It’s Clemson. It’s Tigers. It’s Metal. At Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., the west end zone of Clemson Memorial Stadium has a statement piece that is clad in Dri-Design panels. Known as the Oculus of the WestZone Complex, the iconic structure serves as the center of the Clemson Athletic District.
Architect LS3P, Greenville, S.C., was asked to renovate the existing west end zone and include a new pedestrian bridge and tower. Logistically this renovation improves safety at the stadium and enhances the fan experience. Physically the Oculus creates a sense of balance with the stadium’s size and provides a logical transition from the pedestrian scale at street level to the multi-level scale of the stadium seating.
LS3P selected 0.080-inch aluminum Dri-Design Painted Aluminum Panels in a Silver color. The metal accentuates the tower while providing a shimmering effect. During the day, sunlight modulates the intensity of the material, and accent lighting causes a dramatic effect at night.
Pickens Roofing Inc., Anderson, S.C., installed 21,625 square feet of the panels. Dri-Design panels are unlike others because they are a true single skin metal panel system, not laminated or a composite. Sealants, gaskets, caulk and tape are not needed for any Dri-Design installation. The panels, therefore, will not streak. Dri-Design panels are 100 percent recyclable, available in any painted color, and are sized and detailed to meet the specific requirements of each project.
“A metal panel rainscreen was selected because it could easily be faceted to clad the cylindrical geometry of the tower,” says Jaime Henderson, associate architect with LS3P. “The rainscreen system did not require any sealants or gaskets, which was an important maintenance consideration for a 140-foot-tall tower.”
LS3P also appreciated that Dri-Design panels are an integrated system that does not have separate panel and reveal pieces. This feature allows installations to be completed faster and with increased precision. “The speed of installation proved to be vital, as the project had to be complete by the start of football season,” Henderson says. “Scheduling of scaffolding and other concurrent work mandated a quick installation.”
The Oculus was the final phase of the WestZone Complex three-phase project. The 6,000-square-foot addition has four levels and serves as a gateway to the stadium and Tigers pride. This tower complements Tillman Hall bell tower by perfectly aligning along a campus axis.