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The Art of Scale in Construction: A Miniature House

Updated: Nov 8, 2022



If you are a student or construction professional, you will know the hours of study and experience that are needed to achieve the necessary knowledge on a construction site, but have you ever thought about learning to build in a more intuitive and entertaining way from home before going out to practice in the professional world? Here we explain a little. Studio Destto is a YouTube channel created by a group of architects and engineers that teaches the principles of architecture and construction using miniature pieces. You will discover videos of how to make mini tools for construction and all the processes you need to build a house from scratch. Although they are made on a small scale, we use real construction methods and in this post, we will describe step by step one of our latest projects and what is the process of this incredible miniature tower house. To begin with this project, the design of the "tower house" created by the group of architects "GLUCK +" was taken as a reference. The idea was so unusual and magnificent that we took this great work as a starting point, adapted it and designed it in the “Destto style”.

Once the design is finished, we gather the necessary materials such as miniature bricks, sand, cement, wood, glass, cardboard and many others that you can see in the video.

We made a box covered with sand to simulate the terrain of the construction of the project and we began with the marking and excavation of the foundations, we made the structure of the foundation footing structure, beams and columns and stirrups made with wire. Having the structures ready we proceed to the location and tie the entire foundation structure.

Once the foundation structure is made, we proceed to make concrete with cement, sand and water (2: 1: 1), We do the respective casting process and wait one day for it to take consistency, the next day we proceed to place the formwork made of acrylic that we designed ourselves and that will form the first columns with the concrete and the structural steel rebar.

Throughout the process we are assembling and pouring the concrete in each of the structures that are required according to the design, do not forget that since there is more than one level we must leave a section in the columns free of concrete to tie the following ones. The structure of this complex design took a full week to complete and is documented and summarized in the video.

We make the concrete slab with a welded wire mesh that works as a structure and then we pour the concrete.

The design has a large cantilever, and we must create a structure that supports it, this we will make a metal column in "V" using a 3D pencil and some metal tubes and thus support with this cantilever.

The next step is the pouring of the concrete slab; For this, we use "Steel Deck" made with a thin sheet of metal that we folded and recreated its shape. Remember, when working on such small scales, there are things that just need a lot of patience and care.

Once the entire structure of the project is finished, we proceed to the installation of clay bricks for the creation of the walls. We manufacture these small bricks according to the necessary requirements and we are sure that it will be very entertaining to see in fast motion how they are installed on top of each other. But it still does not end here, at the same time that the clay bricks are installed you will see how plastic straws and cables, they work for the electrical installation that will give light to this incredible house.

Once all the walls have been installed, we proceed to plaster them to have better finishes, for this, we first apply the mortar to all the walls and after polishing them and waiting for them to dry, we proceed to apply the stucco with a small trowel and let it dry a few hours and sand it with sandpaper.

Do you remember the electrical installation? Well, for now, it will be the protagonist of this trajectory, you will see how with cardboard, cables and some LED lights connected to each other, we create small lamps that will be connected to this electrical installation.

But first, we installed the drywall structure made of cardboard and covered with white contact paper, now we can install the lights, all this to make a more impressive project.

From this point, you will see some of the architectural finishes that will give the project essence and aesthetics, for example, the stairs located at the back that we made with cardboard and wood to give it a more modern contrast. You will see the installation of wooden floors and concrete steps that decorate the main entrance of this house, and of course, it will have its doors, which we will also teach you how to create.

Remember, it is a project with four levels, in the upper part you will see a large terrace that we cover with small clay slabs and we apply a tile nozzle, we clean the excess, and we have an architectural finish. At this point you can imagine the days of work that we have to dedicate to create a house at the most realistic scale possible, now imagine a real construction.

Now we go into the last details, the terrain is only sand and we know that nature plays an important role in the harmony of the projects, that is why we replaced the sandy soil with grass. After this, we make the windows, for the creation of these we use black painted cardboard and glass, with the cardboard pieces we create a mould that is perfectly assembled with the glass.

We finished the process and making the recording of this project day and night, where you will be able to appreciate the house in its maximum splendour and the lights that accompany it.

The project was a great challenge for us, we did it in five weeks with all its details, the result shows us what we do with love and dedication, we give our best every day to offer quality content and be able to enjoy it.

Friends and colleagues, we hope you liked this post about the process and experience of this magnificent project, and it caught your attention, at Studio Destto we are happy every day to receive motivational messages, we want to take this content to different parts of the world and show you how entertaining and educational scale construction can be, is the goal that motivates us to continue developing this and many more projects we have for the future.

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We thank “Structures Insider” for giving us the opportunity and space to reach more people through this medium and we hope that they will continue with us in this project by visiting our YouTube channel where we will continue showing new projects and answering all their questions. Best regards. Studio Destto.


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