Site models serve a variety of purposes. They may be used for sales, fundraising, development approval, corporate show piece, or museum display. Typically they encompass a large geographic area. The area included in a site model often extends beyond the boundaries of the particular structures being featured. In this way it gives the project a sense of place and space.
Because a site model usually needs to cover a lot of area, the scale tends to be smaller. Smaller scale models generally have less detail than a large-scale architectural model. It’s not impossible to create tiny details on a smaller scale site model but much of that detail will be difficult for the naked eye to see, and therefore many clients opt not to go too detailed. Of course, a museum or corporate display model may be both small-scale and highly detailed. It depends on the model’s purpose.
Site models may be as simple as geometric blocks representing structures, or include textured, storied buildings with window recesses and balconies . The chosen scale of the model will lend itself to different approaches. Most site models include extensive landscaping because there is a large physical campus, or area to represent. Topography is important as well, for the same reason; smaller scale does not mean sacrificing the varied elevations of most sites.
Check out the pictures of different site models below. They include housing developments, office parks, military bases, corporate headquarters and production facilities. Even an urban skate park!