Every building begins with an idea. Building a model makes the idea tangible. Viewed as a complete structure, proportion and detail come into focus.
Quick sketches on a paper napkin over dinner, refined in the sketchbook as the idea takes form in the mind, firming up plans and elevations on paper or with graphic software. Modeling provides a means of understanding a complex structure hidden under layers of other material.
The traditional way of showing an idea was building a scale model. Medieval architects constructed elaborate building models, convincing skeptical patrons of the soundness of their ideas. Some buildings are so iconic, they have inspired models.
"The beginning of all things lies still in the beyond in the form of ideas that have yet to become real." I Ching