MoMA

ART TERMS

8,833 Artists and 53,401 Works Online

Choose your search filter(s) from the categories on the right, and then click Search.

You may select multiple filters.

Browse Artist Index »

Browse Art Terms Index »

White Gray Black

Model, architectural

Introduction

Source: Oxford University Press

A small-scale three-dimensional structure used to test, clarify or illustrate part or all of an architectural design or building. Although frequent references to the use of models can be found from Classical antiquity onwards, because of their often fragile materials (e.g. wood, gesso, papier-mâché and balsa wood), few have survived in proportion to their extensive use. Those that remain date chiefly from the end of the 15th century, or shortly after, and tend to represent monumental rather than intimately scaled buildings. Moreover, documentary references from the Renaissance, when a fresh interest in the use of models emerged, are sometimes misleading. The term ‘model’, derived from the Italian modello, frequently refers to a drawing rather than a three-dimensional aid for the designer. With the advent of a wide range of specialized drawings in the late 18th century, the value of the model as a presentational and didactic device was first seriously undermined. Nevertheless, it continued to prove useful up to the late 20th century, when holography and sophisticated computer graphics began to replace it as a source of three-dimensional information for architects and clients.

© 2009 Oxford University Press

top

Related Works

  • Add to My Collection Not on view Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper Project, Berlin-Mitte, Germany. 1921
    Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper Project, Berlin-Mitte...
    1921
    Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
    Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper Project, Berlin-Mitte, Germany. 1921
  • Add to My Collection Not on view Alvar Aalto. Viipuri City Library, Viipuri, Finland (now Vyborg, Russia). 1927-35
    Viipuri City Library, Viipuri, Finland (now Vyborg...
    1927-35
    Alvar Aalto
    Alvar Aalto. Viipuri City Library, Viipuri, Finland (now Vyborg, Russia). 1927-35
  • Add to My Collection Not on view Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret) with Pierre Jeanneret. Villa Savoye, Poissy 1928–31. 1932
    Villa Savoye, Poissy 1928–31
    1932
    Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret) with...
    Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret) with Pierre Jeanneret. Villa Savoye, Poissy 1928–31. 1932
  • Add to My Collection Not on view R. Buckminster Fuller. Dymaxion Dwelling Machine, Wichita, Kansas. 1944-46
    Dymaxion Dwelling Machine, Wichita, Kansas
    1944-46
    R. Buckminster Fuller
    R. Buckminster Fuller. Dymaxion Dwelling Machine, Wichita, Kansas. 1944-46
  • Add to My Collection Not on view Louis I. Kahn. Alfred Newton Richards Medical Research Building, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Overall building complex (final version). 1957-65
    Alfred Newton Richards Medical Research Building...
    1957-65
    Louis I. Kahn
    Louis I. Kahn. Alfred Newton Richards Medical Research Building, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Overall building complex (final version). 1957-65
  • Add to My Collection Not on view Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron. Signal Box auf dem Wolf, Basel, Switzerland. 1988-95
    Signal Box auf dem Wolf, Basel, Switzerland
    1988-95
    Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Jacques Herzog, Pierre...
    Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron. Signal Box auf dem Wolf, Basel, Switzerland. 1988-95
Share by E-mail
Share by Text Message