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metal architecture, blog, marcy marro, armenian heritage park on the greenway, geometric sculptureThis year's Design Award entries featured a number of very unique projects, including a geometric sculpture at the Armenian Heritage Park on the Greenway in Boston. Designed by Donald J. Tellalian, AIA, at Tellalian Associates Architects & Planners LLC, Boston, and fabricated by A&a Industries Inc., Peabody, Mass., the sculpture reaches 16 feet high and utilizes 3/4-inch aluminum triangular panels on a 1/4-inch structural stainless steel frame. Barletta Heavy Division, Boston, was the general contractor, and each year Jerry Rigging Corp., Ashby, Mass., reconfigures the entire sculpture.

metal architecture, blog, marcy marro, architectural sculptures, banker wire, tree of success, fox valley technical collegeAnother unique project is at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wis., which uses mesh from Banker Wire for its "Tree of Success" sculpture that features words such as creativity, inspiration and vision hanging from branches. Resulting from a collaborative effort between the students; architectural firm Eppstein Uhen Architects Inc., Milwaukee; general contractor Miron Construction, Milwaukee; and Banker Wire, the words not only reflect the characteristics students associate with personal success, but also the design process for the sculpture. Custom Metals Inc., Madison, Wis., was the fabricator.

The sculpture is the focal point of the school's new Student Success Center, which will open next month. It represents the educational journey and the program's end goal of personal growth and success. Located behind the concierge desk, the sculpture had to stand out beneath a large skylight in the two-story space. Students were asked to describe success in one word, which became the leaves and are hung from Banker Wire's I-888 weave that forms the tree's foliage. The leaves can be moved or changed as needed, allowing the tree to serve as a metaphor for continued growth.

Then earlier this year, Pratt Institute's School of Architecture in Brooklyn, N.Y., hosted an exhibit from graduate students called "Bending the Roles." The exhibit featured four full-scale architectural design pieces fabricated with 3A Composite USA's Dibond aluminum composite material (ACM), the lighter weight sister product of the company's Alucobond ACM.

metal architecture, blog, marcy marro, diabond, 3a composites, pratt institute school of architecture,Students worked in teams of three to create the large-scale sculptural pavilions, each measuring 20 by 30 feet by 20 feet tall. The projects were entitled "Gen-Z: Faceted + Furious," "Bi-Lamina: Peeling Back the Curtain," "Alluminatis: Hexadeca" and "Display Facets: Folding Lights."

Taught by Robert Cervellione, visiting professor and coordinator of digital instructors at Pratt Institute GAUD, the seminar focused on using computer-based parametric design tools to model and simulate material behavior, specifically adaptive foldable structures. Each project's design and conception blended computational design tools, as well as traditional techniques of paper folding.

"The ability to streamline the whole building material fabrication process is a very hot topic by both architectural academic researchers and real-world engineering firms," he added. "We're moving to a 100 percent digital design process."

Are you using metal in interesting ways in your projects? We would love to hear more about it.

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