Kikukawa provides comprehensive architectural metal construction solutions for projects with unique, seamless, or outsized product requirements.
For architectural metal constructions, fabrications of extra-wide panels over 1500mm(W) or extra-long panels over 6000mm(L) require a combination of various facilities, expertise, and abilities. It starts with the ability to procure high-quality metal sheets, facilities to metalwork the material, the know-how and space within the factory to enable the entire process. Additionally, detail design know-how such as the calculations of backing frames to uphold the outsized panels, metalworking abilities to ensure both design intent and functionality of the product, installation precision and knowledge to finalize the construction are required.
Kikukawa is able to fulfill these and other requirements to implement a design with minimal joints and provide high-quality outsized metal constructions.
|Main Features||・Large facilities and vast factory space to accommodate outsized product fabrication |
・Typically considered ”outsized” product sizes accommodated [up to 6000mm (L), 1500mm (W)]
・Panels up to 2000mm (W) or 8000mm (L) possible
・Panels exceeding the size of the market available metal sheets accommodated
・Combination of various metalworking possible (dual-curved products accommodated)
・Various combination of metals and finishes accommodated
・Thin joints or joint-less designs accommodated
Others are available upon request or consultation.
|Fabricator||・8000mm bender: extra-long bending |
・FSW (friction stir welding): fabrication of extra-wide metal sheets and extrusions
・Incremental forming: dieless forming of outsized products 2600mm (W) by 3000mm (L)
・Fibre laser welding: minimal distortion welding for 1200mm (W) by 7000mm (L)
・NC turret punch press: perforations for 2000mm (W) by 6500mm (L), or 1250mm (W) by 7500mm (L)
・Aluminium surface-preparation facility 2000mm (W) by 8000mm (L)
*Dimensions listed above are the maximum sizes accommodated at Kikukawa unless consulted
・Bronze alloys (copper, bronze, brass)
|・Extra-wide panels over 1500mm (W) |
・Extra-long panels over 6000mm (L)
*Limitations depend on material thickness and size of the product. Please consult us for details and for any products exceeding this size
|Remarks||・Limitations depend on product requirements such as the material, finish, product shape, specifications, and fabrication methodology. Please consult us during the design phase for more information.|
■Demand and functions of outsized panels or claddings
Designs in architecture are becoming more complex, three dimensional with the development and adoption of 3D CADs and 3D models. From time-to-time, architects have required minimal joints or joint-less (seamless), continuous facades, walls or surfaces to implement their designs.
Metal tends to be considered in implementing these designs for its functionality, workability, and diversity in accommodating design options. Thus, demands for outsized metal panels, claddings, facades, or curtain-walls in architecture are consistent if not increasing.
However, the average maximum dimensions of metal claddings or metalworking in the industry tend to be set at 1200mm(W) by 4000mm(L), due to limitations in material procurement and metalworking feasibility. Costs for fabricating these products tend to jump considerably higher for products over these sizes, thus many designers opt to reconsider their designs.
In other words, if these limitations can be solved in a way that ensures the quality, cost or time requirements of the projects, various needs for outsized metal claddings can be met.
■Kikukawa’s strengths in providing outsized metal claddings
Kikukawa has the expertise, years of partnerships and craftsmanship to answer various outsized high-quality metal construction requests. At Kikukawa, metal claddings up to 1500mm (W) and 6000mm (L) are accommodated in the same way in cost and delivery as the typical market maximum dimensions of 1200mm (W) and 4000mm (L). We also accommodate panels up to 2000mm (W) and 8000mm (L), or those over this with our cutting edge machinery and craftsmanship.
Our strengths include the long built partnership with material providers that allow us to procure high-quality materials as needed. For materials exceeding the market available sheet sizes, Kikukawa employs its latest technology and craftsmanship to fabricate the materials. Our factory is vast at 50,000m2 and holds various machines and facilities that enable metalworking of outsized products such as 8m benders, fibre-laser welding machine, and FSW (friction stir welding). Our craftsmanship enhances these metalworking facilities by combining various dual-working fabrication methodologies. This along with Kikukawa’s philosophy to ‘Never Say No’, allows us to take on any and every challenge (a key element in every pioneering project) which have helped build our expertise.
For a selection of projects that Kikukawa has participated in, scroll below to the section “Examples of Kikukawa’s projects with outsized panels or claddings” or click the link below.
◇Extra-long bending: 8m bender
Kikukawa’s bespoke bender allows a one-time bending of outsized panels, a necessity for high-quality bending. With the machine and our expertise, we provide precise and consistent high-quality bending.
◇Extra-wide metal sheet fabrication: FSW (friction stir welding)
Requirements that exceed the market available materials (sheet metals, extrusions or panels) are realised by fabricating the materials as required. This technology joins flat surfaced metals with minimal distortion and high weld strength, in comparison to conventional joining processes.
◇Dieless metalworking extra wide panels: incremental forming
By using one of the latest metalworking technologies, Kikukawa accommodates small lots of a high variety product line without dies. Complex and 3D shapes are possible, as long as they are within 2600mm (W) and 3000mm (L).
◇Extra-wide, extra-long columns: metal column claddings, panels
By combining our craftsmanship and various facilities, Kikukawa provides extra-long or extra-wide columns to implement joint-less designs.
◇Honeycomb backed dual-curved panels
Kikukawa has established a methodology to supply bronze alloy products with honey-comb backing, and honeycomb backing for various dual-curved metal products. This methodology was developed for balustrade covers for an interior spiral staircase, exceeding 2m in width.
◇Outsized mirror polished stainless steel panel
Mirror polished outsized stainless steel panels are accommodated, at sizes over 1500mm(W) and 5000mm(L). Its high-quality and flatness are apparent in its beautiful reflection.
◇Ultra-sized panel system
By combining factory and on-site welding, Kikukawa provided a continuous wall that covered an entire side of the building. The implementation of this required careful planning from the design stage, to consider limitations and solutions for thermal expansion upon welding, transportation, lifting load and installation conditions.
■Examples of Kikukawa’s projects with outsized panels or claddings
◇9.6m extra long titanium panels: Art Tower Mito
The Art Tower of Mito consists of 57 units of triangle panels spiraling up to 100m. Each side of the triangular is 9600mm and the triangle consists of eight HL finished titanium panels varying in shapes from triangles to trapezoids of roughly 1050mm (W).
◇12m extra-long twisted steel sheets: Nebuta Museum Wa Rasse
The 9mm thick steel plates of 300mm(W) and up to 12000mm(L) are twisted like a ribbon to implement a screen façade that was inspired by traditional Japanese rope curtains being parted.
◇18.5m extra-long stainless steel claddings: MIHO Art School
The world-renowned architect, I.M. Pei, designed this façade with claddings over 18500mm long. The simple yet inspired form is akin to a folded fan fixed at one point. The claddings that form this shape are 5.0mm thick twisted stainless steel sheets ranging from 600mm to 1500mm in width.
◇Extra-wide dual curved bowl-shaped panel: Shiki Juraku
The size of the bespoke gate of Shiki Juraku exceeds the market available metal sheet sizes. Thus, Kikukawa fibre-laser welded two metal sheets, then incrementally formed the bowl shape. The bowl-shaped sheet was perforated by hand to achieve the perfect circle.
◇Fabricating extra-wide bronze sheets: Bloomberg London Headquarters
The fins and balustrades of this project required bronze products that exceed the market available sheet sizes of 1250mm (W). The details and high-quality required was achieved by joining the metal sheets with FSW (friction stir welding).
◇Extra-long 8m octagonal column: Aga Khan Centre
The stainless steel column in London, U.K., is fabricated from eight 3.0m thick SUS316 panels, 352mm(W) installed with 5mm joint details. The diagonal of the octagon is 920mm.
◇Over 6m round column covers with 6.0mm joints: Otemachi Place
The aluminium round column covers of Otemachi Place covers 8m long pilotis with claddings over 6m in length. In realizing this design, our 8m bender was necessary.
◇Extra-long triangular façade: Sundai Preparatory School Kashiwa
The 3.0mm triangular cut-detail panels, both in flat and perforated details, compose the façade of this preparatory school. The maximum size of the panels are 1450mm(H) by 6000mm(L), and the panels are fixed in various angles to create a diamond-like impression.
◇Over 7m jointless dual curved monument
The steel arch monument is composed of 4.5mm thick steel sheets of maximum 852mm(W). The entire monument is 7355mm(H) and the food-width is 1783mm, paint coated so that the welded joints are invisible.
Other examples of extra-wide, extra-long panels are as follows.
・4.0mm thick mirror polished stainless steel are sharp-edge bent in a 52mm(W) by 300mm(D) cup shape. The 8165mm(H) mullions are fabricated from a single cladding. (Refer to the second picture)
・4.0mm thick, 1000mm(W) aluminium are bent into a wave to form 7182mm(L) ceiling panels. (Refer to the third picture)
・The exterior of a retail store is covered by the silky blasted outsized panel, over 2000mm(W) and 6000mm(H). (Refer to the fourth picture for the mock-up)
As shown, Kikukawa will utilize its expertise, craftsmanship, and technology to provide a comprehensive solution for outsized metal construction needs.
■Please consult us
Kikukawa takes a ‘Never Say No’ approach to various requests and consultations. Please do not hesitate to contact us on feasibility, availability or design options and value engineering.
Please note that depending on the specifications such as material, finish, sizes of shape, the limitations of extra-long and extra-wide claddings may vary. Please be sure to consult us on such limitations, as considerations such as lot-procurement of the material may become necessary.