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The Architectural Model: Exploring scale and vision at the Architecture Centre January 2015

  • December 12, 2014
The Architectural Model: Exploring Scale And Vision At The Architecture Centre January 2015

Exciting news from our workshop in the run up to Christmas – we are busy preparing the next exhibition for the Architecture Centre, and it’s all about one of our favourite topics – yes, that’s right, The architectural model. To develop the display we were asked to reveal the processes behind our craft and share our insight on how an architectural model contributes to design. Of course, it all begins with great design – whether the model is for an architect or even a product prototype – yet when we interrogate their design we have a unique opportunity to help our clients realise their vision. An architectural model – irrespective of its’ key objective, for a competition or planning consultation – always offers the audience something special which a computer generated image (CGI) cannot. With our models, we use a wide range of techniques to capture the essence of a…

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Educational models by Amalgam on show in Bristol

  • October 22, 2014
Educational Models By Amalgam On Show In Bristol

Making an exhibition of ourselves? Bristol’s Architecture Centre, on the waterfront quay by the Arnolfini, is currently showing Desire Lines: Romance and Rationalism in Bridge Design until Sunday 16 November. The Centre gave us the brief to create a set of educational models with which visitors – especially children – could interact and experiment with types of bridge design. So, the exhibition features three bridge building kits, designed and constructed here in Amalgam’s workshop. The aim is to inspire visitors with the diversity of bridge building techniques, as well as provide an historical background as part of Bristol’s Bridge 150 celebrations. Unique to this display, the Architecture Centre and Amalgam devised a set of top trumps cards – to add a fun and memorable element into the exhibition display – as well as offering a bridge drawing competition for the junior visitors. Also on show, back  in Bristol after several…

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3D Printing: in with new, but not out with the old

  • October 9, 2014
3D Printing: In With New, But Not Out With The Old

We are booking tours of our workshop, starting 23 October and 6 November. If you are interested in 3D printing, call us on 0117 924 9596 or read on to register. 3D printing has had a broadly publicised impact on building design, due to a wider availability of larger volume printers. Architects are now predicting an exciting new phase where whole or part structures can be printed much faster than construction by traditional methods. Two of these newspaper stories feature our distinguished clients, Foster + Partners and Zaha Hadid. Usually, we would be far more comfortable designing and making a bandwagon, rather than jumping on it. However we've learned some lessons with our beloved Objet 350 we thought worth sharing for more diverse companies in Bristol and the south-west who want to benefit. Our experience 3D printing architectural models Amalgam director Chris Conlon elaborates, "In any application, improved accuracy will…

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Architectural Modelmaking book features Amalgam Modelmaking’s work

  • September 15, 2014
Architectural Modelmaking Book Features Amalgam Modelmaking’s Work

Architectural Modelmaking by Nick Dunn is a book, now in its second edition, with a self-explanatory title.  Amalgam Modelmaking is delighted to have contributed several articles and examples to this new edition of Nick Dunn's textbook on the subject of.... Well Architectural Modelmaking! Nick Dunn is Professor of Urban Design at Lancaster University. His primary research interests are in the fields of visualization, modelling, mapping, representation in architecture, infrastructure and urbanism.  One reviewer stated that the book is an "Indispensable guide for any student of architecture or the built environment".  We of course are very proud to have been featured so heavily in what seems to be recognised as the "Go-to" publication for architectural students and others who wish to develop their model making skills. According to publishers Laurence King The book provides "A practical and effective guide to how and why models are used, in addition to what they…

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Architecture Exhibitions and Chimps

  • May 23, 2014
Architecture Exhibitions And Chimps

Installed at the Architecture Centre down on Bristol Waterfront, the Living City is an interactive architecture exhibition where an analogy is drawn between the city and a human body. Users are encouraged to think about what is needed to create a balanced, healthy urban environment.   The centrepiece for this exhibition is a model we made for the Center for Sustainable Energy some time ago; in its original context the PlanLoCal model shows how various low carbon technologies can be installed in rural and urban settings. In its new role in this exhibition, the model features an interactive element, where users can place magnetic icons along the sides of the base to highlight key points within the 'city-body', such as energy, transport and recycling. The exhibition also features key documents and case studies, and runs until the 10th of August. You can see some images up on the Architecture Centre's Facebook page. Be…

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Tidal Turbines, Milan Design Week and Brutalism

  • April 14, 2014
Tidal Turbines, Milan Design Week And Brutalism

This week we have been ramping up the marketing of our recycling displays and have been taking orders for a few products from the range; as these projects are completed we will be updating the website with photos of these new builds. These engaging and informative displays are usually used by councils and recycling officers to communicate important information about recycling.   Also our SeaGen Tidal Turbine for MCT has been in the news this week. This popular model has made a few media appearances over the years and has so far survived nearly four years of touring and public engagement.   We are also enjoying the trickle of photos coming out of Milan Design Week which have made their way into various Twitter feeds and photoblogs, showcasing the range of product design this year has to offer. Another event in our calendar that we're looking forward to is the…

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Cutaway Models – Compost, Insulation and Secrecy

  • March 31, 2014

This last week we have made a number of models which share a common theme - having bits cut out of them to see what's going on inside.   The first was a set of wall insulation models for Concept PR, made with the permission of the Centre for Sustainable Energy with whom we designed the original set. Concept PR's set brings our total up to 14 sets of these popular units. They are simple cutaway models showing the different layers of wall insulation that can be applied to the interior and exterior of a house, depicting the necessary layers of render, mesh, insulation and other materials to make a home more energy efficient.   Meanwhile, our new trading arm, Recycling Displays,  has been hard at work making cross-section compost bins, showing the strata of decomposing vegetable matter and how household waste can be recycled into nutrient-rich compost for gardens and vegetable…

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CSE Home Energy Display Model

  • January 9, 2014
CSE Home Energy Display Model

Our portable, engaging Energy Display Model made for the Centre for Sustainable Energy can be seen on the CSE website. This model was made to illustrate various methods for creating a more energy efficient home, featuring energy usage monitors, solar panels, roofing insulation and draft snakes. The model is also populated with other engaging features such as bedroom posters, furniture, houseplants and modern appliances.   We built the display model to be portable; when stored, it fits snugly together as a single block, but can be unclipped and opens out to slot together into a cross-section model of a modern home. We had a great deal of fun adding all the miniature features to humanise the model and are very glad to see it still being used.   Other models we have made for CSE include the Wall Insulation Models, of which we made many sets. Models along similar lines…

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Western Power Distribution – sixth Energy Display Interactive Completed

  • November 20, 2013
Western Power Distribution – Sixth Energy Display Interactive Completed

Recently Amalgam modelmakers completed the sixth in a series of energy display interactive models for Western Power Distribution. The series of models formed part of Project F.A.L.C.O.N (Flexible Approaches for Low Carbon Optimised Networks), a project led by Western Power Distribution. The project will test six alternatives to reinforcement, to see how they work in practice. Ultimately FALCON will provide guidance so that network planners can select the best technique from a range of options. Four of the options are based around novel engineering approaches and two are based around changing energy users' behaviour. The energy display interactives were designed to demonstrate this range of techniques in an engaging manner whilst maintaining a very clean and sleek look. The image above is our designers sketch for one of the six designs built, by clicking the link you can find out more in our Energy Display Interactives case study on the main…

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PlanLoCaL scale model gets an update

  • September 9, 2013
PlanLoCaL Scale Model Gets An Update

Some years back, Amalgam created a four-baseboard modular scale model of a generic British urban area for the Centre for Sustainable Energy. The model has been back through our doors for touch ups and some fresh paint, but we've added a 1,044 Megawatt Solar Farm, an Anaerobic Digestion Plant, and some 1/1000 scale cows to provide the plant with, erm, fuel. Ultimately the model is designed to show a community the various renewable energy options available to them. It also allows them to consider whether a certain process is appropriate for their local economy, or what the visual impact would be on the surrounding countryside.  Amalgam have provided a range of models to the Centre for Sustainable Energy over the years, including our Wall Insulation models (of which we made 13 sets) ,and the Energy Home, which shows how a modern family home can be made more energy efficient. Head to Our Work…

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