and last-minute design changes can be accommodated without excessive cost. Development or prototype models can be produced with a client-pleasing immediacy – important in a project’s early stages, as the design evolves. It also facilitates a thorough investigation of design options, which is important when working on sensitive sites. Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt’s (renowned architectural firm) work at Cemex House makes extensive use of 3D printing, since the historic nature of the site requires proposals that are resolved at an intricate level. The design concept includes the insertion of contemporary interventions into the listed buildings; 3D printing these elements ensures that the design evolves in a way that is sensitive to the context. David Ayre, director of Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt states: “The 3D printer allows us to test ideas for the new interventions in separate print models to the historical and insert them as distinct elements. Using different colour filaments means these contemporary additions can be easily understood as new elements in relation to the existing buildings.” The accessible communication of proposals afforded by 3D-printed models is useful for public consultations – it can quickly communicate potential impacts, allowing for a more focused and productive discussion. Filaments are available in a variety of materials, including metal, wood and flexible options, meaning that proposals can be highlighted or blend in with the context. Once a base model of the surrounding context and buildings has been
established, it is quicker to print off and drop in further models as the design evolves. Sectional models are particularly valuable for communicating the internal spatial properties of buildings or highlighting the topographical level changes across a site. Digital site surveys are increasingly delivered with a 3D terrain surface, and these provide a useful base for models conveying level information. Strata Design (appearing in the March issue of Pro Landscaper as our interviewed international firm) employed this to good effect on its recent model for an almshouse scheme, where the visibility of the schemes and the relationship of the two locations within the townscape were particularly sensitive. “The 3D-printed model was instrumental in alleviating residents’ concerns at the public consultation and has also formed a useful basis for ongoing collaborative discussions with planners and local consultees as the model and proposals develop,” says Richard Willmott. Sophisticated printers allow for direct colour printing onto models, communicating materiality. Where texture is required, a fine level of detail can be achieved, and the technology allows for the rapid modelling of difficult geometries – a lengthy process in traditional models. It is also useful for exploring complex detail assemblies as 3D entities. Facing the future Desktop 3D printing is a convenient and costeffective way to achieve the explorative and communicative benefits of traditional models, with the speed and production efficiency resulting from a digital source. The process makes efficient use of materials, creating little waste – biodegradable filaments are even available. The technology is also evolving; innovations on the horizon, such as rapid liquid printing, will allow larger models to be printed, opening up possibilities of 1:1 scale furniture models.
“DEVELOPMENT OR PROTOTYPE MODELS CAN BE PRODUCED WITH A CLIENTPLEASING IMMEDIACY”
1 Cemex House Masterplan Model, Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt 2 C ourtyard study model, Strata Design ©Martin Gardner 3 Almshouse consultation model ©Strata Design
STRATA Strata is a UK-based landscape architecture practice creating usable, engaging and resilient spaces based on empathy for people and places. W: www.strata-design.co.uk
AYRE CHAMBERLAIN GAUNT Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt is an award-winning architecture practice creating vibrant and inspiring places for people to live, work and play. W: www.acgarchitects.co.uk
Pro Landscaper Africa | April 2018