Letters to Leonie // #2 – Wooden Model of Manhattan

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Dear Leonie, This week I want to show you a project that I already mentioned last week Since this was the first project that I ever shared with you six months ago I think it’s the perfect way to start my content on YouTube I’m talking about the wooden model that we did of the south tip of Manhattan at Uni We received an AutoCAD file from a professor so that we had all the data we needed so for the building’s Heights roads green spaces. And those are in all the layers that I’m opening right now The buildings were color coded according to their height for orientation So yellow is buildings over 200 meters green over 150 and so on First step was the building of the elevation model out of thin wooden sheets One contour line marks the height difference of six meters So that we had the plane to place all the buildings on The second step took loads longer We printed the layout plan from the AutoCAD file, used it as orientation and also checked off all our finished buildings by writing our initials and numbers into the field of that building This is our wooden stash towards the end of the build. Remember playing with LEGOs, sometimes it was just as frustrating trying to find the right piece So we would pick the wood and cut it into the right sizes Here I filmed myself working on one building right next to Ground Zero. The building had a core piece of wood and all the other details were added in layers So here I am putting on the very first layer Every layer was then grinded down to the right thickness on the bench grinder in the background As you’ll be able to tell it had quite a few layers Every layer had to be cleaned of excess glue and had to be perfectly sanded down because once the next layer was attached we couldn’t touch the one underneath anymore without leaving marks that looked really ugly so that’s why you see myself cleaning the piece so often and so meticulously This is the finished building tower and now I have to attach all the small pieces of this building complex together. The tricky thing with those many components is managing to grind exact angles so that every piece of wood fits together perfectly Aaand yep, that inspired some tantrums and frustrations. I’m telling you. Other than that the whole project was very meditative really And those rounded bits… I had a friend of mine do those cuz no no no I was not gonna do those So next I attached the building to the actual model This was the very last building added So everything around it is already finished and in front you can see the two waterfalls on Ground Zero Those two rectangle holes. And on the right is the One World Trade Center Here you see with what technique we attached the buildings to the model We printed out the layout plan once more and cut out all the buildings so that we had something like a stencil to know what building goes where. Then the third step was filling in parks and roadside planting which was a lot of fun We overlaid a picture from Google Maps with a layout plan so that we could see where trees are Everything that basically is big enough to be shown in our model We also had to attach all the bits and bobs like ACs and water tanks etc on top of all the skyscrapers and buildings To be perfectly honest those were the details that made all the difference to make the model kind of look… more lively, look more interesting. And then we have to clean everything up. And there is the finished product! The finished model is made of beechwood. It’s at a scale at one to 1,000 meters and in total required About 400 work hours for me and my 4 co-workers I also want to thank the boyfriend of one of my co-workers who did these amazing Photoshop magic type of pictures of our model, so thanks!! 🙂 Of course right after we finished we had to play around a little bit taking lots of pictures and inserting … Godzilla!! I really hope you enjoyed this video! If you want more please subscribe and stay tuned


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