Published titles > Architecture > An Alphabet of Architectural Models
An Alphabet of Architectural Models cover image
UK £25.00
US $37.95
Soft flexi binding
128 pages
88 illustrations
22 x 17 cm (8.75 x 6.75 in)
ISBN: 978-1-8589-4697-9
An Alphabet of Architectural Models

Edited by Olivia Horsfall Turner, Simona Valeriani, Matthew Wells and Teresa Fankhänel

For thousands of years, architects have used models to invent, experiment and communicate. A world in miniature, such models are even more varied in their purposes and materials than their full-scale counterparts. This elegant book explores the fascinating nature of the architectural model through 26 illustrated essays, one for each letter of the alphabet. Unbound by the practicalities of life-size construction, models allow architects the flexibility and freedom to think in three dimensions. Whether made for purely speculative exercises or to solve a specific problem, they are aids to the imagination. Equally, they can be used as detailed representations of particular places, either built or as yet unrealized, in order to convey information to patrons or the public. Models also have a vibrant life outside the architect’s office, including as souvenirs, architectural fragments displayed in museums, and toys for children and adults alike. Written by architects, model-makers, curators, conservators and scholars, the texts in this absorbing Alphabet explore such fundamental issues as modelling materials and techniques, scale, and the role of the model in the design process. They also go beyond conventional accounts to look at models under the X-ray machine, their use in film, and edible models. The result is a wide-ranging, original account of the multiple lives of the architectural model.


An accessible, engaging overview of the history and current practice of architectural models, written by a variety of experts

Beautifully designed, in a compact format with soft flexi binding

Published to coincide with an exhibition opening in September 2021 at the Building Centre in London

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Author Profiles

Dr Olivia Horsfall Turner, FSA, is an architectural historian, author and broadcaster. She is Senior Curator of Designs at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London, and the V&A’s Lead Curator for the V&A + RIBA Architecture Partnership.

Dr Simona Valeriani is Senior Tutor on the V&A/Royal College of Art History of Design Postgraduate Programme. 

Dr Matthew Wells is a Lecturer at the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (GTA), ETH Zurich.

Dr Teresa Fankhänel is a Curator at the Architekturmuseum der Technischen Universität, Munich.

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A is for ANCIENT by Ulrike Fauerbach, Professor of Architectural History and Historical Construction at the Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg 

B is for BUILDING by Biba Dow and Alun Jones of Dow Jones Architects 

C is for CORK by Helen Dorey, Deputy Director and Inspectress of Sir John Soane’s Museum, London

D is for DIGITAL by Angel Fernando Lara Moreira, Head of Digital Prototyping at the Architectural Association, London

E is for EXHIBITION by Spencer de Grey, Senior Executive Partner at Foster + Partners 

F is for FILM by Sarine Waltenspül, postdoctoral researcher at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste

G is for GYPSUM by Mari Lending, Professor of Architectural History and Theory at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design

H is for HAND by Oliver Elser, Curator at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main

I is for INSPIRATION by Roz Barr of Roz Barr Architects  

J is for JUNK by Martin Hartung, doctoral researcher at ETH Zurich 

K is for KIT by Vanessa Norwood, Creative Director of the Building Centre, London 

L is for LANDSCAPE by Isabelle Warmoes, Curator at the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, Paris

M is for MAKING by George Rome Innes, model-maker 

N is for NARRATIVE by Nikos Magouliotis, doctoral research student at ETH Zurich

O is for ONE to ONE by Mary S. Morgan, Albert O. Hirschman Professor of History and Philosophy of Economics at the London School of Economics

P is for PAPER by Giovanni Santucci, postdoctoral researcher at the Università di Pisa 

Q is for QUICK by Rawden Pettitt, Associate Director of Stanton Williams Architects 

R is for REPRESENTATION by Ralf Liptau, architectural historian

S is for SIMULATION by Hermann Schlimme, Professor of Architectural History at the Technische Universität Berlin

T is for TOYS by Charles Hind, Chief Curator and H.J. Heinz Curator of Drawings at the Royal Institute of British Architects, London

U is for URBAN by Patrick Mckeogh, Managing Director of Pipers Model Makers

V is for VIRTUAL by ScanLAB Projects 

W is for WOOD by Barnabas Calder, Senior Lecturer in Architectural History at the University of Liverpool

X is for X-RAY by Lisa Nash, Senior Conservator at the Royal Institute of British Architects

Y is for YUMMY by Mark Morris, Head of Teaching and Learning at the Architectural Association

Z is for ZOOM by Davide Deriu, Reader in Architectural History and Theory at the University of Westminster

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