Location: Sydney, Australia
Address: 580 George Street
Year: Apr 2012 – Feb 2016
Area: 1000 sqm
AR-MA worked with architects FJMT, Façade Engineers ARUP and Empire Glass to design and detail the facade systems for the awning, internal soffit, sloping glazing and composite entry canopy.
The awning and soffit sweep along George St in Sydney’s CBD, connecting the street to new retail and foyer spaces with a series of soaring forms studded with thousands of aluminium diamonds.
AR-MA was engaged as part of an early contractor involvement team providing design resolution, buildability and engineering input to match the ambitious architectural intent.
To achieve this, AR-MA built and maintained a robust parametric model throughout the design process to integrate architectural, engineering and material constraints into a comprehensive virtual design and construction database. This model was used to produce all details and fabrication files and allowed for real-time feedback on cost and buildability.
During fabrication and install, the parametric model was central to all manufacturing and onsite activities. Each of the 1291 unique custom fabricated aluminium composite panel assemblies was tagged and tracked from procurement of material, through the various manufacturing processes onto planning of deliveries and installation.
The freeform nature of the geometry featured in the project warranted a novel approach to detailing and production of the substructure system connecting the visible panels to the underlying steel structure.
Anticipating discrepancies between designed and as built locations of the steel structure, ARMA employed mass customisation of the design and a just-in-time methodology for the production of thousands of unique façade brackets. To achieve this ARMA developed methods for integrating the large amounts of data produced by a 3D point cloud survey process into the fully parametric VDC model to create thousands of unique made to measure components, prefabricated offsite with digital manufacturing equipment and tolerances, and assembled on site with a high degree of planning and coordination.