Creating unforgettable culinary experiences is what the Iowa Culinary Institute at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny does well. Students and staff at the institute now do this in an expanded space with an unforgettable façade created by Dri-Design Shadow Series Wall Panels and Aluvium finish wall panels.


DMACC was looking to update and expand its classroom building to continue to attract students and ensure the space matches real-world culinary expectations. The expansion brought a new entryway, lobby and pre-banquet area, as well as upgraded existing spaces.


Inspiration for the renovation’s design came to architect Shive-Hattery, West Des Moines, Iowa, from a building to the west of the institute classroom that has a terra cotta tile exterior. The design team wanted to match that look with something that installed easily, was cost effective and has low maintenance. Dri-Design was able meet these needs with its 0.080-inch aluminum Shadow Series and Aluvium panels.


The Aluvium finish features a new paint system that expresses not only a new look but also a new feel, in a high-quality, PVDF finish. The paint finish uses a special technique to impart a sand-like texture during the finishing process. Beyond the unique tactile expression, this texture gives the panels a very distinctive visual element, whether experiencing it from a close proximity or far away. Also, because the paint uses a 70% PVDF resin package, the finish achieves the highest levels of performance in an exterior environment.


The project required 5,038 square feet of Shadow Series panels in Pewter and Regatta Mica (blue), as well as 2,753 square feet of Terra Cotta Armagnac, Terra Cotta Mountain and Terra Cotta True Penny. “The color selection of the metal was chosen to coordinate with an adjacent building that used orange terra cotta along with the DMACC’s blue, which is used in the school logo,” says Paul Rathjen, an architectural designer with Shive-Hattery.


The panels were installed by SGH Inc., Urbandale, Iowa. SGH, which has installed Dri-Design panels for more than a decade, added its expertise to ensure the desired look was achieved.


“The architect wanted the look to be completely random, similar to terra cotta,” says Jeff Alkema, director of construction operations with SGH. “In order to do that, you have to create a pattern to essentially make a very organized pattern look random.”


The Shadow Series panels also added dimension because they can be extended at varying depths to create texture or a dynamic variation in patterns while keeping the substrate and weather barrier in the same plane. The exterior installation carries into the interior, through the curtainwall, requiring SGH to technically prepare for two separate installs on the same building.


Alkema notes the job remained challenge free because it was a Guaranteed Dimension project from Dri-Design. In fact, the panels were ready and waiting at the jobsite well before SGH could install them.


“Our Guaranteed Dimension program allows for the general contractor, architect, installer and Dri-Design team to collaborate to establish dimensions that all other trades will build to in order for the Dri-Design panels to fit perfectly on a building,” says Brad Zeeff, president of Dri-Design. “Guaranteed Dimensions eliminate the need for field dimensions. This program really makes a difference for projects with tight schedules.”