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Materials define structure

Photo: Tara Maurer and Brent Schipper, ASK Studio
Photo: Tara Maurer and Brent Schipper, ASK Studio

The Adair County Engineer needed additional office space in its building in Greenfield, Iowa. The goal required assembling a simple program within an unadorned shell that referenced existing structures on site. Since the envelope was undecorated, the shell had to be the design’s ornament and establish order.

The materials used on the exterior define the order of the structure. The primary cladding is white ribbed steel that serves as the roof and the north and south elevations. Fenestration in the structure is established within the rhythm of the ribs.

Metal panels were selected for its unifying shape and color, which reinforced the simple, monolithic shape of the building form. Its linear ribs tie the roof and wall together into a singular form, referencing the existing structures on-site, its long-term durability and low maintenance.

McKee Contracting Co. installed 4,182 square feet of metal panels for the 2,500-square-foot project. On the roof and walls, it installed Long Creek Steel LLC’s 26-gauge R-5 Panels in Pure White. Also for the walls, McKee Contracting installed Long Creek Steel’s 28-gauge 2.5 corrugated panels in Charcoal.

A reflective floor surface highlights the colors used to accent the interior. Circulation spaces are defined by a green color on the ceiling. The reception and conference room are orange, a nod to the paint on the trucks the department uses. The interior walls of the public space were given warmth with knotty pine tongue-and-groove car siding. It helps to differentiate the public axis from the private offices. The project was completed for $425,000 in February 2016.