Cut-away view of turbines and sluice gates

Designed and constructed within two weeks for a presentation at the House of Commons, the main problem we had with this model wasn’t the tight deadline but how best to show an underwater view of the power generating turbines at the heart of this renewable energy project. We also had to illustrate different water levels on the inside and seaward side of the lagoon structure. Our solution was to create the water as a thin clear layer with a sprayed on rippled, surface finish and then cut out large viewing “windows” on either side of the turbine structure. This allowed clear low angle views through the turbines as can be seen from the inset pic above.

With remote controlled illumination of water.

This simple but eye catching model was commissioned to illustrate the size and position of two proposed tidal lagoons in the Bristol Channel. The lagoons are designed to generate renewable energy by harnessing the rise and fall of the tides in an area that has the second highest tidal range in the world. The topography is represented as a stylized contour map (with exaggerated vertical scale) laser-cut from white acrylic sheet. The water is shown as blue acrylic with LED edge-lighting to add visual interest. The LEDs can be set to varying brightness and colour using a hand held remote control (visible on the front edge of the model in the main pic above).

White styled model showing internal room layout.

We produced two conventional housing models last month but this small model was a bit different, showing the internal room layout of the four standard designs on offer in a large apartment block. The stylised internal modelling is considerably less expensive than realistic colour and detail but still gives a clear indication of room function and spatial organization within the apartment. At 1:50 scale the model base is less than a metre long so doesn’t require too much space in a sales office.

David Cameron views two of our models


A few days after completing these two white styled models we were surprised (and pleased) to discover they had been the focal point for a presentation to David Cameron about the Swansea Lagoons tidal energy project (apparently they couldn’t tell us beforehand for security reasons). The models are both at 1:1000 scale and show two different areas of the lagoon structure. The largest model shows the leisure facilities where the lagoon wall joins the mainland whilst the small model shows where the turbines generate electricity from the twice daily rise and fall of the tide (the Bristol Channel has the second highest tidal range in the world). If you click on the images to enlarge them you’ll see that even at this small scale (1mm represents 1 metre) we can show a high level of detail.

 White styled model showing detailed atrium interior










After commissioning the site model shown in the previous post, the client decided they also needed a larger scale model to illustrate the most exciting element of their proposed new design – the full height atrium that anchors the two main wings of the building. The larger scale means it is much easier to appreciate the dramatic space created by the atrium enclosure, which features viewing galleries, multi-level bridge links, and subtle layering of the internal elevations. To allow all round views through to the atrium, the main wings of the building were modelled as cut-way sections. This also helped emphasise that the central space was the main focus of the model.