The Bartlett


A must-know guide on places to purchase architectural materials in London

by Madeleine Lee

The inside of an art shop

At some point in your degree in Architecture at The Bartlett, you will find yourself searching for modelling materials. This guide will suggest to you some places to purchase art and modelling materials.

BMade Shop

The moment you step foot into the Bartlett workshop (BMade), you will learn that there is a materials shop where you can find almost all the basic materials you might need in a few different sizes and thicknesses. The cost of the materials in BMade is quite cost-friendly compared to other shops. However, it is worth mentioning that the prices for materials are generally quite high, especially with the rise in the cost of living in London. Therefore, a tip to save money on materials is to check out BMade’s scrap bin as this is a great way to find some leftover materials and save on materials costs.

4D Model Shop

This model shop is located in East London and it takes around 20 to 30 minutes on the tube from UCL’s main campus. This shop is a bit further than some of the shops suggested in this guide, but they sell a huge range of modelling materials. Luckily, they also have an online shop which is useful if you are not in a rush to get your materials. This will personally be my go-to modelling store if I am unsure of the exact materials I want and need to look at the choices available to me before making a decision. The prices of this shop are slightly more expensive than BMade however, they do offer student discounts so that will definitely save you a penny or two.


Amazon is my go-to platform when I need to find materials easily and quickly. With an Amazon Prime account (the amazon prime subscription is cheaper when you are a student too), they offer next-day delivery for some products. This can be super useful if you realise at the last minute that you need materials that you can’t find in close proximity to you. Since Amazon is an online platform, it might be harder to find the perfect material because you are unable to see the material physically. This is not entirely negative because Amazon has free returns for most items.


Screwfix is a home improvement company that I sometimes use to purchase hardware items like bolts, nails and screws for my project. It is generally quite affordable and quite accessible as it is available across London.

London Graphic Centre

If you are in need of art supplies, like drawing pencils, markers, paint, sketchpad, graphic papers or measuring tools, the London Graphic Centre probably has them. They have a wide range of choices and art brands available for each art supply both in-store and online. The store is located in Covent Garden which is a 20 minutes walk or 10-minutes on public transport. Art supplies can generally be quite pricey so make sure to flash your student card to receive a 15% student discount.

Out of all the stores on my list, BMade is personally my favourite because it is so accessible and convenient to get the materials I require. Additionally, the shop is located in the Bartlett BMade workshop hence upon purchasing your materials (especially if you need a huge piece of material), you would not need to haul it across London just to use it. This can be a nightmare, especially in a busy place like London.

About the author

 Madeleine is a second year international student who is undertaking an integrated Masters programme in Engineering and Architectural Design MEng at the Bartlett School Of Architecture.