The unique architectural design of the Argo at Tempe Town apartment complex included 90-foot “sails” as part of the structure. The rainscreen attachment system with the Envelope 2000 panels from Citadel Architectural Products ensured a durable, watertight and attractive detail, welcoming residents and visitors.

“When the building sails were incorporated into the built structure as it exists today, metal panels were chosen for many reasons,” says Cliff Coffaro, RA, LEED AP BD+C, of Todd & Associates in Phoenix. “The metal panels are a clean, durable, true, smooth material, integrally colored, giving color options. The metal panels are also a solid material for securing the building’s waterproofing and HVAC requirements.”

The five-story apartment complex in Tempe, Ariz., is built on 5.72 acres across from the Tempe Center for the Arts and Tempe Town Lake. The complex serves as a mixed-use development with 328 apartments, plus commercial space. Nine apartments are “live-work” units, two-story apartments with more than 500 square-feet of commercial space on the first floor and 800-1,000 square-feet of residential space on the second floor. The remainder is four stories of apartments over one story of parking.

Southern Architectural Sales of Waddell, Ariz., served as the representative, delivering approximately 10,000 square-feet of Envelope 2000 panels, installed by Paul Rich Roofing of Phoenix.

“It wasn’t a simple job, by any means, working on those angles, 80-90 feet in the air,” says Wayne Pratt Jr., general manager of Paul Rich Roofing. “We had two guys in a 120-foot boom, installing panels on those sails and it was time consuming. They would take up a panel, install it, and come back down for another panel. They could only take up one panel at a time. Plus, we had to do some field fabricating, but that’s not unusual. It really turned out great. I’ve heard a lot of good things.”

Pratt says the bottom panels were installed so they could be removed in case of damage, as there is a lot of traffic around the complex.

In addition to a fountain at the front of the complex, the signature architectural element is the 90-foot-tall steel panel “sails” with LED color change lighting for a nautical look that will be visible from the freeway across the lake.

“The concept of their layout on the shape of the sail was a good setup to capture the stitched fabric look to further enforce the sail look as part of the conceptual design,” Coffaro says.

The Envelope 2000 panels were installed using the rainscreen attachment system from Citadel.

“The rainscreen system was chosen hands down by ownership, without even thinking about it,” Coffaro says. “The owner’s regional manager took one look at a small mockup of one sail (about 3 feet by 6 feet) and gave direction to the whole team to use the rainscreen system because they did not want the maintenance of dealing with a sealant joint at every panel-to-panel connection. The sail panels are 90 feet tall, 20 feet above the highest parapets of the building in most locations. The panel layout – angled and paralleled along the hypotenuse of the sail’s edge – also led to the decision to use the rainscreen system, to ensure positive and successful drainage of the building envelope.”

Coffaro says the color choices and finishes as well as the joinery and panel to panel reveal options, “were all very helpful in finding a successful product for the project.”