The Cedars Sinai Health System’s Los Angeles campus is a busy area with many different types of buildings. One of those, the Steven Spielberg Building, now features a unique design element created with a blend of curved and straight Kalzip perforated material. This architecturally appealing feature also serves an important purpose.
The Steven Spielberg Building houses an ambulatory care center and research laboratories. When administrators decided to add additional laboratories within the building it involved a comprehensive remodel of the third floor. The project included a seismic retrofit because of the increased load capacity on the upper level. The retrofit involved placing a lateral restraint system outside the building using cross-braced, three-story towers adjacent to the building. One side faced an alley where appearance was not a concern. But the east side of the building faced the rest of the campus, including the nearby hospital and parking lot, so its appearance was most important.
The architect of record for the project was Perkins+Will, Los Angeles and the project team included Jay Nordsten, AIA, CCCA, LEED AP, project manager and associate principal at the firm, and Jim Stafford, LEED AP, project designer and associate principal.
Once they identified that the appearance of these tall steel structures was a concern, the architects worked on different design strategies to mitigate it. The one that gained the most favor was called the "wave" – a screen with some level of transparency that would lay over the structures to create a ribbon across the upper part of the building’s front.
After the designers evaluated many different material options for this application their choice was Kalzip perforated material because it fit every need - transparency, visual attraction, light weight, and the ability to be shaped into the curves of the design.
The unique wave features Kalzip 65/400 in a bright silver color with a 30 percent open area created by 3/16-inch diameter holes staggered at 5/16 inch. It uses 3,622 square feet of Kalzip straight material, 4,244 square feet of convex curved material and 2,251 square feet of concave curved material, mounted to steel substructures that attach to the main structures. The project was completed in August of 2010.
According to Nordsten, the intense design work and product research brought great results. “It was Important to have the qualities that Kalzip offered because we wanted to screen the structure including windows, while maintaining the ability for those inside the building to see out. It was a challenging road to get where we did with this design, but it was worth it. It transformed the look of the building and our client at Cedars is very pleased with the result.”