Located in Sydney's CBD, the Darling Exchange building resides adjacent to the culturally rich Chinese Gardens. This project, a collaboration between AR-MA, Lendlease, Kengo Kuma, and subcontractors, revolved around the creation of a complex 3D model, integrating insights from all parties, from design to installation. The team of three focused on resolving the timber facade system, developing a glass balustrade, designing stainless steel stairs, and creating a system that coordinated all these elements.
A digital process was employed to preserve and materialise the architect's design intent, using an integrated 3D model: a method known as DfMA (Design for Manufacture and Assembly). AR-MA optimized materials, reducing timber wastage by 24%, and expedited the facade construction through early-stage collaboration. We modelled the entire concrete formwork and output direct to fabrication saving the builder weeks in formwork setout and erection time. This strategy saved time on-site, reduced cost, and ensured precision during the timber facade installation.
The facade system consisted of four custom elements: angles, post, outrigger, and plate. The process was subdivided into three steps: Posts optimization, Joints distribution, and Booms resolution, each involving intricate fabrication strategies and algorithms to ensure design excellence.
The final phase of the project entailed converting 3D data into fabrication instructions to coordinate the manufacture and installation of all components. Every component in the facade came with a cut file, check drawing, and set-out for assembly, simplifying the production stage.