My project (or a working version of it, anyway) now exists in sketchup. It’s been a useful exercise, primarily because it gave me a concrete way of testing out some of the levels, especially where floor depths change and where the sloping roof ramps up around the site. (And yes, the site context does exist on the model, it’s just hidden on the image above).
It may seem like overkill to have a working physical model and a working sketchup model and a set of design drawings, but I find that moving from one to another will always raise and answer different questions. The flexibility of media works for me. There are issues – like the layout of the staircases in the atrium, in this case – that would be difficult to work out precisely in a model or drawing but which can easily be done with accuracy in sketchup. There are times when a physical model will give me enough information to photoshop a perspective which will in turn lead me to better decisions about form or lighting than would have been possible from working in drawings alone. And there are times when simply sitting down and drawing for a few hours is the best way forward. It’s the freedom to switch it up that I enjoy, and the challenge of assessing which to use at any given point, and learning how to make the best use of the media I have to design as best I can.