Marks Barfield – model demonstrates concept
Marks Barfield Architects believe that good design transforms the quality of the environment and aim to provide an architecture that is innovative, sustainable, an imaginative response to context and a pleasure to experience.
One such example of this is the Xstrata Treetop Walkway in Kew Gardens which was part of the 2008 ‘Year of the Tree’ celebrations. It is a thrilling experience, taking visitors 18m high into the tree canopies along a 200m long loop for a birds-eye view of Kew. It provides insights into the special role of trees in our breathing planet and intimate views of deciduous woodland and its inhabitants from within the tranquillity of the leaves.
Marks Barfield used their in-house 3D CAD software to design the treetop attraction and commissioned 3T RPD Ltd to build scale models of some of the key elements of the structure to illustrate the concept, namely the main stair tower and a section of the walkway.
3T has a team of skilled finishers and model makers, and they used a fine mesh material to replicate the sides and floor of the walkways, painstakingly attaching it by hand, before sending the models to Andrew Ingham & Associates, who added trees and people to give a true representation of the design.
Chris Smiles says “Workflow between us and 3T was extremely efficient, with no information being lost in translation between our design data and the generation of the models. For a structure this complex, having an actual 3D model enabled us to evaluate the proposal more effectively than simply relying upon a 2- or 3-dimensional virtual image. The model itself has been a valuable tool for Kew in promoting the project to potential sponsors and stakeholders.”