Announcing our guest speakers for MAKING SCALE Symposium

We’re thrilled to announce our speakers for MAKING SCALE: MODEL BUILDING CITY symposium taking place on June 29th at this years Venice Biennale. 

Joining Scott Miller and Matt Ault from B.15 and MSA respectively will be Peter Lee, Associate at HENN Architects, Berlin and Takeshi Hayatsu, Founder of Hayatsu Architects, London.

The session will be chaired by Dr Matthew Wells, Lecturer in Architectural studies at MSA.

Read more about our panel below:

Takeshi Hayatsu – Founder of Hayatsu Architects, London

Hayatsu Architects’ work is characterised by crafted, thoughtful, sensitive and playful approaches tailored to unique situations and the requirements of users. We believe that well considered, well crafted buildings can bring a positive impact on individual lives and its wider community. The practice’s sensitivity comes from its in-depth knowledge of working with historic buildings. Former projects include: Raven Row gallery in Spitalfields (Grade I), George Romney’s Studio in Hampstead (Grade I), South London Gallery in Peckham (Grade II), Churchill College in Cambridge (Grade II), The Brook in Stamford Brook Road W6 (Grade II), London Library in St James Square (Grade II).

Working in these settings, Hayatsu Architects have developed a unique insight into creating innovative and exciting spaces that are seamlessly integrated within their historic context through carefully crafted material interventions and the adaptation of hands-on construction methods.

The practice’s current portfolio ranges from private to public commissions including collaborations with arts and community led organisations such as Grizedale Arts in Coniston and The Community Brain in Surbiton.

Read more about Hayatsu Architects here

Peter Lee, Associate at HENN Architects Berlin

Peter Lee is a British architectural designer and model maker. After graduating from the Manchester School of Architecture, he has been working at Henn Architekten for the last six years in Berlin, with stints in Munich and Beijing. As a key member of the design studio, he has experience working on commercial, research, industrial and cultural competitions and early-stage projects in Central Europe and East Asia. He is primarily interested in the use of model making as an integral part of the design process, exploring how it can coexist with and complement computational or digital methods of working. Alongside his work in practice, Peter is also a lecturer at Berlin International University of Applied Sciences, running courses on model building and designing through making as a part of the Bachelor’s programme.

HENN is a third-generation architecture studio with over 70 years of experience, with offices in Berlin, Munich, Beijing and Shanghai. HENN has completed more than 150 projects and counts 400 team members from more than 40 nations. As a general planner, HENN works on projects involving architecture, urbanism and master planning across all project stages.

Read more about HENN here.

Want to join us? 

MAKING SCALE symposium is free to join for anyone with a Biennale ticket on Thursday June 29th. The exact venue and time will be announced nearer the date.

Any MSA students and staff wanting to attend can benefit from 3-day Biennale tickets available through B.15, please email for further information about how to register for these. 

We hope to see you there!

Announcing Stanton Williams as this years B.15 Modelmaking Awards Sponsor

This year we’re pleased to announce that we will be joined by representatives from Stanton Williams who will be judging and sponsoring this years B.15 Modelmaking Awards for MSA students.

“We are thrilled to announce that Stanton Williams will be working with B.15 and the MSA to judge the Model Making Awards 2023. Exploring ideas through making is key to our design process. Working with sketches, three-dimensional physical models and full-scale prototypes, we encourage an open exchange of ideas, particularly in the early stages of a project, when the brief can be challenged and aspirations explored. We are excited to see how students will use this powerful design tool and look forward to the conversations their submissions will spark.”

– Stephen Setford & Maz Weineck at Stanton Williams

Stephen Setford at work on a 1:20 section Model. Image from Stanton Williams

Find out more about Stanton Williams here.

What are the awards? 

There are 4 equal awards given to students of any course and any year group at MSA. They are judged on a mix of reasoning, skill and final product and it’s important to note, no single criteria – all models are of interest. The award recognises the use of modelmaking in your design work for the 22/23 academic year and consists of a cash prize and other items.

What are we looking for? 

Any individual or group projects from the 22/23 academic year where modelmaking has been used to explore, develop or present your studio work, whatever it is and whatever it is made from, if it’s a model that helped you tell the story of your project it’s worthy of submission! Shortlisting will look for originality, build quality, materials choice and overall execution to make a decision on the final candidates.

What to you need to do and when?

Submissions must follow the format as provided in the InDesign template that you can download below. You must stick to the formatting of this page to maintain consistency in the submissions document. That includes the font which is also included in the download link following the criteria below. You can see examples of past submissions here. 

Please stick to the guidelines and formatting to avoid having to make later corrections.


All submissions must be sent to no later than 12.00 on June 9th..

Submission Criteria

• Maximum 350 Words in the main body of text explaining:
a) Your project in brief, What was the purpose of your model(s)?
b) Your use of modelmaking at home/the workshop: scale, material and processes that you have used and why.

• Place 3 to 6 images of your modelmaking work (over the 2 pages) in its completed state these can include process images. Use captions to explain image content as shown in the example document.

• Models may have been completed from home, on campus, or a mix of both. Please clearly explain this whatever the case.

• Titles should be formatted as per the example. The main Text should be in Effra Font Size 10 (file included in the pack below if you don’t have it on your computer)

• 2 x Portrait A4 pages only

• Saved as a 2 Page PDF

If your submission does not conform to these guidelines it will not be included in the final document for judging.

Please submit your work by downloading this pack (Contains InDesign Template, Fonts and Example submission)

All submission must be received by 12.00 on Friday June 9th.

Send your submissions to 

Projects will be shortlisted by Stanton Williams and announced by the end of June 13th.

Work will be judged in person on June 16th and the resulting award winners will be announced with other school prizes at the End of Year Show on the evening on June 16th.

Some FAQWhat if my work isn’t on show? Please get in touch with us. We hope to display all entries that are shortlisted but not scheduled to feature in the end of year show at B.15 for judges to view when they visit during the week of June 12th.

I didn’t use the workshop to make my model can I still submit? YES – this is an award for good use of modelmaking not exclusively about models made in workshops.I don’t think my work is good enough should I submit? YES – all modelmaking work submitted will be included in a combined document for Judges to see and for prospective employers and professionals to view via our blog. It can’t hurt to show off your hard work alongside your fellow course-mates and may lead to a job!I haven’t done a ‘final model’, should I submit? YES – the awards are not about final models exclusively but consider the use of all kinds of models for all stages of your projects.I have more than one model, can I submit them all? YES – many submissions are made up of multiple models (see previous submissions) so please feel free to include multiple models and describe them in your accompanying text. They must however be under one submission only. Do not submit each model as a separate submission. What if I’m in a group and we both want to submit? Group projects can submit as one and will be considered as a single submission. If a group wins then the prize will be split accordingly.

Best of luck with your submissions and the show build.

On behalf of Stanton Williams and the B.15 team, we look forward to seeing your submissions!

Announcing ‘MAKING SCALE – Model – Building – City’ a B.15 symposium at the Venice Architecture Biennale

We’re very pleased to announce we are returning to the Venice Architecture Biennale to fly the flag for architectural modelmaking this June.

MAKING SCALE, a B.15 symposium, will explore the value of physical models in the design process at urban and building scales. The interpretative use of materials as experimental representations can play a multitude of roles within the field of architectural design. To model junctions between building and site, built form and space, structure and enclosure, ensures that the act of making in the model workshop is an effective laboratory of future architecture. Speakers will present and discuss the conceptual potential of different scales to curate how the built environment is made and viewed in relation to innovative global practice.


The sessions event will take place at the 18th International Venice Architecture Biennale. The exhibition is held across multiple sites in Venice which host some 89 international participants.


Thursday June 29th confirmed! Time and exact Biennale location TBC


Speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. Keep checking here or on our social media channels for updates!

Can I join?

Yes we’d love to see you there! Tickets for to the MAKING SCALE symposium will include a 3-day pass to the Biennale across all sites for MSA students. Tickets will be issued in person in Venice the event date. We’re working to confirm this ASAP!

If you’re not an MSA student but wish to join you can, just get in touch and we’ll explain how. 

Sign up NOW!

If you are interested in joining us to experience the biggest architectural showcase of 2023 please get in touch via email and we’ll forward you further details to secure your ticket –

Huge thanks to The University of Manchester School of Environment Education and Development Social Responsibility Fund and The University of Manchester Student Experience Funding for supporting the project.  

B.15 Late opening Hours

Dear all,

From Tuesday 25th April we’ll be open for additional hours for 3 nights a week. You must sign up to attend these additional hours. The building will be locked from 18.00 each day so you need to be in by then.

Please sign up via the link sent out on Moodle if you wish to attend and remember to remove your name if you no longer wish to attend as soon as you make that decision so others can use the space.

Late opening will cover the following dates with more added if demand is high.


Tuesday 25th 16.30-19.30
Wednesday 26th 16.30-19.30
Thursday 27th 16.30-19.30


Tuesday 2nd 16.30-19.30
Wednesday 3rd 16.30-19.30
Thursday 4th 16.30-19.30

Tuesday 9th 16.30-19.30
Wednesday 10th 16.30-19.30
Thursday 11th 16.30-19.30

We look forward to seeing you when you’re ready to make,

B.15 Team

New Ultimaker S7 now available for use

We now have a new 3D Printer located in B.12 to work alongside our existing high-end 3D printers: The Ultimaker S7. Our new printer is the latest Ultimaker machine using fused filament fabrication (FFF) and a dual extrusion print head.

The build area is 330 x 240 x 300m and requires a digital file in STL format. Primarily we will be using this machine to support 3D printing in PLA and Tough PLA plastics.

Colours currently available include white, grey, black, silver & transparent. Support materials include breakaway and PVA which is water soluble meaning more complex geometries and internal details can be printed.

Should you wish to use this machine as part of your project, drop in and speak to a member of B.15 staff for more information. You can find further information about CAD resources available here.

Book Launch: Modelling the Metropolis: The Architectural Model in Victorian London – Dr Matthew Wells Thursday 23rd March 17.30

We’re pleased to announce the book launch event for ‘Modelling the Metropolis: The Architectural Model in Victorian London’ by Dr. Matthew Wells.

Architectural models made nineteenth-century London. As the city grew it became the global centre of finance, industrial capitalism, and the British Empire. New buildings, urban spaces, and networks of infrastructure were demanded, constructed, and rebuilt. Models were a crucial medium of communication that enabled archi­tects, politicians, and the wider public to conceive the city’s expansion of buildings and spaces.

Based on extensive research in archives, museums, and period publications, Modelling the Metropolis addresses not just architectural models but also an eclectic range of images and objects – from technical products to sculptures, diagrams to engravings, maps to photographs – that dramatize the politics and aesthetics of Victorian London. 

Dr. Wells is a member of the Manchester Architectural Research Group here at MSA.The event will comprise of a summary of the new book followed by a Q&A session with Dr. Wells.


17.30 – Lecture in Room G33 Humanities Bridgeford Street

18.15 – Q&A

To attend please register via eventbrite by clicking here! 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Easter Break Opening Hours for the remainder of the 22/23 academic year

Hi All,

During the upcoming Easter break the workshop will be open as follows:

Monday 3rd April – Open as normal

Tuesday 4th April – Open as normal

Wednesday 5th April – Open as normal

Thursday 6th April – Open as normal

Friday 7th April – CLOSED – BANK HOLIDAY

Monday 10th April – Friday 14th April – CLOSED

Monday 17th April – Open as normal

Tuesday 18th April – Open as normal

Wednesday 19th April – Open as normal

Thursday 20th April – Open as normal

Friday 21st April – Open as normal

Late opening hours around the same period are currently being discussed and will be confirmed in the next couple of weeks. Look out for a moodle post confirming details of these dates.

Bank Holidays

There are three national Bank holidays in May. The workshop is closed on these days. The dates are Mondays May 1st, 8th and 29th.

Building works – June onwards

Due to building projects taking place in B.15 this summer the main workshop will be closed to access from Mid-June. The exact date for this is not yet confirmed as the project managers await contractors. Some equipment will be moved to B.12 in this time to allow a reduced service for those MA courses still active during the summer months.

See you soon, B.15 Team

Opening Hours Update

Happy New Year folks,

Just a quick update about opening hours in the coming weeks. In general we’re open the same standard hours 9.30-13.00 (Lunch break 13.00-14.00) 14.00-16.30 Monday to Friday. The following days however we’ll be closed or open half day for various reasons:

Tuesday 24th January – Closed in the morning, Open from 14.00 as normal.

Friday 27th January – Open as normal in the morning, Closed from 13.00.

Wednesday 1st February – Open as normal in the morning, Closed from 13.00.

Any further updates will be posted here.

See you soon, B.15 Team

Workshop X-Mas Opening Hours

Hi folks,

Just a quick update for you about workshop opening hours over the next month

The workshop will be closed from 12.00 on Thursday December 15th and re-open on  Wednesday January 4th from 09.30.

Thanks to everyone who has joined us over the last couple of months, hope you all have a good break and switch off for a few weeks!

Scott, Paulina, Angus & Lara @ B.15

Welcome to B.15 at MSA 2022/23

Welcome to all new and returning students as we begin another academic year. We’ve been very busy throughout the summer months putting into effect many months of planning to improve your modelmaking resource.

When are we open? 

Before explaining those updates we’ve had a few of you eager to get started so please note the following dates over the next few weeks are closed all day for new starter inductions:

Wednesday 5th October

MArch Session 1

Thursday 6th October

MA Architecture + Adaptive Reuse

MA Landscape Y1

Friday 7th October

MA Architecture and Urbanism Session 1

Monday 10th October

BA1 (Full cohort)

Tuesday 11th October

BA3 Catch-up from 15.00

Wednesday 12th October

MArch Session 2

Thursday 13th October

MA Landscape Y2

BA3 Catch-up

 CATCH-UP UPDATES BELOW (Workshop Closed to General Access) 

Friday 21st October

MArch Catch-up (Morning only)

Monday 24th October 

BA2 Catch-up (Morning only)

Monday 7th November

MA A+U Catch up (Morning)

BA1 Catch up (Afternoon)

After this point there will be a few other catch-up days TBC but generally speaking we’ll be open as normal 9.30-13.00 14.00-16.30 Monday to Friday during term time from Friday 14th October. 

So what’s new? 

Upgraded CNC router

We were able to upgrade and replace our ageing CNC machine with a new Isel M40 Overhead CNC router complete with automated tool changer for quicker job times.

This machine can be used in the production of 2D profile components and 3D models workable in 3 axis such as landscaping or organic extruded forms. The exact spec for file formatting and preparation work required will be outlined in an upcoming guide. Should you wish to discuss a project that might require the use of this machine drop in a speak to a member of B.15 staff.

Getting this in the building and in place was a task and a half that would not have been possible without the technicians at the Manchester Museum who supported with their time and equipment for a day and a half.


We now have an additional space increasing our capacity to allow an up to an additional 15 students to work in that area. Located on the opposite side of the basement, room B.12 will serve as a dedicated space for the following resources. You’ll see signage for this space and if you’re being inducted, will be shown around. Please don’t go to this room without discussing your project with a member of staff in B.15 first as it will only be opened as required.

Moulding and Casting

Due to popular demand we now have a dedicated space for moulding and casting. This is equipped with a permanent working and storage spaces and a new fume cabinet allowing us to offer the new option of working with casting resins.

3D Printers

In addition to this our 3 types of high-end 3D printer are now located alongside each other with a range of material types and colours listed in the updated materials list. All printers are available for use via a conversation with a member of B.15 staff.

Cricut Paper plotter

Replacing the Graphtec plotter which was primarily used for Papermetrics projects we have now invested in a Cricut machine which will be located in the new workshop space. Formatting instructions will be added to the CAD file prep page for reference.

Photographic Studio

We have invested in a newly fitted out photographic studio. The space features overhead gantry and free standing controllable lighting with 3 colour backdrops. This area is available for use on request and will only require booking for busy periods.


For new starters, your tutors will inform you about your upcoming induction schedule. As part of your inductions you’ll be asked to familiarise yourself with the B.15 General users guide. You can find the updated one here if you want to get ahead with this. Please try and get to us on time to help keep things to schedule and speed you along to start making with us.

With the main studios being moved to Manchester Technology Centre we thought it worth giving you some pointers to find us if you are unfamiliar. You can watch our brief intro here:

And with that we look forward to seeing you at you induction time or for those returning students, when you wish to begin your new projects with us.

More updates to follow soon!

Scott, Angus & Paulina (More about us here)