Mecanoo B.15 Modelmaking Awards 2017 Winners

For the past three years Netherlands based architects  Mecanoo have generously supported our desire to celebrate the use of models within architectural design. The awards consider not just a single piece of work but each individuals attitude and approach to using physical models as a vehicle to advance the understanding of their design to both themselves and to others.

After a very tough judging session this years Mecanoo B.15 modelmaking awards were announced on Friday evening at the official opening of the Manchester School of Architecture end of year show.

We can’t stress enough how worthy everyone who made the long and short lists were this year so everybody should be very proud of themselves for producing such a high standard of work across the board.

Judging was carried out by:

Mecanoo representatives Laurens Kistemaker, Oliver Boaler and Paul Thornber.

MSA lecturers Dr Ray Lucas and Amy Hanley.

B.15 Staff Jim Backhouse, Scott Miller and Phillipa Seagrave.

The full 2017 shortlist document can be downloaded by clicking here.


This years winners are:

MArch

MArch 1st Prize – James Donegan – Continuity in Architecture


MArch 2nd Prize – Samuel Stone – Continuity in Architecture


MArch 3rd Prize – Daniel Kirkby and Vanessa Torri – Urban Spatial Experimentation


BA Architecture

BA 1st Prize – Ghada Mudara – Urban Spatial Experimentation


BA 2nd Prize – Theodoris Tamvakis – QED


BA 3rd Prize – Arinjoy Sen – Common Ground

Welcome to 2016/17 Academic Year at B.15

Welcome to all new students and those returning for another academic year!

What’s New at B.15? 

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  • During the summer break several rooms have been rearranged and cleared in the basement to allow us to now occupy a new room to house our model archive and temporary model store in Room B.19. This room can be accessed by asking either of us.
  • With the new B.19 model store in place we have been able to rearrange part of our materials store creating space for new machines.

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  • The main addition to this area is a new spraying area which will shortly be commissioned to allow us to spray model components. As with all new equipment you will be required to ask us to demonstrate the correct practice before using the machine on your own.

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  • Access to the Photographic Studio can now be made through the materials store thanks to the addition of a new doorway. The old doorway to the studio space is now for staff use only when dealing with material orders.

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  • We have also taken delivery of a new Flatbed Cutter which will soon be commissioned and located in a re-purposed area of the photographic studio space. This machine will initially be staff operated only until its applications have been clearly established.

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  • As an upgrade from our previous belt sander/ disk sander combination machine we have now purchased a new and larger belt sander (Also known as a Linisher) which is situated at the back of the workshop next to the bobbin sander. Normal operation and health and safety rule apply when using this machine – as always if you are unsure then please ask for help before using a new machine. This will be up and running next week.
  • New Morticing Machine which is used for making squared mortice joints in joinery. This will be particularly useful for 1:1 scale detail models. This is a staff only machine at present but should your project require such a detail we will be on hand to use the machine.

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  • New Reference Books – We have added four new books to our modelmaking library.

Architectural Model as Machine by Albert C. Smith, 2004 is an in depth historical look at the application of modelmaking in architecture from antiquity to the present day.

Advanced Architectural Modelmaking, 2010 by Eva Pascual I Miro, Pere Pedrero Carbonero, Ricard Pedrero Coderc. This book goes into detail outlining construction methods and provides a good selection of case studies.

Design for Eternity: Architectural Models from the Ancient Americas, 2015 by Joanna Pillsbury, Patricia Joan Sarro, James Doyle, Juliet Wiersema. Published alongside the exhibition of the same name this book provides an interesting look at modelmaking in ancient American history and displays the often overlooked duel function of models as tools and art.

The Spatial Uncanny, 2001 by James Casebere. The artwork of James Casebere demonstrates the amazing perspective images that can be achieved through photographing interior models.

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  • We have a new restructured and re-branded permanent exhibition space on the first floor here at Humanities Bridgford Street; B.15 ARCHITYPES. The exhibition gives a categorised breakdown of model types and features a wide range of applications in the context of projects you may have to produce during your time here as students and beyond. Please get yourself over to have a good look around pick up a free new guidebook whilst they last!

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  • Lastly we are now on social media Instagram and Twitter where we will be sharing work and events @b15workshop

See you all soon!

Scott & Jim

 

 

Mecanoo B.15 Modelmaking Award 2016 Winners

Final judging for this years Mecanoo B.15 Modelamking awards took place on Friday afternoon ahead of the end of year show opening.

Representatives from Mecanoo were Laurens Kistemaker, Paul Daly, Oliver Boaler along with former MSA Student and previous award winner Sara Hammond. Representing MSA were Jim and myself and Dr Ray Lucas.

Judging awards

As with last years award judging looked at the overall quality of the finished models, The effectiveness of their response to the brief and the integration of modelmaking into each students designing process. This proved once again to be very tough and created a fantastic post-marking deliberation over the final results.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the efforts and quality of the students work, which therefore made it really hard for us to pick just 6 winners. We covered both sides (skill and representation of the brief) of modelmaking with a judging team of 3 modelmakers and 3 architects. I hope we as mecanoo together with Jim and Scott have contributed to push the continued importance of modelmaking in architectural learning and practice.”

– Laurens Kistemaker 

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Prizes were presented by Laurens Kistemaker and Professor Tom Jefferies to the winners who were as follows:

1st Prize MArch: Daniel Kempski & Peter Lee

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2nd Prize MArch: Natalie Dosser & Diana Muresan

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3rd Prize MArch: Sam Beddingfield

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1st Prize BA (Hons) Architecture: Ciara Tobin

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2nd Prize BA (Hons) Architecture: Akhil Mathew

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3rd Prize BA (Hons) Architecture: Daniel Vella

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We would like to thank all at Mecanoo for their continued support of this award which has already built on last years success with another quality display of projects.

Congratulations to all who made the hard earned short-list and eventual winners! We hope you will continue to employ the use of modelmaking in your learning and future careers whatever they may be.

Scott and Jim at B.15

SLA Resin Printing by Akhil Mathew

It has been a year now since we purchased our own SLA resin 3D Printer. In this time we have had a varied degree of successes. Perhaps due to its relative infancy, we have come up against numerous issues with this printer meaning its use has been limited as it often required constant checking to ensure the process is working correctly. The best uses have come when a student has taken initiative to research the process for their own requirements. One such student is 3rd year Akhil Mathew who has kindly written about his application of the process and the various pro’s and con’s he experienced.

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The SLA resin printer is very useful to communicate certain aspects of design due to the material the printer prints with. The printer can use a variety of coloured or clear resins to print. My project featured a separate internal structure within an external frame and therefore the clear resin was ideal for communicating this aspect of the design.

However, to make sure your model is printed correctly, a number of points need to be kept in mind.

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This printer is unlike the ABS and powder printers not only when it comes to material but also the orientation in which it prints. The model is printed upside in layers by slowly raising a platform out of a pool of resin. My models would often not adhere to this base platform and that would cause the print to sag on one side. This might occur due to:

  • Problems with the model (inverted faces, un-welded vertices etc)
  • The base platform not being clean
  • Impurities in the resin
  • Insufficient foundation and support material

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Due to the orientation in which the model is printed and the action of pulling the model out of the pool of resin may cause horizontal elements in the model to sag if vertical elements or supports are not introduced at nearby intervals. The floor plates of one of my first resin models sagged towards the inside as there wasn’t enough vertical elements. (This error would not have occurred with the powder printer or ABS printer)

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Resin may get trapped inside the model if there isn’t an opening for the resin to drain out of. Again, one my first models still has resin trapped inside it and with resin being slightly translucent, it is visible and may not be desired.

Lastly, since these types of printers are still being tested and perfected, the printers are not perfect yet. Therefore, the printer may just ignore a certain element of the model without any warning. The best ways to get around this I found were:

  • Keep the model as simple as possible
  • Make sure the model is one object before converting to .stl
  • Within the object make sure the faces are oriented correctly
  • Make sure all vertices are welded appropriately

The SLA printer is a very interesting piece of equipment and the finished products if printed correctly look great and work perfectly to communicate exactly what I needed in my project.

– Akhil Mathew 2016

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Mecanoo B.15 Modelmaking Award 2016

We are very pleased to announce the return of the Mecanoo B.15 Modelmaking award for 2016!

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Eligibility and Award Short-listing

The awards are open to MSA Part One Third year students and Sixth Year Part Two students. There will be three prizes for each year.

Short-listing and final judging will focus on process, purpose and finished quality of models within design and presentation stages.


This year we will be joined by Mecanoo in-house modelmaker Laurens Kistemaker who will assist with project short-listing and offer advice on student projects. Laurens will be on hand in the B.15 workshop throughout Friday 15th April and Friday June 3rd to observe and discuss your ideas. Be sure to come along and speak to Laurens for a unique insight from one of Mecanoos’ full-time modelmakers.

Laurens Kistemaker

Judging will take place on  Friday June 10th ahead of the annual MSA show opening where the awards will be presented.

AWARDS PRESENTATION (4)About Mecanoo 

Mecanoo are an award winning international architecture practice based in Delft, The Netherlands. Current projects include a renovation of the New York Public Library and the design for the new Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) project. Having now opened a Manchester office to support projects in the region the company are eager to strengthen their links with up and coming architecture graduates leaving the Manchester School of Architecture. Last years modelmaking awards yielded a strong interest from all participants and several employment opportunities followed.

Find out more about Mecanoo here: www.mecanoo.nl and click here to watch our short video about Mecanoo Modelmaking.

Following on from last year B.15 will be directing the award and will also support sponsorship for the prize winners.

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BA Graduate Sara Hammond accepting her award last year. Sara has gone on to work for Mecanoo’s Manchester office.

We look forward to seeing what great projects come out of the coming months of work and wish you all the best of luck!

Jim, Scott and the team at Mecanoo

1:50 Site Model for Extreme Cold Accommodation by Tom Smith

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Recent Part 1 Graduate Thomas Smith was one of the few shortlisted and eventual prize winners in our recent modelmaking award scheme. His project which looks at ‘Fuel poverty accommodation for an extreme cold climate’ balanced the benefits of laser cut components with fine hand crafting to made a crisp clean presentation standard model.

By considering the next steps beyond a medium, in this case laser cutting, the results can be fantastic and the skill and understanding conveyed is self evident.

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“The model conveys the overall structure and form of two of the building typologies I have designed. The elements of the model act in the same way as the structural elements I propose to incorporate.
The finish of the plywood when etched works well to represent the replaceable larch cladding, and the smooth un-etched finish replicated the internal finish of the structures and the walls and floors will all be finished with ply. The clear acrylic represents glass and the polycarbonate shell, allowing me the illustrate internal conditions in terms of lighting.

I feel that I have learnt to ensure that I plan how I am going to construct the model first to ensure that what I want to produce is achievable.”

Tom’s finished model is shown below. We wish him all the best for the future!

Mecanoo B.15 Modelmaking Awards

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After many months of hard work from everyone at MSA the end of year show was officially opened at a private view event on Friday. We were pleased to include a new award recognising the use of modelmaking in students coursework.

Judging took place during Friday afternoon where we were joined by representatives from Mecanoo, Professor Tom Jefferies, Dr Ray Lucas to mark the short-listed work in person. From the outset it was clear this was going to be a difficult competition to win due to the high quality of the featured work.

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Spending time to look at each piece in detail, the judges marked out of 50 based on our criteria.

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The total scores caused a heated debate about the winners resulting in the decision to restructure our prizes from one to three winners for BA (Hons) as final scoring was so close.

Ernst ter Horst and Patrick Arends from Mecanoo noted that they were “inspired by the exceptional level of quality throughout and it’s important to stress these winners were all on a knife edge with scoring

The winner of the MArch prize was of “outstanding quality and creativity delivering a fascinating model of beguiling interest!” 

Winners were:

Overall BA (Hons) Winner – Paul Thornber


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Highly Commended BA (Hons) 2nd Place – Sara Hammond

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Highly Commended BA (Hons) 3rd Place – Thomas Smith

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Winner of the MArch Prize - Hajir Alttahir

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Individual descriptions of the winning projects written by the students can be found in the complete short list document available to view here.

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We are thrilled with the response this award has had and are confident we can continue to recognise the great modelmaking work of our students with this as an annual award. As stated by Mecanoo we would like to repeat how close the scoring for this was and that every project picked was done so because of great quality and individual attitude to making which was believed to be fantastic so well done to everyone this year!

Good luck in your future careers!

Scott and Jim at B.15

Mecanoo B.15 Modelmaking Award

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We are very pleased to announce in conjunction with our 45th year celebrations a new award for outstanding modelmaking at MSA.

The award will be sponsored by award winning architects Mecanoo who have recently expanded their offices to include a new Manchester branch.

“Model making is integral to the design process at our headquarters in Delft and we place a great deal of value in students who can demonstrate a love for the physical crafting and communication of space in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design.

As such, Mecanoo is proud to sponsor an award which recognises high quality model making skills at Manchester School of Architecture – a school in a city which has become our UK home. We hope that this prize will encourage final year students to push that little bit harder to make their models as experimental, pragmatic (and beautiful) as possible!”

Francesco Veenstra (partner in charge of UK projects)


The Awards

Two prizes will be awarded with one for BA 3rd Year students and one for 6th Year MArch Students. Prizes will be awarded at the end of year show on June 12th.

Representatives from Mecanoo will be in attendance and along with UoM and MSA staff will judge the winners.

In addition to the award for your portfolio, sponsorship from Mecanoo and ourselves will provide a cash prize of £500 per winner.

Models will be judged on their overall quality, choice of scale, material choices, chosen methods and the models effectiveness at conveying your design features.

We hope this gives you more of an incentive to think about your modelmaking skills and strive to improve on the great results we have already seen this year!

Good luck!

Jim and Scott at B.15

1:100 ‘Performance Centre’ Cross Section Model by Philip Lam

Philip Lam explains to us how he used his model to convey his ideas for increased space and performance capacity:

Phil Lamm (1)

“On a site with limited space, my design tries to increase the audience capacity of a performance centre. The main space is found underground while the introduction of an outdoor space sits on top. The exterior space has been designed to respect and interact with its surrounding buildings.
The idea behind this model was to communicate and understand the spatial and structural qualities of my design.
As part of the brief, our tutors asked us to include a staircase and double volume room. By making a sectional model, it is possible for a viewer to see these components as well as help understand the use of space inside. Also by modelling a section cut, my buildings load bearing structure had to be modified to allow for missing components.

Phil Lamm (2) The material primarily used in my design is concrete. To mimic this in my model, I used laser cut MDF covered with spray painted sandpaper. Rather than making a mould and casting it, this was a quicker and more economical representation of the textural and structural qualities that were required. The half-arch was made using plywood blocks which were stuck together, cut and shaped using the band saw and bobbin sander. The grain in the plywood helped replicate brick and mortar. For the seating, I needed a material which is thin, yet strong enough to sit on the wooden support frames and decided on using mount board. Finally, I used laser cut frosted acrylic pieces to represent the translucent cladding found in my design.

Phil Lamm (3)

By making this model, I have gained further experience working with new materials, tools and techniques. I have realised that using the laser cutter is a fast and precise way to cut materials, but it can also slow you down if there are errors in measurements and tolerance. Careful planning before starting is essential. I really enjoy the process of constructing a good considered model and it is invaluable in further helping evaluate my design.” 

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Philips project pays attention to construction detail and his considerations with regard to material constraints and component accuracy come across well. It’s great to see turning points in project and there were several such points in this one. Philips model threw up issues such as floor levels and door placements that, once evident, were resolved through further making. We look forward to some more projects from Phil next year!

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1:100 ‘Parasite’ Context Model by Anca Trimbaciu

This case study by Anca Trimbaciu shows us her proposed building within its enclosed site context of two existing buildings. So as not to take the focus away from her design the massing of the context buildings was kept simple. Anca wrote down her thoughts on the project for us:

“As part of first year’s final project we had to go the extra mile in explaining our design and idea. Therefore, we had to create a presentation quality model. My entire year revolved around butterflies, that being the animal I chose, so my building was also connected to them, being an indoor butterfly garden, a space for recreation and relaxation.

My design is a parasite building in between other two existing ones, which covers a very small space and puts focus around the staircase and the idea of ascension. As you move up you gradually discover spaces that are more open and luminous until the last floor which allows a panoramic view of Oxford Road from the inside of a “green utopia”.

Anca Trimbaciu (5)The model shows context, size and the purpose of my building. A section in the back of the model allows the viewer to see inside and observe how the building makes use of the adjacent existing buildings and how double volume appears during the ascension towards the top floor.

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I used painted MDF for the adjacent buildings and the base of my model just to give an idea of their size and appearance, contrasting with my design through colour and texture. Other than that, the rest of my model is mostly made out of clear or grey acrylic as it was the best choice to either represent glass, metal or polished concrete. The triangular staircase is sustained by a wooden column which is covered in vegetation. Because the scale is only 1:100, I opted for showing ramps instead of creating each step out of acrylic.

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During the making of this model I had my first attempt at using Autocad and laser cutting, and surprisingly, I succeeded. I learned how to spray paint in order to completely cover the texture of a material and I improved my skills in working with acrylic. I also got the chance to fully understand my building and its structure.

It has been two well spent weeks in the workshop and I am looking forward to my next project, even though starting a model might be scary at first, the results are most of the times really impressive and worth the time.”

 

 

Anca Trimbaciu (9)

The construction method for this model was well considered and, much like the building process of a 1:1 project, the order of assembly was orientated around the ‘core’ access, in this case stairs, providing support for the different levels.

Of particular merit here is the consideration to how the massing was created. Rather than being solid blocks, the context massing was made up by creating hollow boxes which were then coated with sanding sealer, sanded and painted. This method saves on material and overall weight of the model and can often be done for free with off-cut material.

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