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Why Your Next Project Might Need Lasers

Designed by primary design team FJMT, 200 George employs sophisticated digital design through their collaborators AR-MA to stunning effect, capitalising on the hybrid skills of technology-native architects.

How are coding and lasers changing architecture? Cutting edge architects AR-MA explain how technology made the stunning foyer at 200 George street possible.

Sydney practice AR-MA (Architectural Research – Material Applications) was engaged as part of a specialist façade team to manage design and construction of the podium glazing and cladding at 200 George, creating a beautifully geometric soffit and awning from timber.

To achieve this, AR-MA employed CAD, but elaborated the designs down to millimetric scale. “We really focus on making drawings for production,” says Gbriele Ulacco, director at the practice, “sometimes that means we’re actually bypassing paper altogether, and the drawings we’re making are digital files that go straight to machines in the factory that then manufacture from that digital information.”

They also use James Bond quality toys such as the LIDAR scanner, which sprays a room with laser dots and composes a design drawing based on real-life dimensions. AR-MA use this to reconcile their own drawings with the build, or, as Ulacco phrases it, “get all the messiness of the reality of a construction site back into that model,” so that any discrepancies are resolved before components are fabricated. This is especially crucial because, as project lead designer Guido Maciocci explains, “the models themselves are parametric, they’re data‑driven up to the end of the process, up to the moment you push them to fabrication.”


Want more? Read the full story in Indesign magazine, issue #68 – on sale Feb 9! 

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