Architectural modelmaking is a time-honoured technique that has proven to be invaluable in the field of architecture. It provides a tangible representation of design concepts, allowing architects and clients to visualise and understand architectural projects in a more comprehensive and engaging manner. At SHL, we recognise the power of architectural modelmaking and have incorporated it into our design process to enhance creativity, communication, and collaboration. By transforming abstract ideas into three-dimensional representations, architectural modelmaking brings designs to life. Physically crafting a model enables us to better understand spatial relationships, proportions, and materiality, resulting in a more refined design process. Through modelmaking, we can explore various design iterations, visualise the potential of a project, identify design flaws, and make informed decisions.
In our modelmaking workshop, we foster a welcoming environment where everyone, from senior architects to interns, are encouraged to unleash their creativity, and explore the art of architectural modelmaking with guidance from our professional modelmaking team.
At SHL, our studio is driven by a constant desire to approach modelmaking with creativity, playfulness, and a spirit of experimentation. We firmly believe that by exploring a wide range of techniques and materials, we can create captivating models that offer viewers a truly unique and immersive experience of the project. Mold making, resin pouring, concrete casting, and the use of textures, metals, colours, and raw materials are just a few of the many techniques we enthusiastically explore in our workshop. Resin allows us to incorporate translucent or vibrant coloured elements into complex shapes, while concrete casting introduces a sense of solidity and materiality that brings a model to life. We take pride in adding a tactile quality and an authentic feel to our models through the thoughtful use of raw materials and textures, ensuring a rich sensory experience for anyone who engages with our work.
In addition to these experimental techniques, we recognise the enduring importance of traditional hand tools and power tools in the art of architectural modelmaking. These tools, including cutting knives, saws, sanding blocks, milling machines, and chisels, are indispensable for shaping, refining, and detailing various materials. The use of hand tools allows for a level of flexibility and precision craftsmanship, particularly when it comes to the meticulous fine-tuning of smaller components within a model.
By seamlessly integrating both traditional and experimental techniques, our architectural models become dynamic representations that not only effectively communicate design concepts but also strive to evoke emotions and inspire viewers. We firmly believe that the harmonious blend of these approaches in modelmaking enables us to create visually stunning and captivating representations of architectural ideas, leaving a lasting impression on those who engage with our work.
We learn: explore processes and new technologies
3D printing has become an integral part of contemporary architectural modelmaking, providing architects and designers with a versatile and efficient tool for creating detailed and accurate models in the workshop at SHL.
By utilizing 3D printing techniques on our Ultimaker printers, our architects and modelmakers can transform digital designs into physical objects with remarkable accuracy and intricate detail. The ability to print intricate architectural features, delicate facades, and complex geometries has expanded the possibilities for design exploration and visualisation. It allows us to explore design options and iterations quickly, allowing the printers to do the work, and our model makers and designers to focus on other aspects of the project.
One of the greatest benefits of architectural modelmaking is its ability to captivate clients and stakeholders while serving as a powerful communication tool. Models provide a tangible and interactive experience that surpasses digital renderings or two-dimensional drawings. At SHL, we create meticulously detailed and accurate models that allow clients to explore the project from different angles, understand spatial arrangements, and appreciate the overall design vision. This level of engagement fosters trust and promotes client involvement, while also effectively conveying design intent. With a physical model in hand, architects can articulate their vision more convincingly, emphasizing key design features and spatial qualities. Models facilitate discussions, encourage feedback, and enable clients to provide valuable input in real-time. By enabling clear and concise communication, architectural modelmaking ensures that all parties are aligned, leading to a successful project outcome.
Our talented colleagues at SHL and Perkins Will are not only a resource of experience and knowledge but also a source of inspiration. We strongly believe in the power of learning from each other, sharing experiences of creative processes, tips, tricks, software, and machinery knowledge. This continuous exchange of ideas and expertise fuels our modelmaking process and drives our problem-solving and innovation efforts. By collectively tackling challenges and finding creative solutions, we strive to deliver exceptional results in architectural modelmaking. Through our commitment to learning from one another, we foster a culture of continuous improvement, ensuring that we are always refining our techniques, exploring new technologies, and delivering cutting-edge models that exceed expectations.