An Alphabet of Architectural Models

An Alphabet of Architectural Modelsedited by Olivia Horsfall Turner, Simona Valeriani, Matthew Wells and Teresa Fankhänel was published by Merrell to accompany the Shaping Space Exhibition, and is also an output of the Architectural Models in Context Network.

For thousands of years, architects have used models to invent, experiment and communicate. A world in miniature, such models are even more varied in their purposes and materials than their full-scale counterparts. This elegant book explores the fascinating nature of the architectural model through 26 illustrated essays, one for each letter of the alphabet. Unbound by the practicalities of life-size construction, models allow architects the flexibility and freedom to think in three dimensions. Whether made for purely speculative exercises or to solve a specific problem, they are aids to the imagination. Equally, they can be used as detailed representations of particular places, either built or as yet unrealized, in order to convey information to patrons or the public. Models also have a vibrant life outside the architect’s office, including as souvenirs, architectural fragments displayed in museums, and toys for children and adults alike. Written by architects, model-makers, curators, conservators and scholars, the texts in this absorbing Alphabet explore such fundamental issues as modelling materials and techniques, scale, and the role of the model in the design process. They also go beyond conventional accounts to look at models under the X-ray machine, their use in film, and edible models. The result is a wide-ranging, original account of the multiple lives of the architectural model.

An accessible, engaging overview of the history and current practice of architectural models, written by a variety of experts. Beautifully designed, in a compact format with soft flexi binding.

Published to coincide with the Shaping Space – Architectural Models Revealed exhibition opening in September 2021 at the Building Centre in London.