We are always looking at innovative ways to communicate our ideas and designs to our clients and the wider world. Intricate architectural models have traditionally had a role in allowing the visualisation and presentation of a building plan in three-dimensions. While sophisticated digital software can now create interactive virtual models on a computer, we still use physical models as a part of our creative process.

We have highlighted below a few recent models, created by our Studio team of innovative designers, to illustrate this creative approach.


Building a pavilion on a table

In preparation for a client workshop to progress a masterplan for the redevelopment of an industrial and logistics site, our Studio team designed an engagement tool in the form of a materials re-use pavilion, constructed on a table-top from laser-cut MDF pieces. The developer enjoyed participating in some hands-on model making as part of the wider collaborative approach to developing new concepts for their site.


Engaging the local community

Laurie Chetwood, Chairman of Chetwoods, is currently developing what is believed to be the first UK architectural project that demonstrates alignment with a ‘Circular Lifestyle’. The ground-breaking scheme’s philosophy seeks to look beyond the circularity of building materials and develop an understanding of what the real circular economy methodology looks like in day-to-day life. To communicate the uses of the site and the potential layout of the scheme to the local community, a detailed model is currently being created in our London studio. This will be used to gain additional insight and feedback from the community and further evolve the project into a space that has people at its heart.

3D printed vases

As well as architecture, we are active in product design. Our Studio team recently designed a series of 3-D printed plant pots as gifts for a workshop with a client we are working with on a regenerative development project. The team developed various designs for the pots which incorporated a selection of previous regenerative schemes we have designed. The pots were designed for soil to be added, into which Chetwoods business cards made from seeds could be torn up and planted.

The delicate sketch style of the initial concept drawings (below) also assisted the exploration of how to add texture to the pots.


Exploring materials

For a research project investigating using rammed earth as a construction material, our designers created a design for new motorway gantries that would be made from the local ground they stand on.

The concept was based on the milestones that have guided travellers for millennia: the Roman markers of local stone, worked into cylinders and laid every thousand paces, that can still be found across England. The proposal was developed into a model (below).


Kit assembly on the beach

Model making skills are also showcased in the model for a proposed new pavilion on the south coast of England.  The model was assembled on the beach from a kit of parts in order to communicate to stakeholders the proposals for a vibrant state of the art space, that will facilitate collaboration and learning for local residents, organisations and charities, while enriching their ecological and social awareness and knowledge.


Modelling ideas

We also use models to have fun within our own offices. Following a visit to the Serpentine Gallery’s Pavilion in Hyde Park last summer, and after discussing the design of the Pavilion, our team sat in the Serpentine grounds for a ‘build a pavilion’ workshop using paper, Plasticine and bamboo skewers that they had brought with them, enjoying modelling their ideas inspired by the space they had just visited.

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