It beat me.


Back in 2002 I spent what felt like half my life experimenting with the modelling tools used to create Half Life. My goal being to create a virtual model of my building that the viewer would have complete control over. The first time I sat in front of the game and lifted the crow bar (the basic weapon provided near the beginning of the game), my thoughts turned to destruction rather than creation. I dreamt, for reasons that are still unclear to me, of modelling the Farnsworth House and then remodelling it with few swift, deadly swings of my virtual arm1.

In the following months, during my Pigs in Space period, I began to work up a model for my final thesis project. Tom Barker from b-consultants was developing models using the same technique at the time and I visited his office so we could share notes.

But in the end it beat me. Time ran out, the model proved too complicated to finish and I wasted too much time modelling, ahem, myself, as you can see above. I shelved it and got on with the real work.

Happily, it hasn’t beaten everyone and I was delighted to find a discussion forum a few weeks ago showcasing some fantastic models of MVRDV’s VPRO building2 using the very same technique. It’s all been collated at Arch-life (thanks to for the heads up) and as well as shots of VPRO you’ll find a map to download of the exquisite (in Real Life at least) thermal baths in Vals by Peter Zumthor.

Now, where’s my crow bar?

1. or is it Tracy Island?
2. Recently Mies’ grandson got to do that for real, but on the wrong building.