Friedrich Ludewig, director of architect ACME, gives us three of his specification favourites
We have used our office stair as a prototype to show that cross laminated timber can be used in more sculptural ways. Timber supplier Blumer Lehman cut 120 pieces of timber for us quickly and precisely, using a 5-axis CNC joinery machine directly from our parametric 3D model. Each piece can be unloaded and carried by one or two people. Pieces are interlocked by milled dowelling and adhered with an epoxy glue and long screws. Untreated except for some oil, the timber is starting to show signs of wear after a year, but a little sandpaper and oil and it looks like new again.
Bending metal pipes to precise curves is not a common problem, but something we have worked hard to solve it. For one scheme, Seele developed a machine that can bend 76mm steel pipes to any curvature, with incredible precision. The machine can also route holes and slot openings in pipes, to a predetermined 3D cutting schedule. We used 14km of stainless steel, for its resistance in a marine environment and to maximise the span support between pipes, reducing the overall amount of substructure, but we think we have only scratched the surface of possibilities.
KETLEY ENGINEERING BRICKS
It has taken us a while to find a brick that looks good and can deal with exposure on all surfaces. We know of several complex brick facades that had insurance claims and needed major work, as water ingress led to spalling and detachment. Ketley Bricks made a custom extrusion with high crushing strength and very low water absorption for frost resistance. The Engineering Brick range is strong enough to be used as a paver and can be varied in colour. Setting the bricks in 3D created interest and shadow, so the bricks’ colour and surface could be consistent, plain and smooth.