A model of Irish architect Damien Murtagh's 2009 Longacres House in Portrane, Ireland, created using his Arckit modeling components.
Arckit A model of Irish architect Damien Murtagh's 2009 Longacres House in Portrane, Ireland, created using his Arckit modeling components.

Architectural models may help clients understand massing and orientation, but their production can be time- and labor-intensive. Arckit, a modeling kit conceived by Irish architect Damien Murtagh, combines modular construction and common building components on a 4-foot modular grid at 1:48 scale to help translate digital models into physical ones. The resulting kit of tiny parts—including columns, floor and wall panels, joints, railings, stairs, and trusses—adds to the list of designer-friendly tools (like Lego's version) for both building out their projects and daydreaming on the job.

Arckit is available in three versions whose part-counts are based on the total built floor area possible for the full-scale project: 60, 120, or 240 square meters. The pieces can be rendered as SketchUp components in Trimble’s 3D Warehouse. While white-colored panels that are broken only by clear plastic windows help achieve monolithic massing, users also can download two-dimensional surface cladding and finishes from Arckit’s digital library, print them on supplied self-adhering sheets, and affix them to the panels to add details such as wood flooring, terracotta, stone, and aluminum shingles. Snap-in-place construction allows the parts to be swapped in and out, altering the form and finishes of single- and multistory buildings in tandem with a client’s evolving requirements.

A panelized replication of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater residence.
Arckit A panelized replication of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater residence.

Finishes printed from Arckit's online library are applied to the modular components' surface.
Arckit Finishes printed from Arckit's online library are applied to the modular components' surface.