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
It’s that time of year again when the workshop days are loud, long and fruitful. As many students put the finishing touches to their models and head to the photography studio we’re pleased to announce a new collaboration with German Architectural practice HENN.
“We are proud to announce HENN will be collaborating with B.15 and the MSA for the 2022 Model Making Awards. At our studios in Munich, Berlin and Beijing, model making plays an integral role in our design process and how we perceive projects, and it’s very inspiring to see the possibilities of design through making in an academic environment.
For the past two years, we have participated in the judging of the Awards remotely and we are very excited to have the opportunity this year to see students’ work in-person. Looking forward to the show and we wish you all the best with your submissions!”
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 2021/22 academic year and consists of a cash prize and other items.
What are we looking for?
Any individual or group projects from the 2021/22 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.
• 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.
All submission must be received by 12.00 on Monday June 6th.
Send your submissions to email@example.com
Projects will be shortlisted by HENN and announced by the end of June 8th.
Work will be judged in person on June 10th and the resulting award winners will be announced with other school prizes at the End of Year show on Friday June 10th approximately 18.00, 8th Floor Chatham.
What 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 on June 10th.
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.
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. We look forward to seeing your submissions!
Scott, Paulina, Angus and on behalf of HENN architects, Pete, Oliver and Dennis
Scott will be joining the discussion for MSA Provocations 12 on March 18th 2021. Full release below:
Provocation 12 :
Why Do We Make Models?
Scott Miller of the B.15 Modelmaking Workshop and Ray Lucas (Head of Humanities) will be co-discussants, framing a discussion between our two speakers:
Liz Hallam is Associate Professor in Visual, Material & Museum Anthropology and Fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford. Hallam’s work focuses on the anthropology of the body and three-dimensional models, especially in medical education.
Hallam’s work examines three-dimensional models of human anatomy, c.1850 to the present, especially in terms of their design, making and use in medical education. This focuses on the social relations of models, their changing materials and forms, how they are created and disseminated, and the kinds of knowledge they generate. I have explored some these of issues as a guest curator of the exhibition Designing Bodies: Models of Human Anatomy from 1945 to Now, at the Royal College of Surgeons of England (2015-16, funded by the RCS and the Henry Moore Foundation), and in a co-edited book Medical Museums: Past, Present, Future (with Sam Alberti), which brings together work by curators, researchers, and photographers in Europe and the USA.
Roz Barr is Director and founder of Roz Barr Architects, a London based architectural studio with a commitment to the careful crafting of architectural solutions through a process of making. We are dedicated to producing high-quality and inventive designs – not as a means of producing architectural ‘statements’ as such, but through a belief that the ability to produce innovative and beautiful work emerges from the interplay between content, context, and a sensitivity towards client requirements.
An in-house workshop allows us to create hand crafted models and other three dimensional material throughout the design process to explore our design ambition and demonstrate our thinking. We are a design-led practice, and we enjoy this process – a fact that is conveyed in the rigorous level of detail and research invested in all of our projects.
Our two discussants are:
Scott Miller is a technician at the B.15 Modelmaking Workshop at MSA. He has worked as a freelance modelmaker on architectural, commercial and display models and in exhibition design & construction. Miller’s interests lie in the preservation, theory and promotion of modelmaking in design education.
Ray Lucas is Head of Humanities at MSA and is interested in the means by which architectural knowledge is produced; whilst most of this research is into architectural drawing, he is working on a chapter for Liz Hallam’s forthcoming book 3D Modelling with Scott Miller & Jim Backhouse as co-authors.
As always, we shall convene between 17.15 and 18.30 on Thursday evening.
The Judges: Nick Fleming, Phillipa Seagrave and Kaia Williams from SimpsonHaugh, MSA representatives Dr. Stephen Walker, Associate Lecturer Claudio Molina Camacho and B.15 Staff, Jim Backhouse, Scott Miller and Saul Parker-Backhouse.
After almost 2 hours of inspecting each of the projects and debating the resulting marks the winners were decided and are as follows:
BA (Hons) Architecture
1st Prize Harry Tate
2nd Prize Max King
3rd Prize Cameron Frame
1st Prize Nicholas Royce
2nd Prize Andrew Chung
3rd Prize Sandhya Parekh
Thanks to all of our Judges for the continued support! Congratulations to all who submitted work for the process which was a tough due to the high standards of modelmaking taking place across the board.
We wish you all the best in your future careers, keep making and keep in touch!
During the hours preceding the opening, representatives of SimpsonHaugh Architects; Kristin Mishra, Kaia Williams and Nick Fleming joined MSA’s Professor Tom Jefferies, Dr Stephen Walker and B.15 Workshop’s Jim Backhouse and Scott Miller to Judge this years modelmaking awards.
The shortlist of 10 students from BA and 10 from MArch was whittled down from over 40 submissions from across the ateliers. Each submission was independently marked against a 3 point system and then totalled, combined with the other judges score and then ranked before the winners were revealed. The winners were as follows:
BA (Hons) Architecture
1st Prize: Nour Hamade
2nd Prize: Camila Fabara Von Lippke
3rd Prize: Lola Tartakover
1st Prize: Rebekah Parkinson & Karissa Tysklind
2nd Prize: Mike Ellis & Jack Poulton
3rd Prize: Emily Daye
On behalf of SimpsonHaugh we would like thank all who submitted their work for consideration and congratulate those who made the short and winning list. This is never a straight forward process so anyone who has been featured should be proud of their achievements in making this year.
The show, featuring the prize winning work and all shortlisted work will run until June 20th at the School of Art. Be sure to check it out whilst you can.
This project was given to me from the University estates department who were wanting a representation of the University of Manchester’s Whitworth hall and tower that make up the Oxford road side of the old quadrangle complex. The model would then be used in a snow globe for a Digital Christmas Card sent out across the University.
As the project required the model to be waterproof I decided it would be a good opportunity to record the process of using Ureol, commonly known as Chemi-Wood or Model Board.
Whilst in this case I am using Chemi-Wood as the main material, the methods used are applicable to any kind of massing representation – this one having perhaps more detail than normally required due to its purpose.
Here is my step by step record of the process undertaken for around 5 hours over a period of a week when ever I found any time! I have included my rough sketches and thought process description to help understand how I chose to tackle the difference aspects of this representation.
The model had to be a maximum of 100mm long to allow it to fit within a snow globe. Firstly I scaled the CAD Drawings based on the required size and printed a plan and elevation to directly reference the model components as building each one. Having an accurate plan to work to is essential. Always check and double check it is printed to the correct scale.
With the printed plans as a guide I began dividing the model into components to be massed out, thinking in my head and in turn on paper about any pitches or areas that may need to be removed later.
By identifying commonly sized components, or close to the same size you can then best determine how to cut your material to avoid waste. In this case the height and width of two components happened to be the same so I started by cutting a piece at 22mm wide.
Cutting a block at 22mm width gave me a thin sheet off-cut which will come in handy later. Always keep hold of thin strips like this as they prove very useful when making add on details. By putting a piece of sandpaper on a flat board we can easily sand the sawn face of a piece of material to flatten off any saw marks. With chemi-wood in particular this is very straight forward and gives a smooth clean finish. Taking the time to remove saw marks at each stage of production will save time in the long run and helps to keeps the resulting components looking crisp.
Creating a pitched roof
Accurately marking on guides when creating a pitch is recommended as without them we can only presume the machines are set accurately which, given the number of people who use our workshop, is often doubtful! Once the piece has been cut to the required length it can then be sanded down using the disc sander, in this case removing the minimal amount of material on the edge to create the pitch as marked. Blocks with larger areas to be removed should be cut down closer to the marked line before sanding to avoid burning out the sanding discs and creating excessive force on the machine. Note that I have marked the pitch at the end of the piece to ensure there is enough material to hold on to whilst sanding reducing risk of injury. Always check your marked guide lines as you go.
Once the pitch is complete the piece can be removed from the block. Smaller components that require pitches can sometime be achieved as part of a bigger block using the end of a longer strip of material as shown below. Again this was created using the disk sander and clear marking as a guide. For now this piece will remain attached until the massing detail has been added. The tower section was measured out from the plan and two-stage pitch added. This photograph shows the second pitch marked out ready to be sanded.
The second phase of the model is to establish what details need to be added to take the blocks to a more familiar form. As with all models a level of detail needs to be established across all components. In this case the archway and repeated buttress’s are of notable presence and so provided the basis for the other relief details as sketched below.
Using the thin sheet off-cut from the first block, I took the elevation details of the archway from the CAD drawings and created the archway port surround and turret details by layering the two. Laser cutting is great for such intricate parts but presents a problem when finishing due to the fragile nature of such thin components. Care had to be taken when sanding off burn marks so spare components can come in handy if there are any breakages. I used a medium thickness cyanoacrylate ( AKA superglue) to carefully stick the layered details together. Only small spots of glue were used and can be applied with the end of a cocktail stick or a scalpel blade.
The layered up arch facade can then be applied to the primary massing from earlier taking care to center it as marked. Once fixed the material filling the arch is removed in notches using the bandsaw – controlled easily thanks to the extension we have the piece built on with a push-stick. After hand filing the curve of the arch using a round file the piece can be parted off from the extension and excess material carefully sanded back to the marked line taken from our printed scaled plan.
STOP PRESS! MISTAKE DETECTED!Leaving the workshop and walking down past the Whitworth Hall after work I noticed an error with my model so far in that I had wrongly presumed the footprint of the tower made up the entire plan print as shown. This in fact turns out to be wrong and the tower makes up just over half of the block footprint.
No need to panic!
By reviewing the plans and evaluating the oversight It was easily rectified by modifying the piece using the top center as a reference to reduce the overall size and roof pitch line. We all make mistakes so no need to worry if this happens when your making your model – its how we handle them that matters.
What ever you do don’t ignore it – especially if it is connecting to another part of the model as there is always a knock on effect with errors that will come back to haunt you! Try to take the time to do it right even if it means starting again.
Â Massing Details Continued
The next details I made were the spires at the top of the towers on the end of the Whitworth Hall. to create these I took a square section of chemi-wood from the offcuts and fixed it into the chuck of a hand drill.
Taking note of the required 6mm radius I used 120 grit sandpaper to reduce the section down to a dowel, regularly checking the size with calipers.
Once the dowel was a 6mm I marked on the low point of the spire and used a needle file to reduce it down to a point before adding a shoulder at the base. The completed spire was then removed with a junior hacksaw before being lightly sanded flat at the base.
The buttresses along each side of the Whitworth hall were made using thin strips that were layered up (shown below) on top of each other having been cut to the specified step heights. Once fixed I put this piece into the laser cutter and cut strips through the joined layers creating the buttress profiles. These were then carefully fixed in place using small amounts of cynoacrylate. Finally I simplified the corner spires that finish the tower using the CAD Files maintaining the same basic level of detail as shown on the other detail elements. These were then fixed in place before fixing the tower to the archway and Whitworth Hall sections. The model could now be painted easily due to the smooth surface finish of the components. In this case the raw material finish sufficed and it remains its clean colour.
The completed Model was then fixed into a snow globe to be used for University of Manchester marketing.
Hopefully this guide will give some useful pointers for your future models. If there’s anything you are uncertain about doing yourself always ask. – Scott
After many months of hard work from everyone at MSA the end of year show was officially opened at a private view event on Friday. We were pleased to include a new award recognising the use of modelmaking in students coursework.
Judging took place during Friday afternoon where we were joined by representatives from Mecanoo, Professor Tom Jefferies, Dr Ray Lucas to mark the short-listed work in person. From the outset it was clear this was going to be a difficult competition to win due to the high quality of the featured work.
Spending time to look at each piece in detail, the judges marked out of 50 based on our criteria.
The total scores caused a heated debate about the winners resulting in the decision to restructure our prizes from one to three winners for BA (Hons) as final scoring was so close.
Ernst ter Horst and Patrick Arends from Mecanoo noted that they were “inspired by the exceptional level of quality throughout and it’s important to stress these winners were all on a knife edge with scoring”
The winner of the MArch prize was of “outstanding quality and creativity delivering a fascinating model of beguiling interest!”
Overall BA (Hons) Winner – Paul Thornber
Highly Commended BA (Hons) 2nd Place – Sara Hammond
Highly Commended BA (Hons) 3rd Place – Thomas Smith
Winner of the MArch Prize -Â Hajir Alttahir
Individual descriptions of the winning projects written by the students can be found in the complete short list document available to view here.
We are thrilled with the response this award has had and are confident we can continue to recognise the great modelmaking work of our students with this as an annual award. As stated by Mecanoo we would like to repeat how close the scoring for this was and that every project picked was done so because of great quality and individual attitude to making which was believed to be fantastic so well done to everyone this year!
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.
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!
As part of our B.15:45 exhibition we have produced this documentary film exploring the constant but changing use of modelmaking within architectural education here at The Manchester School of Architecture within The University of Manchester.
The film interviews past and present academic, teaching and technical staff about their thoughts on modelmaking in architecture and how the tool continues to be used in design teaching today.
We hope this provides a good insight into Architectural modelmaking and helps to define its place in student studies here.
We would like to say many thanks again to all involved in the production of this film.