Model Home 2013 by Michael Lin and Atelier Bow-Wow

Architectural drawings of a small workers shack that featured in an exhibition in Shanghai, China, have been enlarged and used to create a full-scale replica in Auckland. This clever structure was recreated using products that were inexpensive and could almost all be recycled after the exhibition.

The visually weightless structure occupies the main hall of the Auckland Art Gallery, the home’s frame defined by panels of white paper with details of dimensions and materials suggestions printed onto their surface to indicate the possible means of building the house. paper cut outs of people and objects found inside, such as potted plants and hanging clothes, offer an idea of how the space might be occupied.

Kakapo Clears products were used extensively in the construction which was built by university students who prefabricated the timber frames so they could be quickly assembled.

Michael Lin began the ‘model home project’ in 2006, when he was observing the rapid architectural developments in China, particular in the form of towers, but what he also noted was the bounty of shack-type dwellings around the country, used to house the large community of migrant workers from the countryside. The ‘model home’ is a response this speedy construction. The Rockbund Art Museum presentation of the building has been reconstructed on this occasion in New Zealand using inexpensive materials, and represents the philosophies and working aesthetics of the three creative teams involved; the resulting ‘model home’ standing as a three-dimensional architectural drawing.

Every aspect of the design and construction sought to minimize costs and test the limits of readily available materials. The construction drawings for the Shanghai building were refined and amplified by Barrie’s team.

The structure was built by a group of architecture students who prefabricated timber frames that could quickly be assembled in the gallery. The roof structure was built only just strong enough to support its own weight, and was carefully lifted into place by riggers.

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