview and fine-tune material selections.
All of these methods can be used to visualize ideas and foster collaboration between client and designer.