This striking 1:500 competition model, made at Amalgam Modelmaking Ltd for Foster + Partners,represents their scheme for Yongsan, SouthKorea. The model draws inspiration from theneon lights of a city at night and the fine linesof an architect’s blueprints. The central schemeincorporates three huge rapid-prototyped central structures, which have been chrome platedto mirror the surrounding light. Working withunconventional materials and forms to achievestriking outcomes is always rewarding, and givesan opportunity for an architect to represent theprinciples of the design in truly abstract andengaging ways.

1. The spiralling centralbuildings are madefrom hollow 3D printstranslated from the digitalmodels. The 3D prints arethen metal plated to givethe highly reflective finish.

2. The surroundingbuildings are made fromsolid tooling board, whichhas been hand shapedand primed.

3. These blocks are alsothen chrome plated. Thisis a more cost effectiveway of producing thebuildings when theshapes are simple forms.

4. The offsites are clearacrylic blocks sprayedmidnight blue, the edgesof which were thenscraped with a scalpelblade so that they glowwhen they are under-lit.The result is that thebaseboard looks like ablueprint that has cometo life.

5. Between the centralbuildings layers ofcoloured gels wereused over the lightsource to achieve thedesired brightly colouredreflections, which bouncearound the model.

6. The trees were madefrom layers of laser cut,tinted acrylic with clearacrylic rods for trunks. Bymaking them in a glosstinted material adds to thelayers of reflection