For both architects and visitors, there are few things more inspiring than a beautifully build mini architectural model of a building or a city. These mini-models offer an in-depth look into the original structure, which is mostly not possible without visiting the actual site and taking a grand tour with a guide. Here are the five most inspiring architectural scale models in recent history.
The NYC Miniature
If you are an architectural student living in the United States, you owe yourself a visit to the Queens Museum in New York City. Among other fascinating exhibits, the museum holds a breathtaking, 10,000 square feet of New York City miniature model. The model provides intricate details of every major and almost all minor buildings in the city, in 1964. The model was presented at the famous World’s Fair. Built on a scale of 1:1200, there was a nine-minute ride to see the entire model, which reflected how you would see the city from 20,000 feet above the ground – not bad for an era when few people could afford a plane ticket.
San Francisco Fairgrounds Model
The California Historical Society houses yet another masterpiece of mini-buildings that is sure to impress architectural enthusiasts. The model is a reflection of the San Francisco fairgrounds after it underwent extensive renovations after the 1906 earthquake. Looking at the model will definitely inspire you as it offers a detailed insight into one of the most inspiring public spaces in the United States that look startlingly similar even today.
At the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, the 12 foot model of the Walt Disney Park is breathtaking in the sense that it provides a complete illustration of how Walt Disney wanted his park before his death. Looking at the marvelous mini-scale architecture exemplifies how intricate a 12-foot model can get. Interestingly, there is also a similar Walt Disney model, build on the same dimensions, in the Main Street of the park. However, the later model reflects Disney Land on its opening day, in 1955.
19th Century Geneva
One of the best examples of miniature arts in the world is housed in the basement of the oldest private residence in Geneva, the Tavel House. The 400 square foot model of Geneva represents how the city looked in 1850. The details of the model are definitely going to blow your mind as rows and rows of neoclassical buildings and fortified towers illustrate amazing architectural abilities. In fact, architect, Auguste Magnin, spent more than 18 years to create the masterpiece.
The Bay Model
The Bay Model is a vast scale model of the San Francisco Bay covering nearly 1.5 acres. Constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the model was designed to study the hydrology of the area. This fully-functional mini-scale model is currently used as an educational source for visitors. The model uses hydraulics to define important elements. If you want to visit this masterpiece, it is located in the suburbs of Sausalito, just East of Golden Gate National Recreational Area.