If it’s good enough for an architect’s home—innovative roofing and cladding solutions - Cladding and Roofing NZ
If it’s good enough for an architect’s home—innovative roofing and cladding solutions

If it’s good enough for an architect’s home—innovative roofing and cladding solutions

MDS offers the ultimate in products and service to create bespoke solutions for metal roofing and cladding.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

When an architect selects your product for their own project, you know you’re on to a good thing. Although that ‘good thing’ doesn’t come without challenges…

Metal Design Solutions was approached by multi-award-winning architect, Paul Clarke of Studio2 Architects (and before that Crossan Clarke Carnachan Architects) to supply products for his new family home in the Auckland suburb of Remuera—House #3.

“When an architect comes to you with their ideas around how they want to implement their vision, and you’re tasked with making that happen, well, it can be a challenge,” says Jan Alberts, Co-Director of Metal Design Solutions, “not only because they often push design boundaries but because you’re also aware that you really have to deliver in terms of the quality of finish/product and with excellent service.

“But we’re not called Metal Design Solutions for nothing!” he laughs.

Paul Clarke requested ANTHRA-ZINC for the roofing and cladding of the gabled form.

Metal Design Solutions: delivering a truly tailored solution

“Paul brought us in when he first started thinking about using us to achieve his concept. He knows us and he knows our products and he wanted our collaboration—not just on the performance of the selected products but also on how best to get to the look he wanted,” says Jan.

“This is not always the easiest process, but the fact he brought us in so early and the fact he knew what he didn’t want, meant we could work on different approaches before hitting on just the right one. This isn’t the easiest way, but it’s so important to get things right in a project like this.”

Getting it right went beyond the zinc roof and wall elements. It included the change of detail and materials to achieve the desired outcomes on the single-level building element and courtyard area.

“His home is a showpiece, so there’s no room for second best. That’s what he expected of us and that’s what he counted on getting from us. At the end of the day, we know we’re there serving the architect.

“For instance, the copper used on the roof and fascia of the single level wing was particularly important. We needed to be able to mitigate the natural movement in the material and we recommended a higher than normal gauge in levelled sheet form to achieve that. There’s a cost implication there, but Paul listened and went with our recommendation because he trusted our knowledge and experience,” says Jan.

“There were a host of small details that needed to be just right: incorporating some of the peripheral items such as gutters and overflows from upstairs and how they might be incorporated in the bigger picture that Paul wanted to showcase. There was the interface of those same materials with timber, concrete and glass. In situations like this, it’s very important to listen carefully and outline what the outcomes will be for the client and how they can best be achieved.

“One of the things we enjoy about collaborating with architects like Paul is that they’ll work alongside us to get the best solution for their designs,” says Jan. “As with most projects, getting suppliers in early and working alongside each other, means there are fewer hassles, the implementation is more effective and the outcome is better.”

ANTHRA-ZINC offers a unique stone-like finish, accomplished by applying a surface treatment to natural zinc, which ensures colour variance and a natural patina.

Metal Design Solutions: products for exacting designs

Paul used a VMZinc material called ANTHRA-ZINC, using the angle seam profile (an expressed detail with a 25mm seam). ANTHRA-ZINC offers a unique stone-like finish, accomplished by treating natural zinc with a closely controlled surface treatment process that ensures a specific range of colour variances, giving a natural patina. ANTHRA-ZINC is not a painted product, so the colour variations between batches achieve the intended appearance of stone rather than metal. The material retains its durability but slowly weathers, making it ideal for blending in with the other materials that were used for cladding and roofing.

The single level wing, with particular building elements finished in copper, is also now developing its own verdigris patina, so as the house ages, these components will weather and age in a natural way that will soften and enhance the architectural features.

For more than twenty years, MDS has been pioneering the use and applications of architectural metal cladding and roofing. If the roofing and cladding market were to be described as a sandpit, the sandpit has gotten smaller over time. However MDS still believe there is a space to help design practices early on in the process to achieve their desired outcomes. 

“We could see the demand was going to grow, but I have to admit, the rate of it has caught me a bit by surprise,” says Jan. “I guess the combination of confidence in the robustness of the product, combined with new profiles and patterns—and newer metals that give a vast range of finishes and looks—means there’s a growing awareness of and interest in our profiles and metals, as well as our expertise.

“Materials are changing and there are increasing compliance challenges for designers. We believe its more important today that designers know where to get the answers.

“Metal Design Solutions has been working with architects for more than 20 years delivering bespoke and exacting solutions for clients who really do demand an absolute delivery on quality and service. We manufacture at our state-of -the-art factory in Takanini, Auckland, so we minimise time on site and errors.”

MDS works with architects and designers to create solutions that will work for their clients.

Learn more about the innovative roofing and cladding solutions available for your next commercial and/or residential project.

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