I profess an interest in things unusual, so when I recently met Dean Zoyes of Zoyes East and he mentioned that he worked in the ‘dead’ field of architectural model making, I was intrigued. You know, those cool miniatures that you see of new buildings and developments? Dean is one of a handful of people that specializes in building them. Dean works with industrial, corporate, retail and community development clients, but we thought we would focus on the work he does with residential homeowners and builders, as that is the aspect that most closely aligns with miOaklandCounty.com‘s readership. On a completely obscure note, (and hopefully not demeaning of his professional accomplishments) Dean was once called upon to consult a Food Network chef on the construction of a gingerbread house.
How many architectural model makers are there in Michigan?
We have a six person shop. We are the only full service architectural model shop with in house laser cutting.
Tell us about some of the interesting homes you have done, locally?
We did a custom new build contemporary home for a client of Victor Saroki and Associates in Bloomfield Hills. The owners used it to show the house to friends and contractors before the home was built last year. Models like this are done in all white to communicate the form of the home.
A unique assignment for us was actually for a home that is being torn down. The Ford family commissioned us to build a model of the Josephine Ford estate before it was demolished for Elena Ford’s new residence.
Why would a builder have a model made for a single family home?
A builder typically does them for multi home developments, like those built by Pulte and Toll Brothers. We have also been working on lofts, midrise and high rise residential buildings.
How long does it take you to build one of these?
4 to 6 weekss. It is a very time consuming process. High rise residential buildings usually take 8 to 10 weeks.
What is involved in the process?
We get the drawings, plans, sections and elevations from the architect. We turn those images into laser cut parts. Paper, acrylic and cardboard and a whole host of top secret materials. We assemble it from there.
What kind of training does it take to become an architectural model maker?
We hire those with degrees in architecture and industrial designers.
What cool projects are you working now?
The new Smith Terminal at Metro Airport. A multi-building lifestyle center north of Dallas contracted by JPRE. Woodward Tributes, light wands that will be up and down Woodward that are tributes to the automotive and musical heritage of Detroit. And a Toll Brothers residential project.
Got any funny model making stories to share with us?
Well, there was the time when the exacto knife was rolling off of the table and I thought it would be a good idea to catch it with my shoe. Stood straight up. Luckily it went no further than my shoe.
Are the little cars made in Detroit?
We buy them from a company in New Jersey.
To see more of Dean’s work, take a look at architecturalmodel.com.
[tags]architectural model, dean zoyes, zoyes east[/tags]