Tag Archives: architectural model

Warehouse Model Has Visual Impact

This warehouse model is an excellent example of the visual impact an architectural site model can have. Basic shapes, and a clean design create a very clear communication tool.

The purpose of this model was to show both the interior and exterior of a new warehouse our client is building. The interior features rows of racks where product is stored as well as the layout of the offices.

The exterior of the warehouse model includes simple landscaping, roads and trucks. The topography does an excellent job of framing the interior features of the warehouse building.

Most of this model was programmed and cut on our shop laser.  It was built using PDF’s supplied by the client. The finished warehouse model will be displayed under Plexiglas in the corporate lobby.

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Architectural Model Presented to Donor

Recently KiwiMill built an architectural model of a campus building expansion. The donor was presented with this scale model of the school building as a thank you. Having an architectural model made of new real estate can be an effective way of showing appreciation for a donor, along with naming rights of the space.

This particular architectural model was made mostly from precision laser cut plastic. It has a unique brick texture that has been spray masked on to match the particular pattern used by the college.

The architects on this project wanted the option of showing the various HVAC parts that are commonly found on the roofs of buildings. While they are not often depicted in architectural models, KiwiMill built the scale HVAC equipment and provided the pieces loose, so they can be added to the model if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

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Landfill Site Model

A local landfill is running out of space. They need a site model to show what the expansion will look like. The site model will be used to inform the local community as well as secure approval from local government.

Topographic maps are provided by the engineers of the landfill project and are used to build the site model. Our model makers have made use of Google images as well for the accurate depiction of the affected land.

The base of the site model is hand sanded foam. The landfill mass in the center of the model is drawn in a 3D computer program and then CNC routed. Flocking is added, along with laser cut roads.

The scale is 1″ = 200 ft. The site model covers a roughly 3/4 mile by 1/2 mile area.

site model

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House Model Prop for “How It’s Made” Television Program

KiwiMill just built a house model for Cavco to be used as a television prop for How It’s Made, on the Discovery Channel (Canada) and  Science Channel (USA).

This scale house model was created in less than a week and shipped to Canada in time for a taping of the show.  After the model is used in the TV episode it will serve as a sales model back at the home offices.

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Museum Model Gives Local History Lesson

It’s not often that KiwiMill has the opportunity to work on a local scale model project. This past summer we jumped at the opportunity to contribute a historical museum model to Rochester, NY’s own Genesee Brewery Company. Owned by North American Breweries, this landmark location started in 1878, making it one of the largest and oldest continually operating breweries in the United States.

As part of its evolution, the brewery recently opened the Genesee Brew House in a former packaging facility on its campus, complete with pub-style restaurant, interactive historical exhibits, gift shop and pilot brewery. Housed in this exciting new venture is a 20 foot square historical museum model of the two original breweries and surrounding neighborhoods circa 1915. Commissioned by our client, North American Breweries, its purpose is to provide a permanent record of the area for the community.

As with any historic model, a great deal of research was done by our shop prior to the construction phase. Sanborn and plat maps were used to discern the overall footprint of the model. Model makers walked the site as it stands today, and took photographs of existing structures and remnants.

Genesee Brew House Model ResearchGenesee Brew House Model Research

Old photographs provided by the brewery and the city library became the primary source of research material. These historic photographs helped determine the layout of the streets and buildings, styles and location of surrounding houses, as well as street lamp design and landscaping in the early 1900’s. Architectural drawings of the buildings and houses were then created in AutoCad. After this time-consuming phase, the actual build could begin.

Museum Model Museum Model

Museum Model

Museum Model

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The buildings and houses were scratch built primarily from laser-cut acrylic. Cars and wagons were drawn on the computer and 3D printed. A trestle and tracks were assembled from laser-cut plywood. Railroad cars were scratch built, along with accessories such as street signs, lamp posts, stairs and lawn decor.

Museum ModelMuseum Model

The landscaping included the river gorge created from sculpted foam and mounted on a plywood box bases. The water was made of plexiglass and a layer of liquid model water poured over it. Model trees were placed throughout the site. Dirt was collected locally and sifted and glued down onto the model, giving it a realistic, textured ground cover. Finally, weathering techniques were applied to various parts of the model to tie together the different elements: buildings, streets, landscaping, and accessories.

Museum ModelMuseum Model

All of this attention to detail produced a museum model that accurately portrays a time and place in history – the aim of  well executed dioramas. If done exceptionally well, a historic model will evoke emotions from the viewer as well. If given the opportunity, check out this project in person, and let us know if we met our goal to produce a lasting, meaningful, entertaining and educational display.

Museum ModelMuseum Model

Museum Model

Museum ModelMuseum Model

Museum ModelMuseum Model

Museum Model

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Architectural Model Helps Preserve a Bit of History

architectural model

Back in the 1980’s, our model makers  were looking for an architectural model project to add to their portfolio, as well as a marketing tool. They looked around the community for an historic, architecturally elegant building that could be made into an impressive scale model.

The Landmark Society of Western NY gave a list of ten buildings it wanted to see immortalized in an architectural model. The Hoyt-Potter House in Cornhill was one of the top suggestions. Originally built in 1840 for the Hoyt family, then sold to the Potter’s of Western Union notoriety, this Greek Revival had fallen into deep disrepair over the years. The current owner wanted to mow over what was left of the foundation and build a parking lot in its place, but the City would not allow it.

Model Maker Scott Andrews studied the only known photograph of the house, visited the site and researched additional information on the house. From his research and measurements, an architectural model was constructed in 4 -6 weeks. It was presented to the Landmark Society for their temporary use and professional pictures were taken of it. The community began to take notice of this piece of Rochester history. The model itself generated interest, as well as the B&W photographs of the model which fooled many people into thinking they were looking at the real thing back in its heyday.

Developer Ben Kendig took note of the model photographs and became interested in the rehabilitation of the dilapidated house. The city did as well, and took possession of the home and sold the house to Ben for a dollar. Mr. Kendig turned to our model makers to find out where the building  plans were as they were needed for his architect. He was a bit surprised to find out that the model makers had gone off of one photograph and their own measurements. There were no plans!

Our model makers were then hired to go back to the site and take additional measurements of what was left of the original structure to assist in the rennovations. After taking these measurements and doing further research they drew up trim drawings and other architectural details that were used by the architects in the redesign.

The Landmark Society sent photos to Albany of the rebuilt house and won a grant to buy the property from Ben Kendig. The Hoyt-Potter House is now the permanent home of the Landmark Society of Western NY.

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Architectural Models Communicate.

architectural model

Architecture is probably the most frequently modeled item other than modes of transportation (trains, planes, boats and vehicles). Most people have encountered a scale model of a building, house, interior space or community at some point in their lives. Virtual 3D walk-throughs of structures are available with new technology, but nothing has replaced the usefulness, the appeal and the impact of a physical representation.

architectural model

Architectural models, like most scale representations, are used as a communication tool.  A quality scale model should deliver a highly effective message. The key to an outstanding architectural model, and satisfied clients, is first understanding the purpose the model is going to serve.  What do you want your model to say? What will it be used for? Architectural models are used for a variety of circumstances including:

  • Fundraising
  • Sales
  • Evaluating a design
  • Permit / Application approval
  • Planning and development
  • Display
  • Education / Training

There are sub-categories within these architectural model uses, as well as overlapping purposes. It’s up to the professional model maker to extract from the client the essence of what needs to be communicated with the project. This helps drive the type of architectural model that will be built, along with what scale to use.

Types of  architectural models vary just as their purposes do:

There are simple massing models where monochrome cubes or blocks might be used to represent buildings, emphasizing placement of structures and their context. Detail level on models of this type is typically minimal to accentuate the physical space in relationship to its surroundings.

architectural model

Site models depict buildings and the areas around them, such as roads, parking lots, landscaping and cars.

site model

site model

site model

site model

site model

Architectural models used for display are often very detailed and  include such things as lush landscaping, lighting, and other highly realistic features. A museum quality architectural model is expected to last generations, be made of the finest available materials and represent a master model maker’s most meticulous work.

architectural model

Interior models show exactly that – what’s inside a space. They may involve lift off roofs or side cut aways for viewing. They might have very detailed furniture, finishes and miniaturized accessories, or be a simple design that emphasizes lay out and flow of rooms.

architectural model

architectural model

   architectural model

Urban models typically depict larger areas, whether it be city blocks, part of a town or a whole community. Detail can vary greatly on these as well and is usually determined by the scale that was chosen for the project.

Landscape architecture models emphasise the trees, plantings, grasses as well as any structures, bodies of water and unique terrain features that might be included in the area depicted.

site model

Architectural dioramas attempt to tell a story visually. They include all the elements necessary to represent a place or moment in time. They may not be completely to scale, but depict objects in the background purposefully smaller in order to give the illusion of depth or distance.

museum model

museum model

Topographic models show the elevations, shapes and features of a particular land surface.

military model

There are other types of architectural models but the importance lies in matching the purpose of the model with its design.

Similarly, scale is chosen by determining what the model needs to convey. Two main questions need to be answered when determining the scale of an architectural model. How much area needs to be covered and how much detail needs to be shown?

When a large area is being depicted, such as a site map, the scale is usually smaller. This way more area can be displayed without the over all dimensions of the model becoming too unwieldy. Detail level may be lower, in part because things are less visible at a smaller scale.

If only one building is being depicted, the scale is usually larger. Detail on a larger scale model is much more noticeable and will have a greater visual impact.

architectural model

architectural model

When a model maker communicates well with a client, and exhibits superior model making skills, the resulting architectural model conveys the message that was intended. This is the outcome both model maker and customer strive for.

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Honda Aircraft Site Model

site model

Just Shipped:  A  site model of the Honda Aircraft Headquarters, Research, and Production facility in  Greensboro, North Carolina, located at Piedmont Triad International Airport. This facility is home to the new HondaJet personal aircraft, scheduled for shipment in early 2012.

The site model, along with the aircraft itself, was unveiled this week at the OshKosh AirVenture Show .

The design of this particular site model was driven by our client’s request for exceptional attention to detail. To achieve this, our model makers were given  a multitude of data: aerial views, autoCAD drawings, PDF’s, ground level pictures and exact measurements for items such as:

  • air conditioning ducts
  • generators
  • HVAC units on the roof of the buildings
  • cooling towers

The scale of the model 1″:40′ was very small, which contributed to the over all impact of the finished product.

Take a look:

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Architecture Is a Beautiful Thing.

architectural model

Most people can get excited about architectural models. Breathtakingly huge skyscrapers lit from the interior,  intricately detailed cottages with lift-off roofs, or lushly landscaped commercial developments capture attention. These types of models can be true works of art.

Besides being beautiful to look at, architectural models play an important role in society in general and development specifically. They are used to approve plans, raise funds, marketing and sales, as well as showcasing exceptional or historically significant design.

There are as many different types of architectural models as there are approaches to building one. Simple mass designs, in one solid color (usually white), semi-detailed studies with medium levels of texture, color and intricacy, all the way to museum quality finely detailed marketing models with landscaping as important as the architecture. The type of architectural model is ultimately dictated by its use in the business world, along with budgetary concerns of the client.

KiwiMill works closely with architects and developers to produce highly accurate, one-of-a-kind, finely crafted simulations of design in a time-frame that meets the needs of our clients.

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