Using VMZINC® QUARTZ-ZINC sheets, Abrams Architectural Products of Atlanta fabricated custom zinc Flat lock panels to enhance the stunning aesthetic of the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (AEIVA) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
The lead architect, the late Randall Stout, thoughtfully designed AEIVA to reflect its function – a dynamic center for growth and advancement of the arts. The University carefully selected Stout to lead the artistic direction for this innovative and exciting new building due to his reputation as a visionary. Stout’s vision for the AEIVA building allowed him to capture the unique composition of its surroundings, while transforming light, shadow, form and materials into an innovative architectural form enjoyed by students and faculty members alike.
As a cultural gateway between UAB and the greater Birmingham community, AEIVA houses Department of Art and Art History classrooms, faculty offices, state-of-the-art studios and galleries, creating an artistic hub on campus.
AEIVA makes a remarkable visual statement, while seamlessly integrating into the surrounding environment. The building’s exterior is clad in a customized finish produced by Abrams Architectural Products on VMZINC®QUARTZ-ZINC sheets, then formed into custom Flat lock panels by Abrams Architectural Products, which embellish its striking angles and off-axis second story. Furthermore, the organic nature of zinc complements the flood of natural sunlight in the lobby, and the open, shaded spaces outside of the building.
In addition to their visual impact, QUARTZ-ZINC panels are extremely practical. Zinc is highly durable, fully recyclable and easily malleable. The use of zinc allowed Stout to strike a balance between environmental sensitivity and contemporary innovation in AEIVA’s design. Per Stout’s creative vision, the Abrams team applied a unique patina finish, organically produced, and created special for the AEIVA building. This distinctive artistic process will continue to age naturally and beautifully for years to come.
The 26,000-square-foot building was completed in January 2014. With the help of zinc, AEIVA’s design embodies the diverse cultural, social and aesthetic approaches to art that UAB cherishes.
“The Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts highlights the elegance, strength and adaptability of VMZINC® QUARTZ-ZINC,” said Daniel Nicely, managing director at VMZINC®-US. “It was a privilege to be a part of a project, which will empower the creativity of countless students, faculty and community members for years to come.”