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Designed while at OMA

The Faena Forum District includes a Performance Space, Retail Bazaar, and a Car Park. The Bazaar is

a renovation of the historic Atlantic Beach Hotel, built in 1939. During my time at OMA, this project

was in its Construction Document phase. I was responsible for completing detailed technical drawings,

collecting material specifications, producing content for presentation, and completing a variety of

design studies that looked at reconciling initial concept aspirations with constructability challenges.



Vienna, Austria - 2012

It is the 21st Century, the digital age, the age of zoom. Much of the world works remotely or in some form of hybridized schedule and virtual interface is the norm. How do we design in this new era? Is physical model-making an outdated and irrelevant tool for design?

Having the ability to conduct material and formal explorations through physical modelling is an invaluable component of design and essential to innovation. It can augment our capacity as designers and is physical expression, exhibiting to clients, visitors, as well as ourselves our creative process. In an increasingly digital age, the ability to design through physical craft; the opportunity for a tactile and real connection to form is vitally important.

At Coop Himmelb(l)au, I spent four months as a model maker. My work was a hybrid of advanced rapid-prototyping blended with traditional model making techniques. Along with building a 3 meter tall model of the Bank of Azerbaijan, along with numerous study models for its design development, I built several presentation models of completed projects to be displayed at 2012 exhibition in Berlin.

Model of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan

Facade of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan

The images to the left are the design for the Hanging Gardens in the Atrium of the Tower. The models were constructed by 3D printing the skeletal structure, then laser cutting the panels. These were meant to represent perforated metal panels and structural steel, so everything was painted silver. By lighting the models from different angles, it becomes apparent how light (both natural and artificial) can interact with the hanging garden. 

Test Models for the design of the Atrium's Hanging Gardens

In the 21st century, physical models remain invaluable in architecture design as tactile, tangible representations provide a holistic understanding of spatial relationships and design concepts. Despite technological advancements, physical models offer architects and stakeholders a tangible and collaborative tool, fostering a deeper connection with the design process and enhancing communication of ideas in a multidimensional manner.

Atrium Interior of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan

Photos Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au 

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