Sioux Falls, South Dakota — Aside from the size of Anthony Dyk’s buildings, there is nothing small about them.
Dyk, aged 28, is employed at TSP Inc. in the city of Sioux Falls. The company’s architects designed the Regional Science Center worth $25 million at Northern State University in Aberdeen.
However, on weekends and at night, whenever he was not at work, Dyk invested his time in constructing a scale model of the colossal building, and he managed to do it manually. He carefully assembled parts, consisting of small pieces of wood, plastic and card stocks by hand, and eventually built a miniature version of the center, copying the original building in detail.
It took Dyk 500 hours in total to complete the construction. This example represents Dyk’s obsession to which he dedicates time during his off hours — constructing elaborate scale models of his own designs, reviving a craft which was abandoned a long time ago by contemporary architects, as reported by Argus Leader.
As he presented the model in question, Dyk stated that kind of work typically took six months, admitting it had consumed all of his time, in combination with work.
Dyk’s hobby was once a common practice in his area of expertise. Before computers reformed the industry, architects used to manually construct their designs in order to demonstrate their work to their clients. Nowadays, that work is completely done on computers as that is a convenient way of illustrating building designs.
Dyk was in the inaugural class of students, assembled as a part of the new architecture program at South Dakota State University. He graduated in 2010. During his studies, he learned how to construct models manually. However, modeling was not one of his previous interests.
He claimed he did not use to build models when he was a child but that he did build Legos. Dyk actually stated he had kept collecting Legos into adulthood.
Dyk entered TSP in January 2017, with intentions of becoming a licensed architect.
However, he remembered those models he had built manually in college and decided to give them a try again. He collected the structural drawings of the building, attentively analyzing them and adapting dimensions to fit the miniature: four inches of an actual structure equals 3/32 of an inch in Dyk’s models.
He used basic materials, such as card stock, thin sheets of wood, and transparent plastic sheets for parts that are supposed to be made of glass. His tools were basic as well and involved rulers, sharp knives, and glue.
Dyk stated the materials were easily attainable and rather affordable and explained that the time represented the only major factor.
Not only did he have to manually build every small component of the miniature building, but Dyk also had to think of a way to do it. There is no such thing as an instructional manual that guides you through the process of forging small I-beams using thin layers of card stock and fragments of wood thinner than a regular toothpick.
Dyk said he had caught himself repeatedly observing actual buildings and contemplating ways of modeling them. He attempted to figure out what to build in order to imitate a certain building he had seen and make its small version.
He claimed he was contemplating modeling even when he was not doing anything about it.
During his off hours and in between larger projects, he has constructed smaller, simpler models, comparable to his other buildings as much as palate cleansers — the ones that require 10 through 50 hours of work.
TSP does not build models manually for every client. Furthermore, a design that Dyk crafts for a certain client does not imply any additional charge. However, he believes that the small, physical models have something unique to offer, a feature computer renderings do not imply: the possibility to turn the model physically in order to see at which angle light will fall and where shadows will appear.
Dyk claimed that scale was more prominent and comprehensive that way as opposed to computer renderings. He himself wants to put the extra effort into selling the ideas he is working on.
Dyk continues constructing models of other TSP designs. As for his models, they have become valuable entities of their own and are commonly put on display in executives’ offices as well as the bigger version of the buildings after which they have been modeled.
A miniature version of the Froiland Science Complex at Augustana University in Sioux Falls was one of the brilliant models. The fact that Dyk had completed the model all on his own fascinated everyone at the faculty, as well as staff, who utilize the building.
Dyk explained that talking to the teachers, professors who use the space he modeled, and seeing them recognize their offices and labs in the miniature version was rather cool. He concluded by saying that people who had been in the building had a unique experience with the model.
If you wish to learn more about Anthony Dyk, feel free to visit his official website.