ZGF Architects worked with the team at UCLA’s Center for the Health Sciences building’s South Tower on a custom mesh railing infill for the complex.
The 443,000-sq.-ft. South Tower building on UCLA’s Center for the Health Sciences (CHS) building underwent a seismic upgrade and renovation to convert nine of the former hospital’s 12 floors into research lab space. ZGF Architects wanted to create a custom mesh railing infill for the complex.
ZGF’s vision was to maximize openness without diminishing the strength of the infill material.
The upgrade and renovation is part of the South Tower Seismic Renovation project—a four-phase initiative to reinforce the building’s structure, make interior improvements and exterior upgrades to comply with new energy requirements. This was all to be done without compromising the structure’s architectural integrity. The glazed curtainwall, with the help of louvers and soffits, facilitates natural ventilation to save on energy costs. The constant breeze moving from the top to the bottom of the tower during the day creates the potential for wind-driven rain or humid air to pass through. The mesh will maintain its pristine look indefinitely.
ZGF Architects challenged Banker Wire to manufacture a custom woven wire mesh pattern for use as railing infill in a new exterior stair tower. The infill needed to be built to specifications for safety, transparency, and aesthetics. Banker jumped at the opportunity and began developing tooling to create the perfect pattern to complement the high-performance, ultra-clear glass curtainwall.
Banker Wire turned this vision into reality by creating a brand new mesh pattern, M55Z-2, a rectangular 5-wire repeat infill with a high percent open area. It has long, straight sections of wire interrupted by a smooth and gentle crimp.
“We chose to work with Banker Wire’s product because we wanted the railing infill to look somewhat transparent while meeting building codes,” says Phiroze Titina, Principal with ZGF. “Banker delivered a maintenance-free material that satisfied both of these needs for the railing systems in an unconditioned space.”