Behind the scene

THE MODELS: FROM SELECTION TO CONSTRUCTION

1. SELECTION

In 1987 a few art historians selected over one hundred buildings from various parts of the EU. They based the selection on the following criteria:
socio cultural and architectural value,
european symbolism the beauty of the site and the technical problems involved in putting together a replica on a scale of 1/25.

2. THE LONG SEARCH FOR DRAWING AND PHOTOGRAPHS

The scale (1/25) and the tremendous precision demanded of the model-makers called for accurate scale drawings and thousands of photographs of details. The contacts for this phase alone-in terms of correspondence of details. The contacts for spot research work costed 200.000 euros. In some cases, the drawings were refused, and additional research work was required.

3. OUTSTANDING QUALITY FOR AN AVERAGE COST OF 75.000 EUROS

55 professional workshops from 9 member states of the European Union were contacted to carry out the mammoth task involved in making the models. The models were made using a new technique that reproduces exceptionally fine detail and guarantees excellent weather resistance.
First, the various parts were cut out of different materials (wood, cardboard,…). They were then mounted on a “Master” plate. <a flexible silicone mould was made from this plate. The mould, designed to accurately reproduce every detail, was then filled with an epoxy resin or polyester. After drying for days, the cast was released from the mould to give the final result.
This process is very accurate but, unfortunately, it is also very slow. For example, it took 24.000 hours of work to complete the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (the equivalent of one person working for 13 years!).

4. THE FINISHING TOUCHES: PAINTING

To guarantee consistency of style, all the models are painted in the workshops of MINI-EUROPE. With the help of photographs, the original colours are preserved, with no trace of the scars of modem-day pollution.

5. THE ELECTRICALLY POWERED FEATURES: INDUSTRIAL MASTERPIECES

The electrically powered features were specially devised for MINI-EUROPE. They operate for around 2.900 hours per year in all weather conditions (like rain, wind or snow). We are proud to think of each feature as an industrial prototype.