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Civic Center Design Highlights Sustainability

Newport Beach Pic 5 High Res

Photo: Nic Lehoux

Wave-shaped canopies direct daylight into a city hall

The 2015 Metal Architecture Design Award judges found the Newport Beach Civic Center in Newport Beach, Calif., noteworthy for its elegant, powerful city hall design and sophisticated sustainable design features.

Steve Chaitow, AIA, LEED BD+C, principal at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson's San Francisco office, which collaborated with the architecture firm's Philadelphia office to complete the project, was project manager for the civic center. Chaitow says sustainability was integrated into the form and organization of the city hall building. "The integration allowed us to express the strength of the building elements themselves," he says. Chaitow says the civic center design did not include applied materials such as applied stone, which are sometimes used for municipal buildings. "We used the skeleton itself and made it interesting," he adds.

Clerestory windows under the wave-shaped roof canopies face north, which allows light to come into the building and reduce energy consumption. Additionally, the flat part of the wave shape was designed to accommodate a future photovoltaic array.

Chaitow says the raised floor in the city hall building allowed the design to stay within the view-plain limit of the coastal site and was a more energy-efficient way to deliver clean, cool air to occupants than a traditional overhead air system.

Photo: Nic Lehoux

The 100,000-square-foot city hall has an aluminum-and-glass curtainwall wrapping around three sides. Large roof overhangs and sun louvers on the east and west sides of the building provide sunshading and allow an open façade. A solid skin and trellis were installed on the south side of the city hall building to reduce solar heat gain. "The architectural expression was generated directly from sun control," Chaitow says.

A light color palette was used to maximize the benefits of natural daylighting, Chaitow says. In addition to the wave-shaped canopy roofs, the design features other nautical allusions, including a council chambers clad with Woburn, Mass.-based RHEINZINK America Inc.'s Flat Lock custom crimped zinc shingles on the north end of city hall.

St. Petersburg, Fla.-based SEFAR Architecture's TENARA tensile fabric is stretched over a steel frame, referred to by occupants as the sail. "A light color palette, nautical allusions, an airy nature, indoor/ outdoor relationship-these are all things that feel right for Southern California," he explains.

The $105 million, LEED Gold-certified project includes a 100,000-square-foot city hall, 450-space parking garage, 17,000-square-foot library addition and park situated on a 20-acre property that runs north and south and is bounded by roadways on the east and west sides.

Orange, Calif.-based CMF Inc. fabricated and installed RHEINZINK's Flat Lock custom crimped zinc shingles on the western exterior of the city hall building. Design Insights Associates Inc., Los Angeles, fabricated and Bomel Construction, Anaheim Hills, Calif., installed Raleigh, N.C.-based Umicore Building Products USA Inc.'s VMZinc's 1-inch formed horizontal zinc wall panels on the parking garage's elevator shaft. Additionally, CMF fabricated and installed VMZinc 1-inch formed horizontal zinc panels on a pedestrian bridge elevator shaft.


Newport Beach Civic Center, Newport Beach, Calif.

Completed: May 2013

Total square footage: 171,000 square feet

Owner: City of Newport Beach

Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, San Francisco and Philadelphia,

Zinc fabricator/installer: CMF Inc., Orange, Calif.,

Zinc fabricator, parking garage elevator shaft: Design Insights Associates Inc., Los Angeles

Zinc installer, parking garage elevator shaft/screenwall fabricator/installer: Bomel Construction Co., Anaheim Hills, Calif.,

Tensile fabric: SEFAR Architecture, St. Petersburg, Fla.,

Zinc wall panels: RHEINZINK America Inc., Woburn, Mass.,, and Umicore Building Products USA Inc., Raleigh, N.C.,