When renovating its Tampa branch to upgrade the facility and corporate office, Flagler Construction Equipment wanted a creative way to display its products. Large in scale, Flagler’s products include giant excavators, backhoe loaders, pipe layers and compactors. An effective outdoor display area required a well-defined space large enough to showcase heavy-duty machines and trucks while complementing the renovated building.
Flagler wanted its renovated building and product display area to help articulate its new business approach, which includes adding better systems, better technologies and better management tools to provide an exceptional customer experience. Because the original building was an off-the-shelf metal warehouse structure, a team was assigned to transform it into a custom-looking, contemporary two-level facility that signifies Flagler’s new branding.
As part of the renovation plan, the added product display area needed to reflect the aesthetics of the renovation while providing an easy way for large trucks to be changed out from time to time. This required a two-level, stall-type structure made from aesthetically pleasing materials that would not obstruct the view of the product yet would withstand the outdoor elements and require little maintenance.
Comprised of Alfonso Architects of Tampa as designer, Diaz Fritz Isabel of Tampa as general contractor, and Arrow Sheet Metal Works of Tampa as metal fabricator, the team needed to devise a display case that would serve as a veritable outdoor backlit merchandise “window” visible day and night.
The team turned to McNichols specialty metal, modified to create a crest defining the area, which measures 19 × 32 ft. Supported by metal beams, it adjoins the north side of the building and is distinguished by its rectangular crown—or curtainwall—of McNichols Perforated aluminum panels that were corrugated for aesthetic emphasis by Arrow Sheet Metal Works. This open-air, ground level display is illuminated at night by floodlights mounted onto the elevated support beams. Buttressed by 7- × -7-in. vertical and horizontal structural beams and coated with Silver-Brite aluminum paint, the curtainwall is made from McNichols Perforated Metal panels in 0.040 gauge with 1/4-in, holes on 3/8-in. staggered centers. Rob Blount, project manager with Alfonso Architects, said the perforated metal was selected for its light diffusion. “We wanted a material that wasn’t a solid and appeared translucent from a distance, but still ‘contained’ the truck display,” he said, noting that corrugating the perforated metal material added to its aesthetics and provided more light transmission.