The Equal Justice Initiative is building a national memorial to victims of lynching in Montgomery, Alabama, which is expected to open in 2018. This memorial project relating to America's history of racial terror and lynching will become the most ambitious in the nation on this topic. A classical structure was designed for the memorial, consisting of 805 columns - one for each county where EJI documented racial terror lynchings. When visitors enter the memorial, the ground drops and perception shifts as visitors realize that the columns that appeared to be holding up the structure are actually monuments suspended from above, which evoke the lynchings that took place in the public square. Over 4,000 names of lynching victims will be inscribed on these monuments.
In addition to the 805 memorial columns there are 805 identical “memory bank modules” that are temporarily located in the landscape around the memorial and will be relocated to the counties across the country where the lynchings took place. This totals 1,610 modules with over 8,000 names.
We interviewed Eric Simonsen, our VP of Project Management, to discuss this project in more detail.
Product & Materials
Soffit/Ceiling Panels: 20ga elZinc Graphite Flatlock Panels
Custom Fabricated Memorials: 11ga A606 Weathering Steel
Soffit/Ceiling Panels: "The project presented several ‘design’ challenges. We had to modify our standard flatlock panel system in order to meet the aesthetic, structural, and installation challenges. Aesthetically the design intent was for a completely flat surface. The basis of design was an ‘s-lock’ style panel that would have given the surface alignment of the panels they desired, but it would not have met the structural loading requirements. Our standard flatlock panel has a stepped panel surface where the panels overlap and interlock however it’s the interlocking joints that give the system the strength needed to meet the design loads. So we added a step-down profile to the panel so that they would have a flush surface alignment but maintain the strength we needed. The installation of the panel system is also atypical for our flatlock panel system because it’s being installed over an open grid framing system. Without a solid substrate the attachment points for the panels are limited therefore a great deal of coordination between all trades involved was required throughout the shop drawing process."
Custom Fabricated Memorials: "The biggest design challenge for the memorial modules was/and is the handling of data. There are a total of 1,610 unique modules - 805 memorial columns and 805 memory bank modules and there are over 8,000 victim's names inscribed on those modules. The font selection, font layout and spacing, the fabrication process to inscribe the names, the review process to make sure that the names were accurately transferred from the graphic designer to us for fabrication, and the tracking of all this from design to fabrication completion is a daunting task that we’re proud to be a part of."
Discuss The Development Process
"The development process for the Custom Fabricated A606 Memorials took many rounds of sample submittals to settle on the exact product and process the designers and client wanted. We experimented with different methods of inscribing the text with etching, fully cut text, text with color inlay, text with contrasting backer, and ultimately settled on fully cut text with the shadow of the interior of the module providing the contrast for legibility. We utilized a variety of different fabrication techniques in order to cut the text and give the designers and clients options on font style as well as font sizing all while analyzing the efficiency of production to maintain the project budget. We also submitted a variety of preweathered finish samples using different preweathering methods to achieve the look desired for the opening of the project while still allowing the metal to weather naturally on-site."
Custom Fabrication Details
"We’re using a fully automated robotic welding cell to produce the modules. The individual components of each module are laser cut on a CNC laser processing center and the components are then welded together to create the modules using the robotic welding cell. The entire process require a delicate balance between skilled fabricator, programmers, and managers coupled with the advanced technology of the automated production process."
"I personally can say that given the current political and sociocultural climate of our country, I’m proud to be part of a project that is working to heal the wounds of our country's past and working to unify us as people instead of dividing."
"There’s an identity about Rubey Park that people have in their minds, so we wanted to build on and enhance that. We’ve tried to retain some of the key elements of the existing building, and update it so that it functions well and so that it’s a safe place to be and that people like coming in and out," says Gilbert Sanchez, Principal-in-charge and architect with Studio B Architecture who was responsible for the updated design. “Zinc provides an appealing and quality aesthetic appearance for this civic project.”
elZinc architectural grade zinc was chosen as the new roof cladding to help maintain the historic form of the building. The zinc material was fabricated into Double Lock Standing Seam Panels cladding the roof and façade of Rubey Park. Sanchez says the Standing Seams Panels were selected in part for its visual connection to the original roof, durability and low maintenance.
The new bilingual site is intended to inform and showcase elZinc as a sustainable, cladding material, while also providing all the tools and documentation necessary for specification available for download. Also contained in the site is a brief overview of elZinc as an international brand, useful technical and environmental information on the titanium-zinc alloy, and the wide range of aesthetic and technical finishes available.
“With the launching of the elZinc America website, we expect to further expand our sales in architectural zinc, while also offering additional services and resources to our clients,” says Nils Simonsen, President of MetalTech-USA. “We are eager to see what new opportunities arise from the launch of the site.”
Matt Galloro, of SDG Architectural Sales, has been named MetalTech-USA’s local representative in Southern California. With 20 years of commercial and custom home building in his pocket and another 15 years of experience within the architectural sales side of this industry, Galloro has a very unique perspective on sales and working with clients to bring their visions to life. Because of his diverse experience, he is able to address and understand any concern or question that may arise during a project.
“I’m excited to explore new projects and applications as well as work with the creative clients already working with MetalTech-USA,” says Galloro.
SDG Architectural Sales has two showrooms located in Gardena and San Diego, California. These showrooms offer a display of architectural products in a realistic demonstration.
“Matt is going to be a great addition to our team down in Southern California,” says Brandon Henry, Sales Manager of MetalTech-USA. “With SDG’s showrooms in two California locations, architects and designers are able to go in and experience a finished product in application.”
Built on the waterfront of Portsmouth’s downtown Historic District, 3S is the first truly contemporary building. The exterior material palette consists of weathering steel cladding in alternating profiles, weathered wood boards, and translucent cladding at entrances. Inspired by the area’s shipbuilding past, the oxidized metal panels are a nod to the scrap metal piles once lining the area’s shorefront.
“We were renovating an existing concrete building,” says McHenry Architecture Principal Steve McHenry. “Simple and rustic raw materials seemed appropriate yet visually distinctive.”
McHenry Architecture selected MetalTech-USA’s weathered steel to help achieve the distinctive look they were seeking. Weathered Steel, often referred to as Cor-Ten or A606, is a unique material gaining popularity as of late for its distinctive rust patina. This natural yet stable protective coating acts as a defense against further corrosion. Weathered steel arrives unrusted and develops a rust-like appearance once exposed to the elements for a period of time.
MetalTech-USA was chosen to fabricate the weathered steel panels for the façade. Roughly 3,300 square feet of sinusoidal corrugated panels and 1,800 square feet of flat panels were fabricated from 22 Gauge and 20 Gauge weathering steel, respectively. Panels were through fastened to the plywood underlayment with stainless steel screws and exposed fastener heads. Installation of the metal panels was completed by Industrial Roofing Companies of Lewiston, Maine.
“The project was a good project for the community and with the finishes, including the weathering steel, fit right in the area and looked like it had been there for a while,” says Industrial Roofing Companies Metal Services Manager David Link.
MetalTech-USA is the premier distributor and specialty fabricator of eco-friendly architectural metals specializing in roofing, facade, and soffit cladding systems. For more information, visit www.metaltech-usa.com, or call 770-486-8825.
The GLOBE Award winners represented 15 counties across the state and collectively expanded into 102 new international markets. MetalTech-USA along with the other winners are a vital part of Georgia’s fast growing small business industry.
In 2015, MetalTech-USA embarked on a new partnership with elZinc, the third largest producer of rolled architectural zinc in the world. As the new distributor for elZinc in North and South America, MetalTech is expected to increase their exports dramatically in 2016.
“The award is a source of great pride to our company, and shows our dedication to excel both locally and internationally,” says Nils Simonsen, President of MetalTech-USA.
MetalTech-USA is proud to be part of Georgia’s exporting initiative and looking to expand exports exponentially in the years to come.
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