Skyway Library

Dri-Design panels have been known to turn heads for their looks, but they were selected for the Skyway Library in Seattle because they can turn around a building. The entire exterior of the library is wrapped in Dri-Design Wall Panels, creating a landmark destination for the downtown district. The joint venture architects of BuildingWork and Weinstein AU, both of Seattle, were adamant that the last piece of metal panel had to circle back and meet the first—with precision.

“We envisioned the building as a solid, three-dimensional sculptural form,” says Matt Aalfs, design principal/project manager with BuildingWork. “With Dri-Design, the corner panels allowed us to have the cladding turn the corner while achieving this goal. We could not achieved this with a two-dimensional metal panel product system.”

Aalfs notes: “The exterior skin was the most important part of the project. From early on, we made the decision not to puncture the Dri-Design skin in any way, so creating space for all the necessary elements took many iterations, and we are thrilled with the results.”

RSB Construction Inc., Spanaway, Wash., installed the 0.080-inch aluminum Dri-Design Wall Panels in three shades of Starry Night Blue. The three blue shades were chosen so they stand out during the day and blend into the sky at twilight. The dark blue colors give depth to the panels and offer a slight color shift that becomes more dramatic with varying amounts of sunlight. Dri-Design Painted Aluminum Panels offer the ultimate design flexibility for exterior and interior applications, and the Fluoropolymer-based paints provide a durable finish. Dri-Design’s finishers use a 100 percent air capture system to destroy any VOCs produced during the coating process, so there are no adverse environmental impacts.

The goal for the 8,000-square-foot library was to bring inspiration to a neighborhood littered with non-descript buildings. The design team considered many other materials, but only metal wall panels felt right. Brick was found to be too conventional, and standard metal siding was deemed not special enough. Even a terra cotta rainscreen system was studied, but it lacked the sought-after impact.

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