What Happens When F1 Car Designers Build Architectural Models

By Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan on at

UK architects Smout Allen, together with Gizmodo US EIC Geoff Manaugh, tapped an unlikely source to help create their new exhibition in London: Williams F1. But, in this case, the engineers at Williams weren't building the advanced race cars they're well-known for—they were 3D-printing the parts for an intricate model of an experimental energy storage park.

What Happens When F1 Car Designers Build Architectural Models

So, what are we looking at here? It's a concept model of the Flywheel Reservoir, a proposed reserve-energy park for the coast of Kent, where excess energy from the world's largest wind farm—the London Array—could be stored in a subterranean park of hybrid-power flywheels (a technology Williams is well-known for).

On Williams' operational model, those flywheels are the repetitive bits—printed in their high-tech fab lab.

What Happens When F1 Car Designers Build Architectural Models

Other incredible models abound, too. One shows the Nottingham caves, 3D-printed in relief. How did the team generate a realistic model? With a huge set of laser-scanning data from the Nottingham Caves Survey and some extra help from the U.K.-based ScanLAB Projects, of course.

What Happens When F1 Car Designers Build Architectural Models

Check out images from the show below—it's easy to see the future of fabrication and model-building in each project, which makes it well worth a peek.