Metal Panels Enhance Design of Learning Center
The new Richland Two Institute of Innovation is a unique educational center supporting multigenerational learning. The facility is part of the Richland School District Two in Columbia, S.C., and is envisioned as a “fishbowl of learning” that weaves together spaces and programs for the school district as well as the community.
The Institute offers specialized classes for juniors and seniors from Richland Two’s five high schools, as well as provides comprehensive training and certification programs for adult learners throughout the area. The two-story, 245,000-square-foot building also offers community resources including a public library, public meeting rooms, shared auditorium, dining and conference areas as well as Richland Two’s District Office and training facilities.
The building can accommodate up to 800 people for workforce development classes and professional workshops. It was constructed as a design/build partnership between the architectural firm LS3P and M.B. Kahn Construction Co.
The highly contemporary design employs an inviting and colorful palette of materials including four different PAC-CLAD profiles in a variety of exterior and interior applications. The design team selected Petersen’s Reveal Panels as the primary exterior profile. The 22-gauge panels were finished in five complementary colors including Interstate Blue, Silver, Sierra Tan, Slate Gray and Almond.
The PAC-CLAD Reveal Panels were key to the overall design concept. “We wanted the building to have a high-tech, contemporary look but be economical,” said Mary Beth Branham, principal and LS3P’s Columbia office leader. “The district didn’t have a ton of money and needed to allocate available funds as smartly as possible. The PAC-CLAD panels were economical yet offered a nice blend of systems and profiles that could create the contemporary, industrial aesthetic we were going for. And the different colors of the metal panels allowed us to tie the exterior into the interior color scheme.”
The design team integrated the Reveal Panels on the front of the building with a simulated stone veneer, abundant glazing and four clerestories that introduce natural light and also serve as prominent design elements. The rear portion of the structure utilizes pre-cast concrete painted to match the differing colors of Petersen’s metal panels.
In addition to the PAC-CLAD Reveal Panels, three other Petersen profiles were blended into the design scheme. Approximately 10,000 square-feet of Tite-Loc Plus panels were used on four clerestory roof elements that help differentiate the main areas of the building. Also, 2,000 square-feet of Petersen’s Precision Series HWP panels provide accent areas under many of the windows on the rear portion of the building. PAC-CLAD Flush Panels were also used in various soffit applications.
Installation of all PAC-CLAD systems was done by Watts & Associates, Columbia. “This was a complex job,” said Scott Mathias, vice president and project manager. “LS3P was great to work with. The design team was very open to receiving ideas and suggestions for materials and products. We went to them with the Petersen option based on some of the challenges involved with using a single-skin product on the heights we were dealing with.”
The complexity of the installation was compounded by the use of four different types of metal panels in five different colors. “Determining the transitions between the colors required careful detailing where the various color panels tied in with each other. But again, that was mainly front-end stuff. We made samples to show everyone how we planned to do it and then everyone was on-board,” Mathias said. “Throughout the process, it was a total team effort. All of the players—including the school district—were totally committed to make sure we got it done and got it done right.”