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Title:
URBAN LANDSCAPE MODELLING APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/206907
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Urban landscape modelling apparatus (10) includes a plurality of buildings (12), each building (12) comprising a building assembly (14). Each assembly (14) includes a plurality of individual layer components (16) which are of the same size and shape. In use, in an assembled condition, the layer components (16) are stacked vertically in line one on top of another to form the building assembly (14).

Inventors:
MURTAGH, Damien (MBM Building Systems Limited, 17 Clyde Road, Dublin 4, IE)
Application Number:
GB2018/000079
Publication Date:
November 15, 2018
Filing Date:
May 08, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MBM BUILDING SYSTEMS LIMITED (17 Clyde Road, Dublin 4, IE)
BLOWER, Timothy (Rose Cottage, Main StreetHognasto, Ashbourne Derbyshire DE6 1PU, GB)
International Classes:
E04H1/00; G09B25/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO2013102767A12013-07-11
Foreign References:
GB2505430A2014-03-05
GB2343636A2000-05-17
FR2274095A11976-01-02
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
IP-ACTIVE.COM LIMITED (The Technocentre, Coventry University Technology ParkPuma Way, Coventry CV1 2TT, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. Urban landscape modelling apparatus, the apparatus including a plurality of buildings, each building comprising a building assembly, each assembly including a plurality of individual layer components which are of the same size and shape, in which, in use, in an assembled condition, the layer components are stacked vertically in line one on top of another to form the building assembly.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 , in which each layer component represents, in plan, an entire room or building floor area.

3. Apparatus according to claims 1 or 2, in which each layer component includes a single interiocating projection and defines a single corresponding interiocating recess, so that in the assembled condition, the interiocating projection of one layer component is received in the interiocating recess of another layer component.

4. Apparatus according to claim 3, in which the interiocating projection and the interiocating recess are polygonal in plan, and may be square in plan.

5. Apparatus according to claims 3 or 4, in which the interiocating projection projects downwardly in use, from the underside of the layer component, and the recess is defined in an in use upwardly directed surface of the layer component.

6. Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, in which each layer component is relatively flat in shape, each layer component has a length, a width and a thickness, the thickness is, in use, a vertical height, and the thickness is relatively small relative to the length and the width.

7. Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, in which each layer component is substantially square in plan.

8. Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, in which some of the layer components are formed of an opaque material and some of the layer components are formed of a transparent or translucent material, to simulate windows, or glazed building layers.

9. Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, in which each layer component includes side surfaces, which in the assembled condition, comprise side surfaces of the building assembly, the apparatus includes a patterned layer, which in the assembled condition is adhered to the side surfaces of the building assembly, the patterned layer including a surface pattern, which may provide the appearance of a building material or a building structure.

10. Apparatus according to claim 9 when dependent on claim 8, in which the patterned layer includes transparent or translucent areas, which, in the assembled condition, may correspond with the transparent or translucent layer components to simulate areas of glazing.

11.Apparatus according to claim 5 or any claim dependent thereon, in which each building assembly includes a roof component, which comprise a roof surface, the roof component comprising in use upwardly and possibly laterally outwardly directed surface portions, the roof component comprising an interlocating projection, which is similar to the interlocating projections of the layer components, the interlocating projection of the roof component projecting vertically downwardly in use from the underside of the roof component, so that, in the assembled condition, the roof component interlocating projection locates in the interlocating recess of an adjacent layer component therebelow. 12. Apparatus according to claim 11 , in which adjacent layer components fit together so that the side surfaces of the adjacent layer components abut each other, the interlocating projection of the roof component is longer than the interlocating projections of the layer components, so that, in the assembled condition, a gap is defined between the roof surface and the side surface of the layer component.

13. Apparatus according to claims 11 or 12, in which the roof surface has a shape selected from the group containing a flat shape, a pitched shape, a cross pitched shape, a gable end shape, a pyramid shape, a low gradient single slope shape, a high gradient single slope shape, a vault shape, a cross vault shape, a vault end shape, an arabian shape, a dome top shape. 14. Apparatus according to claim 13, in which the roof component comprises a dome assembly, comprising the dome top shape roof component and a lower dome component; the lower dome component comprising an interlocating projection and defining an interlocating recess, which projection and recess are similar in shape and configuration to those of the layer component, wherein, in the assembled condition, the interlocating projection of the dome top shape roof component is received into the interlocating recess of the lower dome component, and the interlocating projection of the lower dome component is received into the interlocating recess of an adjacent lower layer component and wherein the side surface of the lower dome component tapers inwardly downwardly in use, so that in the assembled condition, the dome top shape roof component and the lower dome component together form an "onion" dome.

15. Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, in which each of the layer components defines a plurality of connecting holes, which may be through holes, and the apparatus includes a plurality of connecting components for connecting the layer components horizontally in use to comprise horizontal surface layers, for example, ground surfaces and floors, the connecting components including connecting lugs which in an assembled condition locate in the connecting holes of the layer components.

16. Apparatus according to claim 15, in which the apparatus includes building wall components, which are elongate in section, in which, in use in an assembled condition, the length of each building wall component extends upwardly, each building wall component including a plurality of connecting lugs, which, in the assembled condition, locate in the connecting holes of adjacent layer components.

17. Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, in which the layer component provides a basic single module (1 x 1) in design and plan size, to which the other components comprising the apparatus conform.

18. Apparatus according to claim 17, in which the apparatus includes other layer components which are multiples of the basic module, ie a double module (2 x 1), a triple (3 x 1) etc.

19. Apparatus according to claim 18 when dependent on claim 15 or any claim dependent thereon, in which the apparatus includes a ground surface assembly, which includes layer components and/or multiple module layer components; the ground surface assembly includes a plurality of the connecting components, which connect the layer components together; and the apparatus includes ground surface components, which comprise an in use upwardly directed ground surface.

20. Apparatus according to claim 19, in which the ground surface component comprises an interlocking projection, which is similar to the interlocking projections of the layer components, which projects vertically downwardly in use from the underside of the ground surface component.

21.Apparatus according to claims 19 or 20, in which the ground surface has a shape selected from the group containing a flat shape, a low gradient single slope shape, a high gradient single slope shape.

22. Apparatus according to claim 21 when dependent on claim 13 or any claim dependent thereon, in which the flat shape ground surface component, the low gradient single slope shape ground surface component, and the high gradient single slope shape ground surface component are substantially interchangeable with and may be the same as the corresponding roof components.

23. Apparatus according to claim 3 or any claim dependent thereon, in which the apparatus includes a bespoke component, which includes a bespoke part and includes one or more of the features from the group containing the interlocating projection, the interlocating recess, the connecting holes and the connecting lugs, the bespoke part comprising a shaped surface which is formed by 3D printing, possibly on demand, possibly to a design provided by a customer.

24. A method of modelling an urban landscape, the method including providing an urban landscape modelling apparatus according to any of the preceding claims.

Description:
Urban Landscape Modelling Apparatus

Technical Field

The present invention relates to urban landscape modelling apparatus.

Background

Conventionally, it is known to provide modelling apparatus to model buildings, which apparatus comprises, for example, modular wall, floor and roof pieces, which are assembled together to form individual buildings. Usually several wall pieces are assembled to form walls of different lengths and in this way a wide range of buildings of different sizes, shapes and scales can be formed.

Conventionally, to form a model urban landscape, the modelling apparatus described above can used, but this is time consuming as many buildings may be required to be built and, in early planning stages, several models may have to be built, altered and rebuilt. Other options include bespoke models which are expensive. Statements of Invention

According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided an urban landscape modelling apparatus, the apparatus including a plurality of buildings, each building comprising a building assembly, each assembly including a plurality of individual layer components which are of the same size and shape, in which, in use, in an assembled condition, the layer components are stacked vertically in line one on top of another to form the building assembly.

Possibly, each layer component represents, in plan, an entire room or building floor area.

Possibly, each layer component includes a single interlocating projection and defines a single corresponding interlocating recess, so that in the assembled condition, the interlocating projection of one layer component is received in the interlocating recess of another layer component.

The interlocating projection and the interlocating recess may be polygonal in plan, and may be square in plan.

Possibly, the interlocating projection projects vertically in use, and may project vertically downwardly in use, from the underside of the layer component. Possibly, the recess is defined in an in use upwardly directed surface of the layer component.

Possibly, each layer component is relatively flat in shape. Possibly, each layer component has a length, a width and a thickness. Possibly, the thickness is, in use, a vertical height. Possibly, the thickness is relatively small relative to the length and the width. Possibly, the length and the width are substantially the same in size. Possibly, each layer component is substantially square in plan.

Possibly, some of the layer components are formed of an opaque material. Possibly, some of the layer components are formed of a transparent or translucent material, to simulate windows, or glazed building layers.

Possibly, each layer component includes side surfaces, which in the assembled condition, may comprise side surfaces of the building assembly.

Possibly, the apparatus includes a patterned layer, which in the assembled condition may be adhered to the side surfaces of the building assembly. Possibly, the patterned layer includes a surface pattern, which may provide the appearance of a building material or a building structure. Possibly, the patterned layer includes transparent or translucent areas, which, in the assembled condition, may correspond with the transparent or translucent layer components to simulate areas of glazing. Possibly, each building assembly includes a roof component, which may comprise a roof surface comprising in use upwardly and possibly laterally outwardly directed surface portions. Possibly, the roof component comprises an interlocating projection, which may be similar to the interlocating projections of the layer components, which may project vertically downwardly in use from the underside of the roof component. Possibly, in the assembled condition, the roof component interlocating projection locates in the interlocating recess of an adjacent layer component therebelow.

Possibly, adjacent layer components fit together so that the side surfaces of the adjacent layer components abut each other.

Possibly, the roof component fits onto the adjacent layer component so that a gap is defined between the roof surface and the side surface of the layer component. Possibly, the interlocating projection of the roof component is longer than the interlocating projection of the layer components, which provides the gap.

Alternatively, the roof component may define an interlocating recess, which may be similar to the interlocating recesses of the layer components. Possibly, the interlocating recess is defined in an in use downwardly directed surface of the roof component.

Possibly, the roof surface may have a shape selected from the group containing a flat shape, a pitched shape, a cross pitched shape, a gable end shape, a pyramid shape, a low gradient single slope shape, a high gradient single slope shape, a vault shape, a cross vault shape, a vault end shape, an arabian shape, a dome top shape. Possibly, the roof component comprises a dome assembly, comprising the dome top shape roof component and a lower dome component, which may comprise an interlocating projection and may define an interlocating recess, which projection and recess may be similar in shape and configuration to those of the layer component.

Possibly, in the assembled condition, the interlocating projection of the dome top shape roof component is received into the interlocating recess of the lower dome component, and the interlocating projection of the lower dome component is received into the interlocating recess of an adjacent lower layer component.

Possibly, the side surface of the lower dome component tapers inwardly downwardly in use. Possibly, in the assembled condition, the dome top shape roof component and the lower dome component together form an "onion" dome.

Possibly, each of the layer components defines a plurality of connecting holes, which may be through holes. Possibly, the apparatus includes a plurality of connecting components for connecting the layer components horizontally in use to comprise horizontal surface layers, for example, ground surfaces and floors. Possibly, the connecting components include connecting lugs which in an assembled condition locate in the connecting holes of the layer components. Possibly, in use in the assembled condition, the connecting lugs locate into the connecting holes from below.

Possibly, each layer component defines four similar pairs of the connecting holes. Possibly, one pair is located along each side of each layer component.

Possibly, each of the connecting components is rectangular in plan, having two long sides and two relatively short end sides, and may be relatively thin in section thickness. Possibly, each of the connecting components includes two spaced pairs of projecting connecting lugs, which may project outwardly (possibly upwardly in use), one pair being located along each of the long sides. Possibly, the spacing between the lugs corresponds to the spacing between the connecting holes of each pair of connecting holes along each side of each layer component.

Possibly, the apparatus includes building wall components, which are elongate in section. Possibly, in use in an assembled condition, the length of each building wall component extends upwardly. Possibly, each building wall component includes a plurality of connecting lugs, which, in the assembled condition, locate in the connecting holes of adjacent layer components.

Possibly, each building wall component includes two pairs of the connecting lugs, one pair of which may project from each end of the building wall component. Possibly, the connecting lugs are similar in size, shape and configuration to the connecting lugs of the connecting components.

Possibly, the layer component provides a basic single module (1 x 1) in design and plan size, to which the other components comprising the apparatus conform. Possibly, the apparatus includes other layer components which may be multiples of the basic module, ie a double module (2 x 1), a triple (3 x 1) etc.

Possibly, the apparatus includes a ground surface assembly, which may include layer components and/or multiple module layer components. Possibly, the ground surface assembly includes a plurality of the connecting components, which connect the layer components together. Possibly, the apparatus includes ground surface components, which may comprise an in use upwardly directed ground surface.

Possibly, the ground surface component comprises an interlocating projection, which may be similar to the interlocating projections of the layer components, which may project vertically downwardly in use from the underside of the ground surface component.

Alternatively, the ground surface component may define an interlocating recess, which may be similar to the interlocating recesses of the layer components. Possibly, the interlocating recess is defined in an in use downwardly directed surface of the ground surface component.

Possibly, the ground surface may have a shape selected from the group containing a flat shape, a low gradient single slope shape, a high gradient single slope shape.

Possibly, the flat shape ground surface component, the low gradient single slope shape ground surface component, and the high gradient single slope shape ground surface component are substantially interchangeable with and may be the same as the corresponding roof components.

Possibly, the apparatus includes a bespoke component, which may include a bespoke part and may include one or more of the features from the group containing the interlocating projection, the interlocating recess, the connecting holes and the connecting lugs.

Possibly, the bespoke part comprises a shaped surface which is formed by 3D printing, possibly on demand, possibly to a design provided by a customer.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of modelling an urban landscape, the method including providing a urban landscape modelling apparatus, the apparatus including a plurality of buildings, each building comprising a building assembly, each assembly including a plurality of individual layer components which are of the same size and shape, in which, in use, in an assembled condition, the layer components are stacked vertically in line one on top of another to form the building assembly. Possibly, the apparatus includes any of the features described in any of the preceding statements or following description. Possibly, the method includes any of the steps described in any of the preceding statements or following description.

Specific Embodiment(s) - Figures

An embodiment of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which :-

Fig. 1 is a perspective exploded view from above of a layer component and a connecting component (not to scale) of an urban landscape modelling apparatus;

Fig. 2 is a perspective view from below of the layer component of Fig. 1 ; Fig. 3 is a perspective view of a building wall component of the apparatus;

Fig. 4, references 5.10 to 5.22, are perspective views of different roof components of the apparatus;

Fig. 5 Is an exploded perspective view of a building assembly of the apparatus;

Fig. 6 is a perspective view of the building assembly of Fig. 5;

Fig. 7 is a cross-sectional view through another building assembly of the apparatus;

Fig. 8 is a notional cross-sectional view of a ground surface assembly of the apparatus showing cross sections through the interiocating projections and the interiocating recesses and the connecting lugs and the connecting holes;

Fig. 9 is a side view of a bespoke component of the apparatus;

Fig. 10 is a perspective view of a patterned layer of the apparatus;

Figs. 11 to 15 are perspective views of examples of the apparatus in the assembled condition. First Specific Embodiment(s) - Description

Figs. 1 to 15 show urban landscape modelling apparatus 10. The apparatus 10 includes a plurality of buildings 12, each building 12 comprising a building assembly 14. Each assembly 14 includes a plurality of individual layer components 16 which are of the same size and shape. In use, in an assembled condition, the layer components 16 are stacked vertically in line one on top of another to form the building assembly 14.

Each layer component 16 represents, in plan, an entire room or building floor area.

Each layer component 16 includes a single interlocating projection 18 and defines a single corresponding interlocating recess 20. In the assembled condition, the interlocating projection 18 of one layer component 16 is received in the Interlocating recess 20 of another layer component 16.

In the example shown, the interlocating projection 18 and the interlocating recess 20 are square in plan. In other examples (not shown), the interlocating projection 18 and the interlocating recess 20 could have a different polygonal shape in plan.

The interlocating projection 18 projects vertically downwardly in use, from the underside of the layer component 16. The recess 20 is defined in an in use upwardly directed surface 74 of the layer component 16.

Each layer component 16 is relatively flat in shape, and has a length 22, a width 24 and a thickness 26. The thickness 26 is, in use, a vertical height. The thickness 26 is relatively small relative to the length 22 and the width 24. In the example shown, the length 22 and the width 24 are substantially the same in size, each layer component 16 being substantially square in plan. Some of the layer components 16A could be formed of an opaque material, and some of the layer components 16B could be formed of a transparent or translucent material, to simulate windows, or glazed building layers.

Each layer component 16 includes side surfaces 28, which in the assembled condition, comprise side surfaces 30 of the building assembly 14.

The apparatus 16 could include a patterned layer 32, which in the assembled condition could be adhered to the side surfaces 30 of the building assembly 14. The patterned layer 32 includes a surface pattern 34, which simulates the appearance of a building material or a building structure. The patterned layer 32 includes transparent or translucent areas 36, which, in the assembled condition, correspond with the transparent or translucent layer components 16B to simulate areas of glazing.

In one example, the patterned layer 32 could be formed of paper or plastic film and the pattern 34 could be applied by printing. The paper or plastic film could be self-adhesive. As shown in Fig. 10, in one example, the patterned layer 36 could include a peel-off backing layer 96.

Each building assembly 14 includes a roof component 38, which comprises a roof surface 48, which comprises in use upwardly directed surface portion 40 and in some cases laterally outwardly directed surface portions 76.

Referring to Fig. 7, the roof component 38 comprises an interlocating projection 40, which is similar to, but longer than, the interlocating projections 18 of the layer components 16, and which projects vertically downwardly in use from the underside of the roof component 38.

In the assembled condition, the roof component interlocating projection 40 locates in the interlocating recess 20 of an adjacent layer component 16 therebelow. Adjacent layer components 16 fit together so that the side surfaces 28 of the adjacent layer components 16 abut each other. The roof component 38 fits onto the adjacent layer component 16 so that a gap 52 is defined between the roof surface 48 and the side surface 28 of the layer component 16, because of the interlocating projection 40 of the roof component 38 being longer than the interlocating projection 18 of the layer components 16.

Functionally, the gap 52 is important in providing a line of definition between the side surfaces 30 of the building assembly 14 and the roof surface 48. In real life, this definition is provided by features such as the roof overhang and guttering. The applicant has realised that in providing a small scale model, such details can be intrusive and unnecessary and can be simulated by the gap 52. Advantageously, the gap 52 provides building assemblies 14 in which the roof surfaces 48 appear to "float" above the side surfaces 30, providing an attractive appearance, and breaking up the mass of the building assemblies 14. With reference to the reference numerals shown in Fig. 4, the roof surface 48 could have a shape selected from the group containing a pitched shape 5.10, a cross pitched shape 5.11 , a gable end shape 5.12, a pyramid shape 5.13, a low gradient single slope shape 5.14, a high gradient single slope shape 5.15, a vault shape 5.16, a cross vault shape 5.17, a vault end shape 5.19, an arabian shape 5.18, a dome top shape 5.21.

The roof surface 48 could have a flat shape 78.

The roof component 38 could comprise a dome assembly 80, comprising the dome top shape roof component 5.21 and a lower dome component 5.20. The lower dome component 5.20 comprises an interlocating projection (not shown) and defines an interlocating recess 46. The interlocating recess 46 is somewhat deeper than the recess 20 of the layer components 16 so that in the assembled condition, there is no gap between the respective side surfaces of the dome top shape roof component 5.21 and the lower dome component 5.20.

In the assembled condition, the interlocating projection (not shown) of the dome top shape roof component 5.21 is received into the interlocating recess 46 of the lower dome component 5.20, and the interlocating projection of the lower dome component 5.20 is received into the interlocating recess 20 of an adjacent lower layer component 6. The side surface 82 of the lower dome component 5.20 tapers inwardly downwardly in use. In the assembled condition, the dome top shape roof component 5.21 and the lower dome component 5.20 together form an "onion" dome. Each of the layer components 16 defines a plurality of connecting holes

60, which, in the example shown, are through holes. In the example shown, each layer component 6 defines four similar pairs 86 of the connecting holes 60, one pair 86 being located along each side of each layer component 16. The apparatus 10 includes a plurality of connecting components 56 for connecting the layer components 16 horizontally in use to comprise horizontal surface layers, for example, ground surfaces and floors. The connecting components 56 include connecting lugs 58 which in an assembled condition locate in the connecting holes 60 of the layer components 16. In use in the assembled condition, the connecting lugs 58 locate into the connecting holes 60 from below.

Each of the connecting components 56 is rectangular in plan, having two long sides 62 and two relatively short end sides 64, and is relatively thin in section thickness. Each of the connecting components 56 includes two spaced pairs 66 of projecting connecting lugs 58, which project outwardly (upwardly in use), one pair 66 being located along each of the long sides 62. The spacing between the lugs 58 corresponds to the spacing between the connecting holes 60 of each pair 86, as indicated by dotted lines in Fig. 1.

The apparatus 10 includes building wall components 68, which are elongate in section. In use, in an assembled condition, the length of each building wall component 68 extends upwardly. Each building wall component 68 includes a plurality of connecting lugs 88, which are similar in size, shape and configuration to the connecting lugs 58 of the connecting components 56 and, in the assembled condition, locate in the connecting holes 60 of adjacent layer components 16.

Each building wall component 68 includes two pairs 90 of the connecting lugs 88, one pair of which projects from each end of the building wall component 68. The connecting lugs 88 are similar in size, shape and configuration to the connecting lugs 58 of the connecting components 56.

The building wall components 68 could be formed of opaque or transparent or translucent material. The square layer component 16 described provides a basic single module (1 x 1) in design and plan size, to which the other components comprising the apparatus 10 conform. The apparatus 10 could include other layer components (not shown) which are multiples of the basic module. For example a double module layer component could be double the length of the square layer component and could comprise 2 x 1 of the basic single module. Other possible examples are a triple (3 x 1), a 2 x 2, a 4 x 4 and so on.

With reference to Fig. 8, the apparatus 10 includes a ground surface assembly 70, which could include layer components 16 and/or multiple module layer components. The ground surface assembly 70 includes a plurality of the connecting components 56 (shown with hatched lines), which connect the layer components 16 together. The apparatus 10 includes ground surface components 72, which comprise an in use upwardly directed ground surface 74.

Each ground surface component 72 comprises an interlocating projection 92, which is similar to the interlocating projections 40 of the roof components 38 (ie longer than the interlocating projection 18 of the layer components 16), and which projects vertically downwardly in use from the underside of the ground surface component 72 and thus provides a gap 98 between the side surfaces of the ground surface component 72 and the layer component 16.

The ground surface 74 could have a shape selected from the group containing a fiat shape, a low gradient single slope shape, a high gradient single slope shape.

In the example shown, the flat shape ground surface component, the low gradient single slope shape ground surface component, and the high gradient single slope shape ground surface component are substantially the same as the corresponding roof components, respectively referenced 5.22, 5.14, 5.15. The apparatus 10 could include other shapes of the ground surface 74 eg steps, and the ground surface 74 could include different textures and colours to represent different ground surfaces eg water, grass, asphalt, concrete. As shown in Fig. 8, for extra security, the connecting components 56 could be located above and below the adjoining layer components 16, with the lugs 58 locating into the connecting holes 60 from above and below. It will be realised that the connecting components 56 located above the layer components 16 locate in the gap 52 and the connecting components 56 located below the layer components 16 locate below the lowermost layer of layer components 16, to avoid any gaps being formed between vertically adjacent layer components 16 of a building assembly 14. The apparatus 10 could include bespoke components, which could include a bespoke part and could include one or more of the features from the group containing the interlocating projection 18, the interlocating recess 20, the connecting holes 60 and the connecting lugs 58.

The bespoke part could comprise a shaped surface which is formed by 3D printing, on demand, to a design provided by a customer.

Fig. 9 shows an example of a bespoke component 94, which is a roof component 38 and includes a bespoke part 84 including castellations and a roof component interlocating projection 40.

The layer, roof, connecting and ground surface components could be formed of plastics materials, for example, by moulding.

Figs. 11 to 15 show examples of the apparatus 10 in the assembled condition. Figs. 11 and 12 show relatively simple models in which the components are opaque and little detail is provided, which would be suitable to give architects and planners an initial idea of layout. Figs. 13 to 15 show the use of transparent components including transparent wall components 68 with patterned layers 32 which gives a much more sophisticated, detailed look suitable for later in the planning and visualisation process.

In one example, the length 22 and the width 24 of the square layer component 16 described (ie the basic single 1 x 1 module) could be approximately 24.7mm. The interlocating projection 18 of the layer component 16 could project 1.5mm. The interlocking projection 40 of the roof component 38 (Fig. 7) could project 3.7mm, so that the gap 52 is 2.2mm. The interlocking projection 72 of the ground surface component 92 (Fig. 8) could project 3.7mm, so that the gap 92 is 2.2mm. Other Modifications

Various other modifications could be made without departing from the scope of the invention. The various components could be of any suitable size and shape, and could be formed of any suitable material (within the scope of the specific definitions herein).

In alternative embodiments, the projections could extend upwardly and the recesses could be formed in the in use downwardly directed surfaces of the layer, roof and ground surface components.

There is thus provided an urban landscape modelling apparatus with a number of advantages over conventional arrangements. In particular, models can be easily assembled and disassembled. A wide variety of models can be constructed from a relatively small number of components. The models permit simplified visualisation of relatively complex urban landscapes. The level of detail can be varied to suit the stage of planning, so that the level of detail can be increased in later stages.