Toorak House, designed by Wood Marsh Architecture, is a distinctive residential structure featuring a dialogue between the monumentality and domesticity of its components. The dwelling is characterized by a raw, textured concrete envelope that frames the internal volumes of the building, and a unique, doubly-curved, zinc-clad roof that seems to merge seamlessly with the walls. To address the technical challenges inherent in the roof's construction, AR-MA was engaged to collaborate with Craftmetals and Wood Marsh Architecture. Using advanced design for manufacture pipelines and parametric design methodologies, AR-MA played a vital role in actualizing the architect's vision.
The modelling process was an intricate task that demanded a blend of multiple software platforms, allowing AR-MA to rationalise the complex roof geometry, detail the sheet-metal components, and simulate the zinc panels' folding behaviour. The resultant workflow ensured perfect fit and alignment of all parts during the construction phase.
The material choice for the roof construction was a testament to AR-MA's meticulous attention to detail. Two layers of timber, serving as a base for the zinc panels, were mounted on the structural steel that outlined the roof. This provided a robust and practical surface for fixing the interlocking zinc panels. The project used a combination of off-site, factory fabrication and on-site assembly, ensuring project efficiency and reduced waste.
AR-MA also implemented a unique plywood set-out system. Assembly instructions were CNC milled into the plywood sub-construction layer, creating a roadmap for positioning each individual zinc panel. This approach significantly sped up the panel installation process and reduced the need for conventional 2D documentation on site.The zinc panel assembly and sequencing were handled meticulously, keeping in mind the architect's desired zinc patterning. Over 1800 zinc panels and more than 500 plywood elements were modelled and grouped into identical size families. The 3D model was used to automatically output assembly drawings and cutting files, leading to the fabrication of pre-cut, pre-drilled, and pre-folded zinc panels. These panels were then delivered to the site in numbered batches, aligning with the installation sequence.