Metal Architecture Home

My Best Use of Metal - March 2018

Architects show off their favorite projects

3329 Building Mar18
Photo: Rudy Calpo Photography
3329 Building, Fairfield, Calif.

Adjacent to a major interstate, the owner and architect set out to design a building that was unique, with simple forms that could take advantage of the high-visibility location. The use of concealed fastening metal siding, in a combination of patterns and colors, maximizes the exposure and appeal of the building.

Dennis Dong, AIA, CSI, FARA, Calpo Hom & Dong Architects, Sacramento, Calif.

Photo: AJ Brown Imaging

Community Consolidated School District 59 Early Learning Center, Mount Prospect, Ill.

At the Community Consolidated School District 59 Early Learning Center, a metal roofing system seamlessly integrates with metal cladding. We specified a bent plate of metal panel for the ELC’s roof and south wall material. The south wall of each classroom bar cants out, resulting in south glazing shading, while creating a sculptural form that relates to the scale of the users. The sloped roofs accommodate various ceiling heights throughout the addition while also incorporating clerestory lighting along the north edge. The shed-style roof also relates to the massing of the residents across the street, while the metal cladding appears in three themed gardens that support outdoor learning.

Paul Pessetti, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, senior design director, Legat Architects, Chicago

Moving Richmond, Richmond, Calif.

The result of a long-standing collaboration with renowned Bay Area sculptor and mixed-media artist Mildred Howard, this piece dresses up the nondescript exterior of a new parking garage in Richmond's commuter rail complex.

Two, 12-foot by 40-foot billboards in faceted, water-jet-cut weathering steel sheets recall the industrial and shipbuilding heritage of the nearby waterfront factories. Featuring excerpts from the poem “Moving Richmond” by Ishmael Reed, the folded panels appear to ripple across the surface as light conditions vary throughout the day.

Each steel panel is CNC-cut and -bent to fall within narrow structural parameters of stiffness and spacing of mechanical connection points to the galvanized tube framework behind. Reconciling letter spacing with these three-axis adjustable connections and the span constraints of the bent steel sheet—while a significant challenge for our team—eventually resulted in a complex, undulating geometry that works hand-in-hand with the syncopation of Reed's poem. Leaving the panels outdoors for 60 days prior to installation ensured a pre-weathered patina on opening day and reduced staining on the building’s stucco cladding.

Mildred Howard, artist; PROTOinc, San Francisco, Architect of Record