Ribbed Panels Contain Shipyard Office
Operations and office building design reflects shipping
Ribbed metal wall panels installed on the exterior and interior
of Intermarine LLC's shipyard operations and office building in
Houston were designed to look like shipping containers. The 2015
Metal Architecture Design Award judges noted the design's
compelling use of exterior metal on the interior of the
21,750-square-foot building, which was completed in December 2013.
The vertical elevator shaft refers to the stacked shipping
containers found in the surrounding shipyard. Bristol, Conn.-based
Morin Corp.'s, a Kingspan Group company, MR-36 deep rib metal wall
panels with a Galvalume finish wrap the elevator shaft on the
exterior and were also installed in the elevator lobbies.
Jeffrey Brown is principal in charge of design at Powers Brown
Architecture, Houston, the architecture firm for the project. "We
began studying the form-making possibilities of shipping containers
as an obvious means of indexing the company's industry," he says.
"However, we determined that the interior environment produced from
this literal strategy was less than desirable. We wanted to take
advantage of iconic and spatial opportunities that referred to
containers and the various shipping processes that we found
Houston-based Southern Architectural Systems Inc. fabricated
more than 18,000 square feet of metal wall panels including 4-mm
Reynobond aluminum composite material with a polyethylene core
finished with Reynobond DesignLine Zinc Patina coating by Eastman,
Ga.-based Alcoa Architectural Products.
Additionally, Southern Architectural Systems fabricated Morin's
MR-36 deep rib metal wall panels and Morin's MR-36 deep rib
perforated metal wall panels. "We used a super-rib metal panel with
a natural Galvalume finish-indexing to rather than blending in-with
stacked shipping containers found in the surrounding yard," Brown
says. "Referring to the containers opened iconographic and spatial
opportunities that actually using them cannot."
A perforated metal panel was used as a vehicle screen on the
ground level and at exterior programmatic function areas, which
created exterior and interior zones, Brown says. "A unifying
architecture of smooth panels with a reveal grid abstractly refers
to a ship's hull. We wanted the building to have a diaphanous
layering effect with an ephemeral quality that allows it to touch
the ground very lightly."
Metal was specified for multiple reasons including the
facility's location in an industrial shipping area. The project is
located at an industrial terminal, a 95-acre site adjacent to the
Houston Ship Channel. Additionally, the skin could be composed of
one material with a variety of finishes, profiles and
transparencies to achieve project goals and natural variations in
the material provided a visual texture to an otherwise blank wall
in places where glazing was not desired.
Intermarine LLC's Shipyard Operations and Office Building,
Completed: December 2013
Total square footage: 21,750 square feet
Architect: Powers Brown Architecture, Houston, www.powersbrown.com
General contractor: Rosenberger Construction, Sugar Land,
Fabricator: Southern Architectural Systems Inc., Houston, (713)
Metal wall panels: Alcoa Architectural Products, Norcross, Ga.,
www.reynobond.com, and Morin Corp., a Kingspan
Group company, Bristol, Conn., www.morincorp.com