Cladding a Future Icon

Auckland Airport is fast turning into one of this city’s most prestigious business precincts as multinational companies embrace the ease of access to the country and the world. So it comes as no surprise that Fuji-Xerox has invested millions in a brand new state-of-the-art logistics hub in The Landing Business Park at the airport designed by Williams Architects, and Built by Macrennie Commercial Construction.

The first thing you notice about the 6400sqm building is it’s striking Colorcote ZMX façade, fashioned and installed by Metals Design Solutions. Not only is this a long lasting low-maintenance cladding option, but it adds significantly to the “curb appeal” of the building. This translates into happier owners and happier staff.

Like most MDS jobs, this was not a straight-forward cladding brief.  The 18m high structure is waisted with an asymmetric crease leading diagonally through the narrow window-line roughly half way up the building to create angled planes.  This meant that each of the factory-machined panels had a different profile, and fitted together on the outside of the building like a jigsaw. Similarly, the window flashings all had a unique profile, requiring precise fabrication off-site prior to installation.

Jan Alberts, Co-director of MDS  says “our strength has always rested on the detailing and organization we bring to such projects.The detailing must be matched to the main contractors building program which also must incorporate the other related trades.Working with the builder to bring about efficient buildability has been a cornerstone of our work to date and ensure we are kept busy with ongoing projects.If we can clearly communicate our requirements of the builder early on in the project then together we can pull off some thing subtle and yet interesting like this project.

The cladding relies on a  Vertical Angle Seam providing the signature ribs down the façade. While the feature wall is very high at 18m there’s hardly a trace of rippling in the panels known as “Oil-Canning”, which is common on projects like this if the material is poorly handled or the material has arrived with some inherent issues that restrict the materials ability to present in a flat manner.Such oil-canning while not  adversely affecting the building’s performance can negatively influence it’s aesthetics.

MDS’s work was not limited to the outside of the building, as Williams Architects also specified preweathered VM Zinc on the staircase walls. To contrast with the exterior the zinc was laid horizontally.

The Fuji Building is yet another example of Auckland’s modern functional architecture, offering superior performance and outstanding sustainability. MDS  is proud to have played a part in the success of this building.

For well over 15 years Metal Design Solutions Ltd has pioneered advances in the architectural metal industry installing Zinc Roofing / Copper Roofing / Stainless and Aluminium Roofing and wall Cladding. Metal Design Solutions Ltd’s work is now found in and around structures across New Zealand. Check us out at