Richard Meier Model Shop
Richard Meier & Partners Architects (2014)
New York, New York
Engels and Volkers Headquarters, Front
Proposal: to provide concept and presentation models
A rite of passage at the office of Richard Meier & Partners, the model shop is a kind of apprenticeship that teaches patience and craft. All models are made by hand using simple tools: handheld blades, a Japanese saw, a bandsaw, and a small table saw.
The models are constructed of bass wood, masonite, and plexiglass. In addition to working in the model shop, I gave tours of the Richard Meier Model Museum to visitors by appointment and contributed to archival projects.
Measure twice, cut once is the mantra of detail work at this small scale. Even simple tasks like hand sanding must be done with the utmost care to maintain perfectly flat surfaces. There is a delicate juxtaposition employed between replicating details as loyally as possible while also simplifying where material thickness requires. It is an important lesson in craft that translates directly even to the larger scale work of architecture. By engaging in physical model making, and not just the computer or two-dimensional drawing, the architect gains different perspectives not only on the design at hand, but also the process of making.
Restaurant Renovation Exterior