This is not the first time East Market Street in Philadelphia has seen revitalization. The former Mallas Building, constructed in the 19th century, sat among many mixed-use structures in the area in need of improvements and new tenants. As Panda Express prepared to move into the building, a facelift was needed to distinguish the retail chain from past tenants. The installation of Dri-Design with Perforated Imaging panels brings a sense of art and style to a bustling Philadelphia corner. 

“Perforated Imaging panels can be created from any digital picture or pattern, bringing a truly custom design to a structure,” says Brad Zeeff, founder of Dri-Design. “This project respected the exterior changes the building has undergone for more than 100 years, while adding an artistic facelift to a revitalized neighborhood.”

J&G Building Group, Middletown, Del., installed 2,000 square feet of copper anodized Perforated Imaging Dri-Design Panels. For the install, metal Z-furring was attached to the masonry walls of the building followed by a layer of ¾-inch plywood. The plywood was painted for weather protection. The crew then installed another layer of Z-furring to the plywood and attached the metal panels. 

Dri-Design with Perforated Imaging uses advanced computer-based manufacturing to create complex images with perforations. By varying the size, location and density of the perforations, areas of light, dark and shades in between are created to form an image or pattern. These perforations also allow the panel to provide needed airflow and/or shade to a structure. 

Working on an older building always comes with challenges. “We assessed the existing conditions before construction began,” says Alexis King, project manager/estimator with J&G Building Group. “There were many inconsistencies in the existing masonry, which led to a fair amount of shimming of the Z-furrings to achieve a flat and straight substrate.

Panda Express’ design team provided three patterns that are repeated throughout the perforated panels, creating a unique façade. The restaurant is open for business—and so is the updated East Market Street. 

For more information about the Dri-Design® Wall Panel System, call 616-355-2970 or visit