The Learning Resource Center at Los Angeles Trade Technical College has recently undergone a complete transformation. This multifaceted complex is set to house a diversity of programs and supporting organizations for students, faculty, and staff including a library, offices, and computer labs.
To enhance the facility's appearance and functionality as the campus' focal point, the facade of the building was re-designed to better connect with its surroundings all four sides. With this in mind, the building envelope, a zinc rain screen system, fabricated by MetalTech-USA, was conceived by the project designer Michael Bulander of Harley Ellis Devereaux as a series of undulating ribbons jutting out beyond the existing floor structure to identify entranceways, provide canopies and sunshades on particular levels, and radiate an outward energy to the four corners of the campus.
"Zinc was selected for this project for its organic character and the slight variations in the finish as it develops a matte patina over time," states Bulander. This distinct patina contributes to the lively appearance of the building in its central campus location. Bulander mentions zinc's 'self healing' attribute as another important quality for a community college environment. As the protective patina develops, scratches and imperfections will self-repair over time. The building envelope consists of 34,000 square feet of Rheinzink preweathered Blue Gray Zinc Interlocking Reveal Panels. With large areas of cladding, oil canning is sometimes a concern and the architect wanted to keep this visual characteristic to a minimum. To ensure the architect's aesthetic requirements were met, 18 gauge/1.2 mm zinc was selected to fabricate the panels. Eric Simonsen, MetalTech-USA VP and Project Manager, worked closely with the installing contractor during the initial contract phases to make sure the material thickness was not compromised. MetalTech made several job site visits working with the installers to provide feedback and ensure the architect's intended result. Progressive design, in conjunction with MetalTech's sustainable cladding, realized HED's goal of the LRC becoming a "true functional and symbolic centerpiece of the academic campus."
Sustainability was an important project goal. The Learning Resource Center is targeted to achieve a LEED™ Platinum Certification. The utilization of zinc panels in the facade contributed to this certification via a high performance building envelope that is energy efficient, maintenance friendly, and aesthetically pleasing.
Specialty metal fabrication and engineering: MetalTech-USA
Architect: Harley Ellis Devereaux
Installer: Tinco Sheet Metal
MetalTech-USA is a premier distributor and specialty fabricator of eco-friendly architectural metals that specializes in roofing, rainwater, soffit and cladding systems. for more information, visit www.metaltech-usa.com, or call 770-486-8825.