10 Remarkable Models Made by World Famous Architects


Albert Pike, poet, Freemason, and Confederate man about town, astutely commented that “one man is equivalent to all Creation. One man is a World in miniature.” If one man represents the world than the roof over his head, and a mini version of that roof surely has some fundamental universal importance.

We love sensible and profound quotes as much as we love micro architecture, and in discovering Pritzker Prize winner Peter Zumthor’s strangely compelling large-scale models, we’ve found a new means to satisfy our obsession with little buildings. A study in micro representation, the model, as Zumthor explains, is the only way to consider the “atmosphere” of a space. Or, what we like to think of as the best way to design good vibes.

We invite you to get out some construction paper, a pair of scissors, and that old crafty standby, Elmer’s Glue, and be inspired to build your own mini proverbial universe. Made out of wacky materials like organic milk cartons, pepto bismol pink styrofoam and paper dinner napkins, click through to check out our roundup of remarkable models made by some of the world’s most important architects.

Soft paper napkin stack for The Hague’s Dance and Music Center by Zaha Hadid

Image credit: Zaha Hadid Associates via InventorSpot

Cardboard saved from organic milk cartons and adhesive for “In the Land of Milk and Honey” by Maya Lin

Image credit: Art Knowledge News

A collection of large-scale models by Peter Zumthor

Image credit: VostokProject

Scale model of Moriyama House for the Japanese Pavilion at the 2010 Venice Biennale by Ryue Nishizawa

Image credit: designboom

Cardboard model of the Bahrain Archaeological Museum by Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando Architect & Associates via designboom

Large scale model for the unrealized Embryological House by Greg Lynn FORM.

Image credit: MoMa

Scale model of ‘Atelier Bow-Wow’ by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima

Image credit: designboom

Concrete model of the Elrod House by John Lautner

Image credit: Arkitip Intel

A foam model of ‘The Treehouse’ by Frank Gehry

Image credit: Gehry Partners via ZeoFoto

One hundred thirty pink styrofoam study models and material samples for the New Parrish Art Museum by Herzog & de Meuron

Image credit: The Architectural League of New York