Artful Zinc Clads Specialty School

No-maintenance zinc panels age to enhance the facility.

The Cleveland School of the Arts building was designed with VMZINC panels from Dri-Design to impact the neighborhood and make an artful statement.

The Cleveland School of the Arts makes a long-term impact on its students in humanities, sciences, and the arts. The building was designed with VMZINC panels from Dri-Design, Holland, MI, to impact the neighborhood and make an artful statement for decades to come. The zinc exterior grounds the building and provides a strong aesthetic, creating a trademark feature on the public thoroughfare side of the school.

“We were asked to create a fun, exciting education facility to house the visual arts and performing arts curriculum at this school,” said Mark Schirmer, a project manager with Moody Nolan Inc., Columbus, OH. “The form was to inspire creativity, and a dynamic flow attributed to the multiple arts being instructed here. Dri-Design provided outstanding technical support and cost evaluations throughout the design phases and into the construction process.”

Panels in Quartz-Zinc and Anthra-Zinc colors cover 26,189 sq. ft. of the facility.

United Glass & Panel Systems, North Canton, OH, installed 26,189 sq. ft. of 1-mm VMZINC panels in Quartz-Zinc and Anthra-Zinc. Anthra-Zinc is a rich, charcoal black panel that offers natural color variations. It was used to clad a black-box theater, emphasizing the program of the form. Quartz-Zinc is pre-weathered to achieve a matte-gray appearance. Both types of zinc will patina over time, with Quartz-Zinc becoming darker and Anthra-Zinc lighter. The natural process enhances the beauty of zinc.

“There is no maintenance required for zinc panels because the aging process creates a natural protective coating,” said Brad Zeeff, president of Dri-Design. “Dri-Design also does not require any tapes, sealants, or caulks in the installation process. This enhances the sustainability and longevity of all Dri-Design metal panels.”

With the new building, students have many art-specific amenities, including studio classrooms, a black-box theater, rehearsal and instructional spaces, a recording studio, and a choral room.

The company’s wall-panel system installs over commercial-grade Tyvek onto plywood or can be used as an outboard insulation pressure-equalized rainscreen. The 100% recyclable panels are manufactured from a variety of materials, including zinc, copper, stainless steel, and painted and anodized aluminum. Panels are available in any fluoropolymer paint color and are sized and detailed to meet the specific requirements of each project. Unique profiles include: Shadow, Tapered, Perforated, Embossed, Textured, Imaging Technology, and Inspire. These options create angles, textures, depth, and images, along with providing high performance. The system is Dade County and AAMA 508-07 approved.

The new 126,000-sq.-ft. building is 33% larger than the former structure—a 1910 brick building—that stood at the same site. The school, founded in 1981, had been operating from a temporary space since 2009.

With the new building, students have many art-specific amenities, including studio classrooms, a black-box theater, rehearsal and instructional spaces, a recording studio, and a choral room. Core subjects, such as English, chemistry, biology, and physics, also have dedicated classrooms. All of this, mixed with outstanding students and faculty, makes the Cleveland School of Arts one of the most prestigious and successful schools in the area.

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