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.

Amalgam Modelmakers ‘The Architectural Model: Exploring Scale and Vision’ Exhibition at The Architecture Centre, Bristol

Amalgam Exhibition (29)Amalgam Modelmakers are a Bristol based professional modelmaking company. Their work covers a huge selection of making areas and more likely than not you have seen some of it on screen or in media across the country. Amongst Amalgam’s departments is of course, Architectural Modelmaking which has become the focus of their 30th anniversary exhibition currently being held at The Architecture Centre in Bristol.

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‘The Architectural Model: Exploring Scale and Vision’ looks at the process of their Modelmaking from commissioning to finishing and delivery to a client.
We were fortunate to be able to visit the exhibition as it opened with a guided tour from Amalgam’s head of Architectural Modelmaking, James Smith who will be presenting for us at our upcoming symposium event in March.

The exhibition gives a window into how skilled Modelmakers go about completing their role. It is always difficult to effectively demonstrate this process in it’s entirety as much of the skill is down to the individuals tasked with each project.

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With that in mind the exhibition narrative defines the stages of production. It provides us with project samples, descriptions of the various stages of the process and video interviews with project managers and Modelmakers from Amalgam’s well equipped workshop.
There are an array of model types, materials and processes on display giving a glimpse of this fantastic 30 year portfolio that continues to grow.

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Highly recommend anyone with an interest in Architecture, Modelmaking or a creative career in the arts to take a look and be inspired.

Scott and Jim

Profile: Mirko Avalos Henriquez – Professional Modelmaker in Berlin

Two weeks ago we had an unexpected visit from Mirko Avalos Henriquez- a Professional Modelmaker and Director of Maquette, Berlin who had read about our exhibition online. He was kind enough to write this review and in turn we asked for a description of his experience in Modelmaking for you to read about. Here it is:


Often when I get asked what I do and I say that I am a model maker the response is usually along the lines of ‘oh, you make those cute little houses’. Although this is mostly true, my main role as a model maker involves advising the architect on how best to present their idea through the medium of a model. Architects often know what they want their model to communicate but while they mainly design in ‘real world’ scale or 1:1, they often find it a challenge to visualize their ideas at a much smaller size. In this sense a model maker is not only a skilled craftsman but also a consultant, advising the architect on how best to present the vital information the architect wishes to communicate.

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I have been working as a model maker based in Berlin for the past 7 years and have worked with architects from small yet highly successful buros such as Schultes Frank Architekten and Heike Hanada to larger more reknowned offices including David Chipperfield Architects and Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos. No matter how small or large a firm is, they will at some point need a model, either at the development stage of an idea or to exhibit a finished building as part of an exhibition. These could also be detailed presentation models where an architect may want to present their idea to a panel of investors, or a competition model, where the model will sit alongside 200 other candidates and must quickly communicate not only the overall look of the building or landscape, but also the concept behind the design.


As a model maker, the greatest challenge is knowing what materials, colours and level of detail best represent what the architect is thinking, and how these elements combine to produce a model. To facilitate this process, learning how to use the tools and materials at your disposal is one of the most important components of being a model maker. Knowing what the limitations of a material or the capabilities of a certain machine are is of vital importance, allowing for a quicker way of working as well as a deeper understanding of what can realistically be achieved.


You can find out more about some of the great modelmaking projects Mirko has worked on past and present on his website here.