In architecture schools, students are taught to make physical model to communicate their design ideas. It is also customary in many schools to offer a studio exercise on the Master Architects using the scale model as a vehicle to interpret their seminal works. The primary aim of such exercise is to give the students an exposure to the works of great architects by engaging them to recreate the harmonic composition of three dimensional volumes and masses. In this process of model making, students are expected to learn the rhythm of solids and voids, creation of an order and spatial hierarchy between served and service, tectonic expression and indoor outdoor relationship. In general, physical models stimulate the understanding which is instantaneous and constant. It also has the ability to convey the sense of depth, dimension and texture. As Peter Zumthor explains, the model is the only way to consider the “atmosphere” of a space. Or, what we like to think of as the best way to design good vibes.
The following model photographs include studio projects form Department of Architecture at AIUB and HSTU. The project was about studying the philosophy of the Master Architects through making the physical models of their famous architecture. Along with the modern Masters and their followers,the studio assignment also includes the works of regional architects like Charles Correa and Mazharul Islam who tried to synthesis the international and modern style and establish a new vocabulary by incorporating local culture and heritage. Some of these are National Assembly, Dhaka by Louis I Kahn, Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier , Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright, Barcelona Pavilion by Mies Van DerRohe, Riva San Vitale by Mario Botta, Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur by Charles Correa, Fine Arts Institute, Dhaka by Mazharul Islam.
In the age of computer modelling and 3d router or CNC machine, handmade physical models are becoming a lost form of communicating design ideas. Apart from its proven effectiveness as learning and communication tools in the field of design, the physical model is far compelling than realistic render images. Such exercise of model making is likely to foster deeper understanding of the project while improving student’s tectonic skills.
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