The Elk River YMCA is full of life and excitement, and the building’s vitality is reflected in its exterior design. The material mix includes precast concrete but the spotlight products are corrugated and flat-lock metal wall panels, both manufactured by Firestone Building Products.
Completed in May 2008, the YMCA backs up to a busy highway. To ensure the appearance of the rear of the facility was worthy its high visibility, BWBR Architects of St. Paul, Minnesota, skinned the rear of the building with Firestone’s UNA-CLAD UR-Pro Omega corrugated panels. Offering a clean, contemporary look, they were specified in a 22-gauge steel substrate with a Silver Metallic Kynar 500®/Hylar® paint finish. On the north side of the building the same panels add dimension to the precast concrete.
Utilized on the front of the building were Firestone’s UNA-CLAD Flat Lock Wall Panels, fashioned from 24-gauge steel with the same Silver Metallic Kynar® 500/Hylar 5000 paint finish. Craig Peterson, BWBR’s design leader,noted the use of metal on the back of the building was nothing unusual, but incorporating metal near the entrance would be unexpected to some. “Metal is not often featured quite so prominently within one’s touch, as it is here,” he said. “The effect is quite remarkable and successful.”
The Flat Lock panels connote movement, speed, and action, bringing the building alive with visual energy. They also project a more human scale and offer a tactile experience. The precast concrete, conversely, suggests permanence and sturdiness.
In all, some 12,000 sq. ft. of Firestone products were used on the project. They were installed by Architectural Images of Loretto, Minnesota. RJM Construction of Elk River was the general contractor.