How architectural models are created

Crown Wharf Model

Architectural models are built on a smaller scale to look just like the planned or proposed building. They are tangible and are built to show off the overall concept to committees, clients and the public. They can be used to present an idea, to get the necessary building permits or to gain interest in selling the ending product.

Rough architectural models

A rough model is typically made quickly and easily using some simple materials like wooden blocks, foam, polystyrene, cardboard and/or foam boards. These rough versions are effective in showing scale in comparison to its surroundings and to provide a three dimensional view of the building. Interior designers, architects, and exhibit designers may choose to throw one of the simple designs together initially before taking the idea any further.

These quick ad hoc models are created so that someone can evaluate how the volumes will work together or how they look as you consider it from different angles. Using a rough model allows for improvement or alterations to be made and it is very practical when you are still deciding on the details surrounding the building.

Working on the detail

When the details are decided on, a proper architectural model is created so that they can sell the design to their customers. It is difficult for many people, including developers and prospective home buyers, to visualise the final product when looking at a simple two dimensional drawing. At times like this the architect must rely on small scale models and computer images to help sell their ideas.

When the design of the building is unusual or very complicated, it can be very helpful to aide in the visualisation of the end result. This can be a very helpful too when you are explaining to the designers how exactly you have envisioned the final product. The town planners, architects and engineers will all be on the same page when they have an architectural model to look at during discussions.


Architectural models can also be used as showpieces for some companies.

  • An example may be a large professional building in the heart of the city that has a model of the building on display in the lobby.
  • This model acts as a focal point for anyone that enters the lobby and it can show them the beauty that was created when this building was designed and created.
  • Another place that architectural models can often be found is in a museum.
  • Some museums use models to show what historical buildings may have looked like in the past.
  • These models serve as educational pieces that are appreciated by those that attend the museum.
  • The detail that is included in the model can really show the differences between modern times as well as how people lived in previous times.

The beauty and detail that can be captured in an architectural model is amazing. Whether it is being designed to show off the beauty of a structure, to gather interest in the development of a building or to tweak the appearance of a planned structure, they are a great way to accomplish these goals.