For the purpose of architectural models, metal is typicallyused in sheet form to represent cladding or other buildingfinishes, although metal rods, sections and mesh maybe incorporated to model structural elements and othercomponents. These sheets are available in a varietyof thicknesses. There is a wide choice in the visualappearances that can be achieved using these materialssince they may be flat, corrugated or perforated to varyingdegrees of opacity.

These images illustrate the construction of a model forGrimshaw Architects’ Eden Project, built by Richard Armiger:Network Modelmakers. Considerable skill and planning wererequired to complete this complex and ambitious model. Oncethe frames are modelled a model of the landscape is made sothat the design can be integrated with its surroundings
1.Initial sketches aremade by the LeadMaker to carefullysequence theconstruction.
2.Brass rod componentsare cut to variouslengths and then tapedinto position onto awood former, beforebeing soldered together.The wood formerprovides the neededsupport and ensuresthe parts are preciselypositioned.
3.To check fit, the sub-assembled geodesicstructure is then offeredup to the as-yet-incomplete, quarry-hillside site model.This is an essential taskbecause the topographyof the surrounding areavaries widely.
4.To represent thetranslucent ETFE panels,the geodesic structureis then clad with a‘skin’ of clear acetatecomponents (havingfirst spray-painted thestructure with metaletching primer andthen added the finalcolour coat).
5.To integrate the buildingwith its surroundings,and with the complexgeodesic structure andskin nearly complete,the model’s hillsidecontext is sculpted,and landscaped withminiature trees andfoliage.