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Coated Coil
Tuesday | 10 November, 2020 | 9:58 am

True colors

Written by By Corinna Petry

Three projects demonstrate the versatility and originality that’s possible with fine finishes

November 2020 - “And those that paint them truest, praise them most,” is the last line of “The Campaign” by 18th century poet Joseph Addison. Three recent building projects, featuring the latest technology in both metal coating and architectural design, “paint” their attributes truest. The projects include a college science center, a high-rise mixed-use building in the Meatpacking District of New York City and a stadium in Florida.

CMBA Architects and HGA collaborated on designing Northwestern College’s $24.5 million DeWitt Family Science Center in Orange City, Iowa. When choosing the material for the exterior, the architects kept in mind that most of Northwestern’s buildings are brick, but created a modern facility that sets the tone for Northwestern’s future. The 61,000-square-foot building’s main focal feature is a cantilever, which called for a low-weight material. Coated metal was chosen for its weight-to-strength ratio.

The three-story science center houses classrooms, research laboratories, human patient simulators, faculty offices and a 960-square-foot greenhouse. The structure serves the biology, chemistry and nursing departments, the latter of which was previously housed in a nearby hospital.

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55 Hudson Yards in New York City is one of the first skyscrapers in the United States to be finished with powder coatings.

The building is brought to life with Americlad Quality Metalcrafts LLC’s AC-4000 flat lock panels. The panels were coated in three custom hues of Sherwin-Williams coil coatings Fluropon 70% PVDF coil coating (Expresso, Hedgehog and English Brown), and its AC-4000 glaze-in infill panels were painted in a champagne metallic.

The colors were selected to create a cohesive look with the brick tones found in other campus buildings. The panels were wrapped around one another and applied in a randomized pattern to add depth to the long expanses of the façade.

“A critical and impressive part of what makes the building is the installation of the panels,” says Amy Douma, vice president and design principal at HGA. “[A] local installer, Interstate Mechanical Corp., has excellent craftsmanship. We are pleased to have worked with them on this project.”

The custom colors were chosen for their ability to blend with the color of the brick as well as offering a solution that was easy on the college’s budget. “The color palette is chosen as a nod to the brick buildings on campus, but with a modern approach,” says Douda.

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The University of Florida at Gainesville wanted a softball stadium that stood out but also reflected other campus buildings.

Play ball!

The University of Florida at Gainesville recently updated and refreshed its Pressly Softball Stadium, built in 1996, to not only reflect the past but also to accommodate sports fans with modern amenities.

The design pays homage to the school’s earlier days. The stadium’s steeply pitched metal roof in a signature orange-red finish clearly references the buildings surrounding the stadium, and it frames an eye-popping entrance to the ballpark.

“The university is known for its collegiate Gothic architecture and high-pitch, orange-red gable roofs,” says Joe Walker, president of Walker Architects, Gainesville, which designed the stadium. Middleburg, Florida-based Thorne Metal Systems Inc. installed the roofing.

“This project ran with the roof as the character-defining element of the exterior, and the final design is a direct nod to the collegiate Gothic style.”

The upgraded facility has been largely rebuilt to include a new locker room, lounge training room and press box. The tab was $15 million.

Metal roof panels were an obvious choice to create a visual link to the classic clay tiles that top many of the university’s older structures, according to Walker. “It was the product with the best look for the project price point. It has the benefit of being low maintenance and does a great job of keeping water out.”

The architect specified 10,300 square feet of Petersen’s Tite-Loc Plus in a terra cotta finish for the project. He credits Petersen’s technical staff with its assistance. “It was Petersen that suggested we use the Tite-Loc Plus product with striations, knowing it would be a better product for our project with respect to minimizing oil canning and damage from potential impacts.”

Petersen manufactures PAC-CLAD architectural metal cladding products in steel and aluminum. Products include standing seam roof panels, hidden- and exposed-fastener wall panels, flush- and reveal-joint panels, vented or solid soffit panels, perforated metal, coil and flat sheet, composite panels, column covers, fascia and coping.

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Northwestern College’s $24.5 million DeWitt Family Science Center in Orange City, Iowa, looks toward the future with modern metal cladding.

Office tower

PPG’s Coraflon powder coatings were used on 55 Hudson Yards in New York City, making it one of the first skyscrapers in the United States to be finished with powder coatings. The 51-story structure is part of the Hudson Yards development.

Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (KPF) designed the building to incorporate smooth and textured PPG Coraflon coatings on its metal curtainwall and window frames in a color called Black Flower. KPF selected the color, which was custom formulated by PPG, to mimic the classic cast-iron façades of neighboring SoHo and commemorate the industrial heritage of the Meatpacking District in which it sits.

Youngstown, Ohio-based Spectrum Metal Finishing Inc., a member of the PPG CAP Certified Applicator Program, applied nearly 20,000 pounds of PPG Coraflon powder coatings to metal components used on the building’s façade.

PPG Coraflon coatings are based on a proprietary fluoroethylene vinyl ether (FEVE) resin to provide satin and high-luster glosses, including solids and micas, along with outstanding color retention and superior chalk resistance. They can be used as a one-coat paint system or a two-coat system with a primer to achieve the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 2605 standard for weathering performance.

Named a 2020 Design Award recipient by the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 55 Hudson Yards contains 1.3 million square feet of office space. It is one of three skyscrapers in the Hudson Yards development that was finished with PPG coatings.

James Russell Lowell, a 19th century poet, critic, editor and diplomat, once wrote, “The only faith that wears well and holds its color in all weathers, is that which is woven of conviction and set with the sharp mordant of experience.” Experience has taught architects that coated metals wear very well over time. MM

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