The Architectural Model

Tool, Fetish, Small Utopia

The Architectural Model considers the architectural scale model as an artistic medium, drawing on the Deutsches Architekturmuseum’s vast collection of models.


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Title Information

Edited by Peter Cachola Schmal and Oliver Elser

1st edition

, 2012

Text English and German

Hardback, color poster as dustjacket

360 pages, 562 color and 186 b/w illustrations

23.5 x 30 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-346-6

In cooperation with Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt (Main)


The architectural scale model has long had an essential role in the design process, creating a tangible, three-dimensional representation of the finished building, but it has not been explored as an artistic medium in its own right. The Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) began to fill in this gap in architectural scholarship in 2009, focusing on the history of the model with particular attention paid to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Drawing on the museum’s vast collection of models, comprised of more than 1,200 objects created by over four hundred architects from around the world—including works by renowned architects such as Norman Foster; Arata Isozaki; Louis I. Kahn; Rem Koolhaas; Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; Frei Otto; Aldo Ross; Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill; James Stirling; Marcel Meili, Markus Peter; and Peter Zumthor—researchers created both this book and a corresponding exhibit.

The Architectural Model, published to coincide with an exhibition at the DAM, covers a variety of topics, from the rise of specialized workshops after 1945 to the way in which more sophisticated machinery led to a “miniature boom” in the 1950s and ’60s. Of special interest is the discussion of how working models are used by professionals to develop, change, and communicate their ideas and utopias.

With essays by Petra Bausch, Dirk Bühler, Marilena Demarez-Bandeh, Oliver Elser, Teresa Fankhänel, Gabu Heindl, Paulina Kasprzyk, Adela Kutschke, Markus Michel, Myriam Pflugmann, Drehli Robnik, Rolf Sachsse, Peter Cachola Schmal, Franziska Stein, Micael Stöneberg, Philipp Sturm, Philip Ursprung, Sandra Wagner-Conzelmann, Christiane Weber, and Michael Weyck.


Authors & Editors

Petra Bausch

Dirk Bühler

Peter Cachola Schmal

Marilena Demarez-Bandeh

Oliver Elser

Teresa Fankhänel

Gabu Heindl

Paulina Kaprzyk

Adela Kutschke

Markus Michel

Myriam Pflugmann

Drehli Robnik

Rolf Sachsse

Franziska Stein

Michael Stöneberg

Philipp Sturm

Sandra Wagner-Conzelmann

Christiane Weber

Michael Weyck