The process of constructing each model begins with a visit to the building if it's accessible and still standing. Photographs are taken to record the details of every aspect and from a range of viewpoints and from these, drawings are made to establish the scale of the model and to closely examine the architectural details.
Using the drawings as a basis for making, the walls are constructed from card, balsa, plastic, styrene and other materials. Windows and doors are made and glued into place; the walls are painted and then the main body of the building is fixed together on a base. The roof structure is put in place and covered to simulate the cladding of the actual building.
In every project, care is taken to ensure that details such as downpipes, verandahs, guttering, colours and surfaces are replicated as accurately as possible to provide you with a building just as you know it!
Your Scaled Down house will be rigidly glued, built to the best specifications and compliant with all building code regulations (well, some of them).
Altrive, built in 1897 for William Donald, is an imposing residence in Waipounamu in rural Southland and a significant example of a late Victorian villa.
The aesthetic of the exterior is a mix of styles - the design is eclectic and eye-catching. The architectural value of Altrive lies in the richness of a mostly unaltered interior and exterior of this late Victorian villa. Designed by Invercargill architectural partnership Mackenzie and Gilbertson, the villa is a good example of their residential work.
Whilst now requiring extensive restoration and repair, Altrive is still lived in and it remains a noteworthy building with a fascinating history and a strong family attachment.
Currently being built in one of the newer subdivisions developed since the 2011 earthquakes, this spacious family home has five bedrooms and plenty of living space. Right now it's under construction and its owners expect to be living there before Christmas.
The model is being constructed from the plans and the hope is to beat the builders to finish...
Once a grand two storey residence with deep sash windows and imposing gables, this house was badly damaged in the earthquakes of 2011 and in recent times it has been demolished.
Additions to both front and rear of the building made at various times during its 150 or so years provided garage space, more rooms, and a number of doors and windows of varying styles and in sometimes unusual places. These structural changes significantly altered the appearance and character of this Victorian house.
Comfortable, secluded and well built - with more than a hint of modernism in the details, this house has been home to its owners for quite some time. As they prepare to move on, they have decided to have a model made as a memento and a reminder of happy years spent here.
'Kapunatiki' was built in the mid-nineteenth century near to the sea and close to the settlement of Rangitata in South Canterbury. Surrounded by acres of arable land it is still used as a farmhouse today, but one with a significant slice of history attached to it. It was bought in 1879 by William Rolleston, a politician, educationalist, public administrator and Canterbury provincial superintendent. Rolleston died here in 1903 and a statue erected in his honour is to be seen outside the Canterbury Museum.
Having been a family home for many years, this house was damaged nearly seven years ago in the Christchurch earthquakes and only now is approaching demolition to make way for a new build on the site. It started life as a bungalow from the 1930s but since then it has been added to numerouse times to keep pace with family needs.
Steeply gabled with three dormer windows on the first floor, this brick house which has been a family home for a considerable time has now become too large for its owners, who are making plans to 'downsize'. Situated on a rear section the house has a sense of quiet seclusion enhanced by the outdoor living areas and the sensitively planted garden spaces.
The model has been commissioned to be a reminder of happy years spent at number 342.
Although foreign to the thinking of most New Zealanders, the terraced house is a common feature of all British towns and cities. Originating in16th Century Europe they provide medium density housing with identical facdes and shared side walls. In Victorian England tens of thousands of terraced houses were built in London as the city expanded rapidly.
The terrace style spread widely in Britain and became the usual form of residential housing up until World War II, although the need for individuality inspired a variation of facade details and floor-plans that were reversed with those of each neighbouring pair.
This model is being made for a London client who has spent most of his last thirty years living in a beautiful example of the style.
Like many buildings of the 1920s, this bungalow style house in Wellington has had a number of modifications and additions to extend the living spaces out onto a deck, to provide more rooms and greater access to the outdoors.
A bungalow which has all the features associated with the style from the mid 1920s, this house has leadlight windows, a slate roof, shingled gables and bay windows at the front. Over the years it has undergone a number of alterations to suit the changing needs of its owners and it has become a very spacious family home.
These apartments planned for construction in early 2017 are part of a group of three buildings which will form a dynamic and varied trio of inner city apartments, each offering high specifications. Designed by Stufkens and Chambers,they represent a point of difference with the other two blocks on the site and part of an exciting new phase of the Christchurch rebuild.
Situated on a narrow strip of land with the sea at its back and the Avon Heathcote Estuary at the end of the garden, the house looked directly out onto the water providing stunning views and a lifestyle to match.
The earthquakes of 2011 dealt severely to the area leaving a great many of the homes no longer safe and like this one, red-zoned and awaiting demolition.
'The World Capital Germania', refers to the projected renewal of Germany's capital Berlin by the Nazis - part of Hitler's vision for the future of Germny after the planned victory in Worl War II. Albert Speer, 'the first architect of The Third Reich' produced a number of plans from which a model was constructed. Only a small portion of the project was built between the years 1937 and 1943 when construction was under way.
The Olympic Stadium for the 1936 Summer Olympics was to be the first step in the construction of Germania, followed by The Arch of Triumph, The Avenue of Splendours and the large domed structure. 'The People's Hall' designed by Hitler himself which would have been the largest structure of its type in the world.
This model is being made for quite a different purpose - but more of that later...
Designed by Wilson and Hill for developer Grant McKinnon, the eleven storey West Kilmore apartment building and the adjacent Rakaia Building are two of the three new inner city apartment blocks in a large development taking place close to Cranmer Square.
Built by the owners on a farm which overooks a beautiful bay at Takamatua, this house has a character of its own that fits well into the rural context of a farmhouse by the sea.
The dormer windows, veranda and the vertically placed timbers in natural colours reflect the colonial architecture which is still to be seen in the area.
The established inner city furnishing store McKenzie and Willis was in that part of city which was badly affected by the 2011 earthquakes, and along with many of the neighbouring buildings, it has been demolished. The original three storey stone facade designed by the England brothers in 1909 has however, been retained by developer Richard Peebles with a view to incorporating it into the new structure and retaining its links with the past.
A $50m complex of five buildings around courtyards and Melbourne-style laneways will be erected behind the historic McKenzie and Willis facade. This massive project has been made possible by the signing up of high-tech tenants the Wynyard Group, a Jade spin-off, to Christchurch's Innovation Precinct. The company's base is now in Canterbury Technology Park in Burnside.
Built from Kauri in 1899 for a 78 year old bachelor, McLean’s Mansion as it is now called was designed by the England brothers in the Jacobean style. Once the largest wooden building in New Zealand, this huge residence comprises 53 rooms including 19 bedrooms, nine bathrooms and six servant rooms. The interior fittings featured beautifully coffered ceilings, elaborate plaster mouldings, finely crafted balustrades and richly decorated newel posts on the stairs.
Sadly, the building suffered extensive damage during the 2011 earthquakes and despite exhaustive efforts by its owners to safeguard the future of this Category 1 Heritage building,it is by no means secure.
Like many New Zealand suburban homes, this weatherboard house with its distinctive dormer windows over the garage has been extended to accommodate a growing family and the changing lifestyle of its owners. More extensions are planned to enable a greater amount of space to be available at the rear of the house.
This house is also home to an artist whose studio is located at the rear. In this model, the roof of the studio will lift off to reveal his work in progress inside.
One of the older buildings in St Martins and thought to date back to around 1865, this charming character house which has undergone a number of additions and modifications over time, suffered damage during the Christchurch earthquakes which is not easily seen on first inspection. The violent shifts in the earth left the building no longer square on its foundations and judged to be beyond repair. Four years on and this much loved family home with its curved veranda is still due for demolition.
Still evident in the original part of the house are the wide floorbards secured by flat iron nails, ebony door plates and beautifully worked Kauri woodwork.
Perched high on an outcrop of rock at the entrance to Sumner, this house, like so much of the seaside town, suffered badly from the effects of the earthquakes of 2010-11. Known as 'The Rock', the house was the extreme point of Moa Bone Spur -Te Pou O Tutaemaro - the place of Tutaemaro, an ancient Ngai Tahu explorer. No longer habitable, it has now been demolished.
Arthur Davies, grandfather of the current owner built the original home which was completed in 1912, overlooking the estuary. A gun emplacement was built by the back door to be used in the event of a Japanese invasion of Sumner. The house has remained in the family and plans to celebrate its centenary in 2012 were cut short by the earthquakes.
Remembered for its panoramic views out to sea from the verandah and its spacious interior, it was a much cherished home and a peaceful sanctuary in all weathers.
With earthquake damaged buildings demolished and sites cleared, Christchurch city has entered the rebuilding phase. Like many of the new buildings seen in the central city this complex of two large office blocks connected by an air-bridge, an initiative of property developers The Peebles Group, combines a steel grid construction with curtain glass.
Sustainable design features include large areas of glazing with sunshades designed to maximise solar energy efficiency.The design uses low damage structural engineering design principles which increase the likelihood that the building can be repaired after a large earthquake.
The overriding aim has been to create an attractive and enjoyable complex where people can work and relax.
After enjoying this spacious family home in the heart of Fendalton, its owners of 30 years were forced to leave the property after it was severely damaged by the second major earthquake to hit Christchurch in February 2011.
Although the house was demolished and the section cleared, plans are now under way for a new building which will occupy the same footprint on the site as the original house.
This grand 30-room timber house was built in 1861 by Charles Wyatt, a member of the Provincial Council. Since then, the property has been home to Maurice Harris, a merchant, and later F H Pyne, who established Pyne & Co, which became Pyne Gould Guinness (Pyne installed the imposing staircase in the entrance foyer, constructed in Scotland from New Zealand kauri, believed to have been taken to Britain as ship ballast).
The building has been added to over the years to cope with its changing needs and gradual expansion. The most recent of these additions is the owners' accommodation block and garage which is situated at the rear of the property.
The most complex and demanding model to date, Eliza's has been an enjoyable challenge!
Awhitu House, built in 1878 at Taumutu, situated near the shores of Lake Ellesmere at the southern end of Kaitorete Spit, was the family home of Huriwhenua and Tini Taiaroa. As the MP for Southern Maori, Huriwhenua Taiaroa was an influential figure in both Maori and Pakeha worlds and this house became the scene of many important gatherings and the residence of successive paramount chiefs of Ngai Tahu.
Designed by Christchurch architect Robert Munroe in the early fifties, the Memorial Chapel at St Andrew's College demonstrates a number of the characteristics of the English Medieval and Gothic style. With its traditional cruciform layout, butressed tower, steep gables and stained glass windows this red-brick building standing by the river and set apart from the busy life of the school, was a place of worship, reflection and celebration.
Harmed beyond repair by the recent earthquakes, it is soon to be demolished and replaced by a chapel of a more contemporary design which will embody the values, history and traditions of the college.
A relatively recent house designed by the late Peter Beavan, 392 Oxford Terrace was in part, a contemporary interpration of the Victorian cottage which played such a significant part in our architectural heritage.
This was also a particularly striking example of Beavan's work combining simple, functional living spaces with an unexpected change of angle at the rear to make best use of sun and section. Practicality and refinement appear to have been successfully merged in this beautiful family home.
One of the more iconic and architecturally significant church buildings in Christchurch before the earthquakes of 2010, Oxford Terrace Baptist Church, which dated back to 1881 was designed by local architect Edward J Saunders in the then popular Classical Revival style which had its origins in the architecture of ancient Greece.
Sited prominantly at the corner of Oxford Terrace and Madras Street overlooking the river Avon, it was seriously damaged in the September earthquake and then broken beyond repair in the following February. Sadly, all that was left as a reminder of the impressive Classical facade were its smashed cornice and the remnants of its columns and their Ionic capitals
Special thanks to Sam Leary for his generosity and expertise in turning the wooden columns and to Alec from Acorn Models for sourcing some of the appropriate components for the classical facade.
Built in 1905, this elegant brick villa with its twin gables and return veranda has a host of elaborate features which mark it as a classic of the period: decorative tiling, stained glass, ceiling roses, ornate veranda brackets, cast fire surrounds and beautifully detailed exterior mouldings running beneath the guttering the length of the walls.
The house is now finished and ready to be boxed. Special thanks go to Ross Manson of Frame Engraving, without whose laser cutting expertise the lacework on the veranda would never have been so finely and accurately detailed!
The model got under way with drawings made to make sense of the details. Designed by the builder, the house went though a number of significant modifications to the plans and the roof in particular, became increasingly complex as the build took place, so the original plans and elevations don't quite match the house as it was made on the site...
The arrangement of projecting and intersecting planes and the essentially organic nature of the design have combined to make this a challenging but satisfying house to model...
A classic red brick and tile house of the 1950s, this was a much cherished home until the effects of the earthquakes made the land unstable and the building no longer safe to live in. Destined for demolition, it is one of many in its part of the city which will soon be gone.
One of the features that marks the era is the decorative pointing in black and white between the bricks.
The model is now completed with the tiled roof made, its fascia boards, guttering and downpipes in place. The final details also included the wrought iron railing on the patio and the handrails at the doors.
The Lyttelton Police Station building of 1880 was the oldest surviving station in New Zealand until the significant earthquake damage it sustained in 2010 brought an end to the working life of this fine Italianate Lyttelton building. It comprises a symmetrical main block made from brick overlaid with a layer of plaster; and a brick jail with outbuildings at the rear.
This project began with initial drawings made to establish the scale and then the main body of the building was completed. Sited on a hill like most buildings in Lyttelton, the police station was fixed to a sloping base along with the jail and outbuildings at the rear.
The fire escape with its return staircase was attached to the side of the building, the chimney pots fixed in place, the jail added and the charming Victorian lamp with its blue light is attached over the door to complete the project.
And just in case you can't read the poster on the front wall...