The Beth Tfiloh Lower School in Baltimore was moving from an attractive off-site location to the main campus and wanted its new building to be fun and inviting for the students.
Approximately 8,500 sq. ft. of Dri-Design panels finished in three complementary colors and installed in a checkerboard pattern helped to achieve the desired effect. The .080 aluminum panels were finished in Colonial Red, Burgundy and Mansard Brown.
“The challenge was that they had a pretty good looking facility at the off-campus location so we needed to make this new building as good or better,” said Michael Poness, AIA, design principal, WMCRP Architects, Landover, MD. “We wanted a high caliber of architectural design and function—so that led to looking at the materials pretty carefully.”
The project was WMCRP’s first experience with Dri-Design. “We hadn’t used it before but we were familiar with it. We liked the idea of the rainscreen approach and avoiding sealant joints which can be problematic. Dri-Design offers a good interlocking system,” Poness said.
The Dri-Design panels interface with masonry known as “Jerusalem stone,” according to Poness. “The masonry at the front is meant to recall the kind of materials used throughout the Middle East and particularly Israel. All of the children at the school will travel to Israel at one time so the intent was to have the architecture reflect what they will see there,” reports Poness.
The random design pattern of the three Dri-Design colors was determined by working on large elevation drawings. Installation of the panels was done by AWP, Inc., Baltimore.
According to Poness, the director of the school said, “The best way to describe this new building is ‘wow’.”
The general contractor on the project was H.H. Lewis Contractors, Owings Mills, MD.