Architectural Modelmaking, Design Development, Bespoke Design & Construction. Part of The University of Manchester (SEED School of Environment, Education and Development) Part of the Manchester School of Architecture
Back in March we looked at Alex’s 1:100 model exploring the assembly of his proposed site. Alex completed his model series by producing a 3D printed site model and finally a cross section model showing the relationship between the individual units and the optional outer skin facade.
After several days in the chemical bath to remove support material Alex placed his 3D printed model in a purpose made display case to protect it from intrigued hands! It’s always worth noting that forms such as this require a lot of support material when made on the ABS plastic printer which often means extended periods of time post-printing in the chemical bath. The outer skin of the model was made using paper components that were CAD designed and laser cut before being hand assembled. The completed skin was fixed onto the plywood frame carefully using superglue. Mass produced standardised components were designed to be quickly assembled to create the form much like the full scale proposal offers.Â Alex has produced some fantastic models here over the last two years and we encourage everyone to look at this level of work for inspiration. All the best for the future Alex!
Development of the 6th year pavilion projects is continuing at pace down in the workshop. Test models often bring assembly issues to the surface which Alexander Valakh, Lorena Chan and Nancy Chan have been finding with their concepts. This is exactly why these models play a vital role in design development.Â Here Alex has created his outer skin from laser cut polypropylene plastic sheet fixed with pop rivets. This has proved tricky and mid way through assembly it became clear that a more uniform stapled fixing would have been more effective.Â Lorena and Nancy have spent the last few days fixing components for this concept together. The original concept was to have a smooth curved structure forming the tunnel walkway. As the components were fixed the group found that the curve was un-uniform due to the varying strain between components. Whilst this isn’t exactly how the concept was drawn it has still proved an interesting experiment and may still be taken to the next stage.
The concrete cast (below) has also had some teething problems with the cast numbers not turning out as refined as the group would have liked. This process will require more thought if it is to be taken forward. The group has found that their choice of aggregate or quantity used may be to blame for the irregular casting around the number details. One thing is for sure it wont be going too far given its weight despite having a polystyrene block inside to reduce the material used!
Much like the brief set this time last year students are currently in the concept stages of designing a series of pavilions to be constructed at 1:1 at Dunahm Massey (Read our blog post here). This project was challenging for both staff and students last year and really pushed the boundaries of what the workshops can handle.
This year the project is aiming to be more refined and, with support of workshop staff, come to an effective and ‘speed-bump’ free conclusion!
Alexander Valakh (Below) is working on several sketch models to help convey his project named ‘The Shadow of War’ to tutors in the hope it will be taken to the next stage of development.
To test his theory for eventual 1:1 construction Alex had produced a plywood sketch model in identical fashion to the full size proposal on our CNC. Producing this model has allowed Alex to explore problems he may encounter whilst using this method and has already identified several areas that will need more thought. These issues are not a hindrance to the design process but feed into it and shouldn’t be seen as a waste of time. problem solving through trial and error models are often the best way of refining a design for production.
This group is also producing another concept pavilion using paper to create the sketch model. The flower-like components are created and joined using pop rivets which will eventually form a curved canopy.Â
Another (!) concept from the same group involves casting concrete blocks as part of a wall sculpture. This is part of the same brief but is less interactive due to the nature of the proposed site. This was poured yesterday afternoon and is still setting so we’ll hopefully have some more pictures of how that is progressing by the end of the week.
Lukeâ€™s Year 6 thesis focussed on a site at Green gate Square opposite Manchester Cathedral.
This laser cut development model to test a potential construction method for later models. In the end Luke decided against taking this idea further for this project but this sample turned out really well. Here Luke has layered up laser cut cartridge paper to mimic a stone sculpted Gothic style window. The results looked fantastic and go to show that with patience and experimentation when using machines can give a great range of results.
It’s always a good idea to experiment with these ideas at an early stage of your projects as they often lead to changes in your design and give great insight into success and failures of specific elements.
Lisa’s project has explored Facade detail for a proposed film related site in Bradford. Alongside site and massing models (above) Lisa has created an unusual facade concept to cover her proposed buildings. Taking from the idea of aperture and its use in film, her concept uses varying sizes of hole to create images of the city around the building that appear to change as the light conditions change.
The completed building facade would feature a panorama of Bradford around created around each elevation.
These tests were done on paper using images created by changing images into vector in Adobe Illustrator. The laser cutter can work with most paper and card materials to produce effects like this and countless other.