Locker was involved in creating the facade for the Australian Institute of Music.

Case study: Australian Institute of Music

The Australian Institute of Music (AIM) is the country's leading independent provider of education in the music, entertainment and performing arts industries. As such, Locker was thrilled to be involved in the creation of a facade for the Sydney campus building – a challenging yet rewarding project that put our products and expertise to use in equal measures.

In this case study, we'll dive into the story behind the frontage, and how Locker worked with its partners to produce the exciting result.

The brief

The client wanted a facade that fulfilled two key criteria:

  • It needed to reflect the purpose of the AIM as an educator in music and entertainment.
  • Due to the location in Sydney's trendy Surry Hills district, it also had to stand out and have a unique identity among other buildings in the area. 

To meet these objectives, the facade was to feature two images – one of a violinist, and the other depicting two dancers mid-routine. Locker was brought in to bring these designs to life, and do the technical work to ensure the frontage element of the project went off without a hitch.

Locker's Pic Perf product allows  architects to create unique designs on perforated metal.The architect wanted the facade to stand out among other buildings in the area.

The products

There was only ever going to be one product up to the unique requirements of this brief – Locker's Pic Perf perforated panels. This product allows architects to create striking, one of a kind facades by working in close consultation with Locker's experts. The images themselves are based on drawings which are then mapped onto the panels, using the perforations themselves to help the composition. 

The very essence of the Pic Perf range is that architects are only limited by their imagination.

In this instance, our team participated in a lot of onsite meetings with the builders, Dynabuild, and Joshua Farkash of Joshua Farkash & Associates. This was to ensure that the image sizes were correct, and that each was properly detailed in order to show depth.  

The very essence of the Pic Perf range is that architects are only limited by their imagination, making customisation of these products bread and butter to Locker's specialist team. Panels can be manufactured to fit any size facade, and we can also take into account how lighting will impact the image. 

The project

A few challenges presented themselves over the course of the AIM facade project. They were:

Producing the drawings: Computer-aided design (CAD) drawings are needed as a basis for producing Pic Perf panels. However, Dynabuild didn't have this capability, so Locker reached out to its network of contacts and engaged a third-party draftsmen to create these drawings. Getting this correct from the outset was crucial to ensuring that the panel layout and widths worked well with the images.

Wrapping the image around the building: The architect's brief required the image of the dancers to wrap around the corner of the facade. Achieving this effect demanded careful considerations from Locker's team to ensure the image appeared seamless across the edges of each panel.

Locker had to wrap the dancer image around the facade's edge without interrupting the flow.

Incorporating other building elements: The facade had a few windows & doors that the aluminium Pic Perf needed to form around. Again, this needed to be done without interrupting the flow of the image. This was made more complex by the fact that some panels had folds, others had return folds, some were at 45° to the frontage, and some didn't have any folds at all.

Installation: The AIM's location on one of the busiest streets in Sydney's CBD also meant that delivery and installation of the products required careful planning and collaboration between Locker and its project partners. 

The results

The combined Sydney and Melbourne campuses of the Australian Institute of Music cater for a total of 1,800 students. While those who enter the building on a daily basis may not know the story of how the facade came to be, there's no doubt that it stamps the building with a unique identity that allows it to stand out from the structures around it.

 For over 60 years, Locker has helped architects bring their visions to life through a range of innovative products and our technical expertise. We believe that close working relationships are key to successful project results, and that customisation should be part and parcel of a suppliers role. To find out more about our capabilities, get in touch with our team today. Alternatively explore some other examples of our past work. 


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