1st Year History of Architecture Paradigms Project

We’ve had a busy few weeks in B.15 with the last week and half dominated by this first year project.

In conjunction with a series of paradigms lectures first year students have been asked to choose a piece of historically significant architecture to replicate and study through multiple means. One of the requirements of this brief has been to produce a section model allowing the observer to view the construction framework and internal layout of the building they are looking at.

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The results from this have been very good with groups taking time to consider different aspects of the real constructions and how they might best be represented at scale and within the time frame allowed to produce the model. Materiality was a prime consideration with the most successful examples providing a balance of different materials across the model construction.

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Things to Consider: Always Printing Plans

One crucial part of getting these projects started was to get correctly scaled plans printed for reference. A number of groups hadn’t considered this necessary as they had smaller plans and scale rules for conversion. We highly recommend getting at least one printed correctly scaled site plan for reference when producing your models. Without one to hand you will spend a great deal of time referring to cad or wrongly scaled drawings for reference when you could easily be comparing your model components to an accurate plan on your desk .

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Photographing Models

As part of submissions students also had to produce a pamphlet detailing the key facts about their chosen piece of architecture. This meant taking photographs for their models had a duel use providing images for their pamphlet and their portfolios. Anyone wishing to use the studio space to take photos of their current or past work should drop in and we can advise on availability and help you set up to shoot.


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Stahl House 22 (9)Frank House (20)Frank House (27)The completed models were then placed together with the other submission requirements in a small exhibition of paradigm studies back at the studio space.

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Some great work and valuable lessons learned for all – first years are really pushing the expectations for the next waves of students! Well done everyone – see you for the next project!

Scott and Jim

Student Survey

All MSA students should have now received notification via email or Moodle that we are conducting a survey about our workshop facilities and services. Every response we get is valued and taken into consideration so please take the time to give us your opinions about what works and doesn’t with the B.15 Workshop.

The feedback from this survey will help us plan for future investments in equipment and our overall role within the school.

Many Thanks, Scott and Jim

B.15:45 Extended Interview with Eamonn Canniffe

As part of our B.15:45 Exhibition we put together a short film telling the story of how modelmaking is used in the life of an architecture student and beyond. The full versions of the interviews tell many more interesting stories of modelmaking with individual case studies and memories accounted first hand by staff past and present.

In this first extended interview with MSA Principal Lecturer Eamonn Canniffe we hear about how history models have been used as precedent examples and tools in understanding space as well as thoughts on the introduction of digital tools to the school over the past 30 years.

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Modelmaker Profile: Janis Strazdins and Lelde Strazdina, Maquettica, Riga


We were recently visited by the two Modelmakers from a company called Maquettica based in Riga, Latvia. Janis Strazdins, CEO and Lelde Strazdiņa senior Modelmaker at the company have recently travelled across the UK researching the commercial role of Architectural Modelmaking. As part of their trip they stopped by to view our exhibition and we gave them a tour of our facility.


As we are always interested to understand how others work in the field of modelmaking we asked them to tell us their story.

As modelmakers we came intuitively.Janis made his first architectural model already at the age of 14, it was his parents house at country side and he did it just for fun.

 We both have an architectural education, but in Latvia there are no special programs or
studies for architectural modelmaking. At the university here the architectural models are just a need which you add to your project. 
We spent much more time than other students on model making because we enjoyed the process a lot and gradually we started to be more and more interested in this speciality.



Logically we got our first orders, sometimes from other students, and very quickly our activity turned professional. Since then we still grow and develop our studio by digging and searching for the most appropriate materials, tools and equipment which allows us to work creatively, accurately and in high quality.


Our main occupation is realistic architectural models for marketing and presentation purposes and product prototype making, but unfortunately in our country the market is too small to survive only as modelmaking studio so we have added some more products and services that we are able to make with the equipment that we have for modelmaking.

We separated those other products from architectural models and put them all to ‘Ouzel‘, a branch off company.

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Ouzel is our idea visualization studio which provides design objects, museum exposition and unique interior elements, such as decorations, furniture elements, lighting objects, etc.

Generally our clients are real estate developers, architects, also architecture students and individuals.In some cases museums, specific companies (for example factories or adventure parks).


Architects usually need the models for presentation, usually when they participate in competitions. Real estate developers use very realistic scale models as a marketing instrument. They are made very precisely from technical drawings.Adventure parks, they also need realistic models, but the main purpose is to make them attractive.To receive all necessary information for model making we have created on-line inquiry form on our website, but mainly for a proposal it is enough to have territory plan, building plan, facades and some visualizations.




The B.15:45 exhibition we visited is one step closer to explaining to society why modelmaking is worth the effort and also what it takes (a lot of time, patience, enthusiasm, spatial and constructive perception, knowledges, materials, equipment, ..) to make an architectural model that works.

Your workshop is Latvian architecture students dream to have at University. The variety of materials, tools, equipment and possibility to ask enthusiastic professors for advice – these opportunities allow a student to work at their project more creatively, confidentlyand whilst having more fun. A student’s activity in the workshop lets them feel the physical interaction – materials, shapes, light, .. which is impossible to get from a computer.

You can find out more about Maquettica on their website here. http://www.maquettica.eu/

Thank you to all who took part and supported Modelmaking in the Digital Age


Just a quick message to everyone who came to speak and helped us make yesterday’s symposium event possible. We thoroughly enjoyed the day and everyone was extremely positive about our approach to modelmaking and it’s future in architecture.

In all we had 90+ registered guests from a variety of backgrounds all with a shared interest of the subject. Thank you for all your support, it means a lot.

The event was full of interesting presentations and discussions that we are hopeful will lead to further expansion and future events orientated around the subject of how we use models in architecture.


Syposium Pics (8)

We will be uploading footage of the event for those who missed it in the coming months so stay tuned for those.


Many thanks to all again – we can’t thank you enough!

Scott and Jim

Modelmaking in the Digital Age Symposium Running Order

We are happy to announce the following guide to our Symposium ‘Modelmaking in the Digital Age‘ taking place this Monday 9th March.

These time serve as a guide and we will endeavour to stick to them but expect some under and overrun due to the amount of material we are trying to fit into the day.

Registration is now for the symposium is now closed.

09.00 Tea and Coffee available in the foyer
9.30 Chair Dr Ray Lucas Intro
9.45-10.30 Nick Dunn
10.30-11.15 Ken Grix
11.15-12.00 James Smith
12.00 Morning Summary and open Q+A
12.30 – 13.45 Lunch break / Exhibition and Workshop open to visitors
13.45 Welcome Back
14.00 – 14.45 Milena Stavric 
14.45 – 15.30 Foster and Partners
15.30- Closing Address and Q+A
Vacate Theatre by 16.00
Look forward to seeing you all on Monday!
Scott and Jim