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Modern Metal Update

2015 Metal Architecture Design Awards, Renovations & Retrofit Award, Lincoln Park Centre Chicago, Weiss Architects,

Located at the busy intersection of North and Clybourn avenues on Chicago's north side, the 61,000-square-foot Lincoln Park Centre recently underwent a major transformation. When Acadia Realty Trust, White Plains, N.Y., acquired the urban retail property in April 2012 for $31.5 million, it was suffering from tenant losses, including the closure of its 25,000-square-foot anchor space, Borders Books and Music. In January 2015, Acadia announced the sale of the Lincoln Park Centre to New York City-based The Georgetown Co. LLC for $64 million, more than double its purchase price.

Sayigh + Duman, New York City, is the design architect for the building's new tenant, Design Within Reach Studio, a home furnishing and décor merchandiser. The development's original architect, Weiss Architects LLC, Chicago, was hired by Acadia as the architect of record, tasked with converting Sayigh + Duman's conceptual design into a finished design. "The overall design goal was to convert the Design Within Reach portion of the building to the aesthetic they use for all of their new stores: a clean, modernist design with particular attention to material and detail," says Steven Weiss, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, principal at Weiss Architects.

The project required an extensive redesign of the center's light-hued brick-and-stone exterior façade into a modern metal look that focused on creating a custom, contemporary image for Design Within Reach, which opened in July 2014. Sayigh + Duman's updated image required the building's third-story curved tower to be removed, bringing the building down to the level of the parapet all the way around.

2015 Metal Architecture Design Awards, Renovations & Retrofit Award, Lincoln Park Centre Chicago, Weiss Architects, The architects used a combination of uniquely ribbed and curved aluminum composite material (ACM) wall panels, U-shaped ACM panels and rectangular zinc panels to complete the update. IMETCO, Norcross, Ga., supplied the zinc panels, and 3A Composites USA Inc., Statesville, N.C., supplied 9,652 square feet of its 4-mm Alucobond Plus naturAL ACM in a Brushed Stainless finish. Sobotec Ltd., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, fabricated the panels and Architectural Panel Systems Inc., Naperville, Ill., installed them in Sobotec's SL-2000 Dry Joint Rainscreen System.

The architects originally looked at corrugated steel in a ribbed material, but it couldn't be bent to form the desired curve. Weiss says the decision to use Alucobond NaturAL was easy. "The moment I saw it, I knew we were going to use it," he says. "Alucobond is so workable. You can make curved panels. The ribs are fastened from behind so that this cladding looks like it's carved from a block of steel."

Additionally, Weiss notes that Sayigh + Duman required the zinc panels for the background vertical panels. "They do work together very well aesthetically," he says. "They are essentially separate skin systems, with minimal interface."

Sobotec fabricated approximately 1,400 Alucobond curved and flat ribs shop-installed with concealed fasteners into 200 wall panel sections averaging 4 by 8 feet. They also fabricated 24 U-shaped 4- by 5-foot Alucobond panels installed around the first- and second-story windows on the center's anchor space.

2015 Metal Architecture Design Awards, Renovations & Retrofit Award, Lincoln Park Centre Chicago, Weiss Architects, "The Lincoln Park Centre renovation project was one of the first to utilize Alucobond naturAL aluminum composite material in the new Brushed Stainless finish," says Ben Branham, architectural marketing manager, 3A Composites USA. "This unique finish allowed the project's architects to create a modern-metal design by incorporating the natural look of stainless-steel while maintaining the light weight of an aluminum composite panel that's also easy to clean. Not only was this contemporary design achieved at a significant cost savings over stainless steel, formable Alucobond naturAL panels allowed these wall sections to be ribbed and curved to produce the unique radius of this stunning building profile."

"The redesign of the façade resulted in a complete transformation of the building," Weiss says. "It is simply a different building visually. The metal skin and the way it is detailed and applied created that transformation."

The 2015 Metal Architecture Design Award judges called the Lincoln Park Centre a remarkable transformation, completely changing the character of the urban corner with cladding. One judge said it was a remarkable feat for how simple the solution was. Another judge noted the project is a stunning example of using metal wall panels to completely change the attitude of the building and how it presents itself. Additionally, the judges praised the project's detailing for being really well executed.


Lincoln Park Centre, Chicago

Completed: July 2014
Total square footage: 61,000 square feet
Building owner: The Georgetown Co. LLC, New York City
Previous owner/renovator: Acadia Realty Trust, White Plains, N.Y.
Design architect: Sayigh + Duman, New York City,
Architect of record: Weiss Architects LLC, Chicago,
General contractor: Ernie Loberg Construction, Rolling Meadows, Ill.,
Fabricator: Sobotec Ltd., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada,
Metal installer: Architectural Panel Systems Inc., Naperville, Ill.,
Aluminum composite material: Alucobond by 3A Composites USA Inc., Statesville, N.C.,
Zinc wall panels: IMETCO, Norcross, Ga.,
Before photo: Paul Schlissman
After photos: Paul Biasco