Wanting the look of smooth metal wall panels without the potential drawbacks related to caulked joints, a Nashville, TN-based architectural firm chose Dri-Design panels for the exterior of the new East Park Community Center in that city. The project required 14,000 sq. ft. of the .050”-thick aluminum panels, finished in White, Patina Green and Orange.
The patented Dri-Design Wall Panel System is a dry-joint, pressure-equalized rainscreen system. Its use on the building helped the architect balance the building’s need to be architecturally traditional yet contemporary at the same time.
The 33,000 sq. ft. facility is located in Nashville’s historic East Park district and provides a gateway to this diverse neighborhood. Its amenities include an indoor pool, gymnasium, community meeting rooms, fitness/aerobics space and walking/jogging track. The building was designed by Everton Oglesby Architects. Tracey Ford, the firm’s project architect, spoke of the aesthetic goals surrounding the design, and the role of Dri-Design panels in meeting them.
“We wanted to relate to the historic neighborhood but in a contemporary way. We knew from the beginning that metal panels would be a component,” said Ford. “They’re durable yet dynamic. And we loved the design flexibility of the Dri-Design product. The rainscreen system was particularly appealing to us because of its high performance. We knew we didn’t want a caulked system because of potential staining issues.”
The mixed-material project also utilizes generous amounts of brick and glass. “We wanted the community to be able to see inside,” Ford said. “There’s lots of interaction between inside and outside.”
To Ford’s knowledge, the project was Overton Oglesby’s first to use the Dri-Design product. And judging by the reaction, it won’t be the last. “We loved the whole experience,” she said. “We’ve had lots of calls asking about the panel system.”
The Dri-Design panels produced for the East Park building were installed by JWC Specialties, Nashville. The general contractor was R.G. Anderson Company, Nashville.