The new High Street Residence Hall at Dickinson College, showcases modern student living inside, and a zinc façade in durable, distinctive and sustainable RHEINZINK cladding, on the outside. As the first residence constructed in 40 years on the historic Pennsylvania campus, High Street opened in Aug. 2018, and in Jan. 2019, earned LEED Platinum certification through the U.S. Green Building Council.
Historic Setting, Modern Design
The new building takes a prominent place on the main thoroughfare of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where this private, liberal arts college has welcomed students since 1783. The campus hosts numerous architectural styles, unified by their stone exteriors.
Designed by Deborah Berke Partners and built by Benchmark Construction, the High Street Residence also incorporates limestone, as well as other natural materials like mahogany accents and zinc. The combination of materials bridges historic formality and a modern, friendly appearance.
The stone-faced front of the building suits Dickinson's legacy, while the back provides a more contemporary, casual connection to the campus lawn and a nod to the local agricultural vernacular. Here, RHEINZINK prePATINA blue-grey panels wrap High Street's southern elevation and frame variable-sized window openings.
The E-shaped, 40,500-square-foot, four-story building offers 85 private and double room configurations along with study rooms, community kitchen, indoor bike storage and other communal spaces. Construction spanned 16 months and cost approximately $19 million.
With the addition of High Street's 130-bed residence hall, Dickinson College's 2,400 students can be housed in properties that either are owned or leased by the college. Its opening marked the final phase of a historic six-year campus enhancement effort.
Dynamic Aesthetic, Professional Installation
The three dominant façade materials provide a changing canvas that evolves in coloration as they age and weather. The sun will bleach the dark-grey limestone ashlar. The mahogany strips will darken to a leaden tone. The RHEINZINK prePATINA blue-grey will continue to develop its soft grey, natural patina.
"The dynamic aesthetic of RHEINZINK's façade cladding make it a perfect choice for a student residence hall on an active campus, and the natural advantages of zinc support the college's exceptional commitment to sustainability," said Chuck Bell, RHEINZINK's regional sales manager.
Enhancing the building's visual interest, the zinc panels were installed by Novinger's Inc. in a randomized pattern. "The architect determined the pattern and we put it in place," noted Rick Becker, project superintendent with Novinger's. "The windows served as our guide, as everything had to line up to them."
Because zinc was a new material for Novinger's, Becker said that they brought in Craig Hardin as a training consultant with experience installing RHEINZINK wall cladding. "He shared his tool list, and worked with us on the right techniques including some scallop details that we wanted to perfect."
To further ensure the correct appearance and proper installation, Novinger's installed a mock-up on site for the project team's review prior to begin the full project. Once approved, Novinger's went to work with a field team of six to eight people who worked through the changing seasons.
"The job looks great!" added Becker enthusiastically. He shared that he thought it looks so nice he wishes the zinc was on the front, too.
Hand-Crafted, Natural Appeal