Design Process Models




The opportunity afforded us to collaborate with some of the best Architects and Designers over the more than 25 years we have been model making has created the best kind of experience any firm could ask for.  We like to think that we have not come across a challenge or problem we couldn’t be excited and intrigued by.

Model making is ultimately a craft.  A great deal has changed since we created our first models out of paper.  Paper is still a great medium to create schematic massing models to highly intricate presentation models.  We are able to take a common medium such as paper and invent new ways to process it, attach it, and present it.  The use of paper in models making is becoming a lost art that we intend to keep alive.

Today we strive to pull from our requiem of materials, unique construction techniques and technological advance to create the appropriate model for our clients needs.  Our staff’s experience comes to us with a diverse set of skills and experience, from product designers, artist, and crafts people.  All have one thing in common they love to be creative and we let them.



Archival Models has a unique approach to scale model fabrication. We deliver models that stand alone, that actualize the resolve of the client’s vision. To us, this approach is a key step in the design process: we do not merely mimic the design ideas, but collaboratively strengthen them.

We work together to take your design and translate it into the language of art. The model should express more than the apparent attributes of the physical object but also it’s emotional impact and greater significance in the role of our built and natural environments.

Through the modeling process we create Art that is a representation of life, from realism to abstraction; it’s a statement on the Architect’s view of the world around him. Archival Models is the facilitator that connects the viewer with the client’s vision.



When starting a project we need collaborate with our clients on severl levels to create a stunning presentation.  From our initial meeting, we discuss the function and intent of the model.  What will be the benefits derived from the model for the client.  How will the model further the client’s project?

You will generate the information we need to build the project.  It can come in many forms, from hand sketches to complex computer generated 3D rendered models.  It has even been the case that the client just has photographs of a concept, nothing drawn or solid just an idea.  In any scenario we are able to take your information and turn into Model Construction Documents to build the model.  This process has always been our strong point, something that sets us apart from other firms.

Once a direction is decided upon we work closely with our clients to be constantly up to date with changes or additions to the design.  In most cases the information we receive is incomplete and fluid.  We have learned to adapt to our clients needs and have developed techniques of construction that are able to integrate design changes as part of the process, something that our clients appreciate and trust us to keep a project on schedule.



We have a diverse repertoire of Knowledge, Technology and Tools available to us, but the landscape is changing as never before.  We find it essential to be ahead of the curve in Processing, Information, Materials, and Ideation in order to create the perfect model for our clients.  The various types of 3D printing offer a way to create physical models but here limitations and applications are evident.  To us they are just another tool, like a laser or C & C, they just offer more options to a desired end.  If we don’t have the right tool we find it or invent a process to achieve the results we desire.

Sometimes it is as simple as an x-acto knife, paper and some glue.  Basic to complex, knowing the properties of the materials we use and investigating new ones creates options for how the model will be rendered.  Our library of material samples can be very helpful for our clients to make an informed decision about how the model will appear aesthetically.  Knowing how to manipulate and form these materials comes from years of experience and using the correct tools.

Our Studio

Professional Services

Fabricators of Precision Scale Architectural and Prototyping Models.

3D Presentation Consultation.

Plexiglas Covers for Display Cases.

Model Stands.

Presentation boards for project material selection.

Materials Specialist

Acrylic, Styrene, and various polymer materials.

Basswood, and other diverse hardwoods.

Finest quality artist papers, handmade papers, and Japanese papers.

Aluminum, stainless steel, non-ferrous metals.

Non-traditional and composite materials.


Fabrication Capabilities

Fully equipped model making fabrication studio.

C & C milling machine.

3 axis Metal milling machine.

Collaborative access to specialty equipment.


Proficient in AutoCAD, Rhino, Illustrator, Photoshop and Vectorworks.

We use both Windows and Mac platforms.

Laser Cutting and Etching

Production of model components for in-house utilization.

CAD output of drawings for in-house production and assembly.

Metal etched parts for fine detail applications.


“Tall Buildings” Exhibit;  Museum of Modern Art, New York

International Commerce Center, Hong Kong    KPF


Partial Client List

  • Kohn Pedersen Fox
  • Gensler
  • Perkins + Will
  • SOM
  • Lebbius Woods
  • HOK
  • Smith Group
  • Heller Manus Architects
  • Ratcliff Architects
  • BCJ
  • Lift Architects
  • Keating Khang Architects
  • Lundberg Architects
  • EHDD

Museum Exhibits

  • Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Skyscraper Museum, New York
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
  • Venice Biennale of Architecture, Italy
  • MOCA, Los Angeles
  • The Chicago Athenaeum
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
  • Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.
  • The Contemporary Museum of Art, Mexico City
  • Museum of Natural Science, Chicago
  • Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow

View Our Portfolio


Studio Locations


2901 Mariposa Street, Suite 8
San Francisco, CA  94110

Archival Models


606 West 17th Street
Vancouver, WA  98660

Website Designed by Roderick Weaver & Neumatic                    © Copyright Archival Models 2015