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Design Rejuvenation

Metal wave wall panels reinvent office façade

Design Craft June18 3
Photo: designCraft Advertising

Located on a busy street in Madison, Wis., designCraft Advertising needed to replace its aged and dated vinyl siding. Working with architect Todd Barnett, ALA, and Sarah Canon, project manager, of Barnett Architecture LLC, Madison, the building’s façade was rejuvenated with a combination of wood and metal wall panels from McElroy Metal, Bossier City, La.

Barnett says the goal was to reinvent the exterior, which was drab and uninspired, and utilized materials that did not reflect the context of the commercial district as well as the philosophy of the owners and their business. “They sought a design that was more in line with the cutting-edge nature of their marketing and advertising practice,” he adds.

Originally designated as a commercial/residential building, the building underwent some upgrades to be re-designated as a commercial building. This allowed the owners to receive a façade grant by the city of Madison for commercial renovations, which covered 50 percent of the project value.

The owners revitalized the office appearance by adding a new roof overhang that waters plants at the building entrance. Key to the project's success was specifying materials that navigate the curvature of the building. “Creating an architecture that would work well with the curved façade in a way that looked appropriate, was low maintenance, weather resistant and within budget,” says Barnett. “The ribbed siding was a perfect solution to clad the building.”

Before. Photo: designCraft Advertising.

Approximately 2,800 square feet of McElroy’s Wave panel in Buckskin was installed vertically to accommodate the curved façade. Wood was installed horizontally, and the vertical colors provide a transition between the wood and metal. The concealed fastener Wave panels were also installed on the third-floor penthouse.

“The metal panels served for the field in a tasteful manner, and with the profile provided for a strong pattern,” Barnett explains. “In fact, the panel was chosen because of the profile and shadow lines created from its asymmetrical shape.”

The fin marks the transition between the curved and flat elements, as well as the metal and wood portions. It also provides an identifying element that complements the vertical lines of the metal panels. “The panels provided an opportunity for color,” Barnett says. “The wood was chosen to provide a sense of warmth and scale.”

Kent Woller, general manager at the installer, Metal Design Corp., Madison, says the general contractor installed solid plywood with rigid insulation over the entire building exterior. “We installed 6-inch-wide, 20-gauge galvanized strapping horizontally, 24 inches on-center, fastening through the insulation and into the plywood,” he says. “The panels were 24-gauge metal, 16 inches wide, with a screw strip incorporated in the panel so we did not need to use clips. The panels were mounted to the strapping.”

Additionally, Woller says the curving of the building was soft enough that when coupled with the vertical orientation of the metal panels, the Metal Design crew was able to easily follow the building’s contour with minimal extra effort. “The curves of the building really didn’t add significant labor with the exception of a bit more for the fabrication and installation of the trims at the base and top of the curved areas because these areas required shorter segmented pieces,” he says.

Barnett says it was truly a collaborative process. “The client is a design firm, they help clients design advertising and develop brand strategy, so they understand the design process and colors. We wanted to find a way to highlight the curved part of the building. They selected some colors and we were very supportive. Metal was the obvious choice because of the aesthetics, its ability to meet the building code and because of the low maintenance.”