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Reinventing the Building \

Reinventing the Building was part of a series of events that explored new designs, technologies, products and practical solutions that could better meet future social and environmental needs. An exhibition by Hawkins\Brown explored how architectural models can help re-imagine how we build to meet these needs.

The progression through the exhibits transitioned from the traditional scaled, highly resolved craftsmen’s presentation model, to the more abstract concept models built from ideas and atmosphere. These were followed by a collection of physically manifested digital models in the form of powder and plastic 3D prints and the most cutting edge virtually manifested digital design models.

Our exhibition of 76 physical models, one beautifully rendered virtual reality model and one highly intelligent augmented reality analysis model explored how different modelling scales and techniques allow us to investigate everything from spatial ideas and atmospheric qualities, to the path of the sun and the flowrates of cooling fans. This demonstrated how in the present day we are able to refine projects at full scale in digitally modelled environments whilst in close collaboration with engineers and the wider design team.

The exhibition team worked collaboratively with numerous specialist design groups within Hawkins\Brown – bringing together the digital studio and model makers with the sustainability experts to piece together the exhibition schedule. The exhibition team also collaborated externally with building physics specialists ‘Elementa Consulting’ to produce interactive augmented reality models of our live projects to be used by the audience on the night of the event.

On the night we also demonstrated how emerging digital fabrication techniques are creating a more direct connection between architectural modelling and the manufacturing process by live 3D printing the façade of Chatham House and presented how this relationship can be taken further with parametric modelling techniques to establish a 1:1 scale design and manufacture model that was used to design and build the WikiHouse structural system in our development of the Gantry at Here:East.

Sean Allen and Jake Atwood-Harris of Hawkins\Brown were also in conversation with Antonio D’Aquilio of Elementa Consulting and the Chatham House team to record a podcast on the subject of the ‘Building Model’ and report on the night’s events.

“You have created a step-change in our exhibition style that was very much noticed by Chatham House leadership. It was a pleasure to work with you.”

Marjorie Buchser Strategy Lead, Hoffman Centre

The feedback from the exhibition was fantastic, with the Chatham House leadership explaining how it was ‘a step change in our exhibition style’ and ‘was by far the best exhibition that they’ve ever had’, and an RIBA representative confessed that ‘the quality of the exhibition could compete with that of the current Royal Academy Summer Show’. The V&A museum’s research department have also requested to collaborate on a current research project and we hope to work further with Chatham House on future speaker and exhibition events.

We would like to thank Marjorie Buchser, Simone Cooper-Searle, Sam Airey and Anne-Marie Benoy for their fantastic hospitality at Chatham House and skilled coordination in putting together the exhibition and Antonio D’Aquilio of Elementa Consulting for taking the time to present their fascinating model superbly at the event. We would also like to thank the speakers at the ‘Reinventing the Building’ event:

Julie Hirigoyen Chief Executive Officer, UK Green Building Council
Alan Knight General Manager, Corporate Sustainability, ArcelorMittal
Ginger Krieg Dosier Chief Executive Officer & Founder, bioMASON
Alex Sparrow Director, UK Hempcrete
Anthony Thistleton Founder & Director, Waugh Thistleton Architects
Bernice Lee Executive Director, Hoffmann Centre for Sustainable Resource Economy, Chatham House

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