Complementary metal panels add style and fun to a community activity center.
Residents of eastern Tuscaloosa County, Ala., had long felt neglected in the county’s planning efforts when discussions began for a new activity center. Designers with Ellis Architects initially had proposed a purpose-built structure with a masonry exterior to county commissioners. When costs came back, however, they proved to be higher than the budget would allow.
Going back to their drawing boards, the design team opted for a prefabricated metal building. The building package already included metal roofing, and the architects selected a combination of panel profiles to add visual punch to the façade.
“They were wanting a contemporary look, not like a traditional metal building,” says Eric Requist, a senior project architect with the design firm. “We tried to do that by breaking up the structure the [water] slides come out of.” Requist explains getting the mix of styles just right was more art than science. “You play around with different textures, and the different proportions of those textures, until you think to yourself it looks aesthetically pleasing,” he says.
The final plan paired 8,100 sq. ft. of PAC-CLAD Reveal panels with 6,500 sq. ft. of PAC-CLAD Precision Series HWP panels – all in .024-gauge aluminum and Sandstone finish. Requist explains, “The intent was to find a balance between the two, using the tighter, undulating panel as an accent.”
Ensuring the panel lines remained continuous around the building took a little extra time for the installation pros from Birmingham, Ala.-based R. B. Atkins & Associates. “One of the unique things in this project is they mixed up the panels all over the surface of the building,” says Brian Atkins, the company’s president.
Both architects and installers were equally upbeat in discussing their experience working with Petersen on the job. “They’re always good to work with,” Requist says, who noted that he has a long history of working with metal panels in general, and Petersen materials specifically. “I know that if I hadn’t had the experience, they could have helped me out as they did years ago. Atkins sums up the Petersen advantage simply: “Good people, good products and good service.”