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Mies van der Rohe Mansion House Square Architectural RIBA Model Conservation and Restoration Works

our passion and attention to detail generate engaging exhibition design solutionssma's interior design studios creates stylish and timeless interiors that express the client’s individuality
we have found this model repair and moving service so useful, sma design are quick to respond and never disappoint - Strutt & Parker

Architectural Model Packing, Transport & Moving

Over the last 20 years, SMA design have designed & evolved architectural model packing cases with design origins based in the museum world. These special museum packing cases are used by our team to move priceless artefacts all over the globe.

One of the most likely times in an architectural models life to suffer damage, will be whilst moving from one location to another. Of course, it would be preferable to never move an architectural model. The reality is that this is never going to happen. Architects need to show their projects to project developers, planning committees and the public.

Many companies make packing cases or crates for all kinds of objects. However none use our methodology and specialist experience in the packing of architectural models.

Generally, no two architectural models are the same. So how you pack them will differ also. The most appropriate and finest packing methodology should take in account the architectural models individual construction; materials, age, fragility, value, how and where they will be travelling to.

Many companies make packing cases but make many mistakes in their construction for packing architectural models.
This architectural model has been packed with pressure being applied to a section of its base, whilst if you look carefully a section of the foam has been cut away to bridge delicate foliage and water.
architectural models packed and held in conditioned storage ready for shipping.
Architectural model packing cases can be used many times
If your architectural model is moving locally then it is possible to move safely without a packing case
2.6 meter architectural model transported and reassembled for a property exhibition in Harrods
Four towers and a podium make up this model move (without packing cases) in total the model stands just over 2.6 meters.
This architectural model was de-assembled and transported out of the building

On many occasions SMA design team have been asked to restore or conserve models which have been shipped to us by reputable international transport companies or model makers. Surprisingly all make many fundamental errors. These mistakes greatly affect their suitability; here are just a few examples;

  • inappropriate packing materials or foam
  • wrong density of packing foam (either to firm which allows vibration to pass straight into the model or to soft to offer proper protection)
  • packing materials are not inert (allowing a build-up of unwanted chemical gases)
  • no seals between opening panels to stop ingress of water or damp
  • wrong materials used to construct packing cases
  • to weak construction materials
  • no anti shock systems fitted – if a palate truck is used heavy handily then any jarring or impact enters the construction of box is transmitted directly into the architectural model
  • no markings for repacking the object
  • too much flexibility that allows the structure of the packing case to twist distorting the model inside
  • no inert coating to the construction material for either weather protection or dirt penetration

Once these and many others considerations are addressed. It then comes down to the skill and experience of the person who is packing the architectural models. It is SMA design’s expertise, combined to the unique qualities of each packing case. That gives your architectural model the very best chance of making it safely to its next destination.

Of course if your model is only moving locally, then normally it won’t require a model packing case. SMA design use special purpose built sledges running on braked rubber wheels. We keep carrying of architectural models to absolute minimum for a number of reasons.

When architectural models are carried it hugely increases the chance of damage down to poor handling. One of the main reasons for this is that model makers (technicians) moving the architectural models don’t want their fingers trapped underneath these heavy items. This means they let go of the model to early or at the wrong moment and the model is broken.

Our model moving sledges are reinforced not to flex under heavy loads.They have a top surface with 50mm (2 inch) of medium destiny packing foam keeping both model and moving team fingers perfectly safe. This also stop shock and vibration entering the model whilst being moved.

So if your architectural model that has to be packed or transported safely to its next location. Whilst keeping the risk of damage to absolute minimum. Then why not speak with our team who will be able to give you expert knowledge on the best approach to transporting your model.

the difference is in the detail

T +44 (0)208 467 4642

Architectural Services

Architectural Model Repairs
Model Condition Reports
Writing Architectural Model Briefs
Insurance Condition Reports
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Model Project Management
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Model Moving
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