Model making is a very important part of architecture. Even a modestly-sized building can take years to construct, and cost millions of dollars. That kind of investment requires tangible visual aids, alongside the detailed computer models of the building. So, architecture students are often tasked with building models. In a lighthearted twist on that practice, students from the Melbourne School of Design were challenged with recreating iconic buildings from the Harry Potter universe.
The models that the students constructed are being shown at an exhibition called Smoke and Mirrors, which includes eight locations from the Harry Potter universe. The students were given professional design briefs for each location, and then were split into groups to design and build each location. Those include the Weasley home, Ollivander’s magic wand shop, the bathroom where Harry finds Moaning Myrtle, and several other buildings featured in the books and movies.
The teams spent 12 days on their creations, and were only given a handful of materials to work with. Those included boxboard, tracepaper, LEDs, motors, and Arduinos to control them. The various pieces of the buildings were either laser-cut, or cut by hand. But the level of detail they were able to create with just those materials is pretty amazing. One model, the Ollivander’s wand shop, featured 700 miniature boxes that were cut by hand. Another, the bathroom, has hundreds of individual tiles. If you’re a Harry Potter fan in Melbourne, Smoke and Mirrors is definitely worth visiting.