The new 58,000 sq. ft. Student Union at Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY serves as the hub for the entire campus and creates a crossroads for student, faculty and staff activities. University administrators sought a “unique and appealing identity” that would raise the standard and set a new direction for architectural excellence on the campus, according to Michael Jacobs, principal, Omni Architects, Lexington, KY.
Approximately 30,000 sq. ft. of RHEINZINK® 1.0mm Preweathered Blue-Gray horizontal reveal panels and 500 sq. ft. of 1.5mm RHEINZINK Preweathered Blue-Gray perforated reveal panels were utilized.
“We sought to set a new standard and yet be respectful of the architectural language of construction long established on the campus,” Jacobs said. “Exposed structural concrete in a modernist architectural style dominates the campus. The new design uses concrete in a more limited way by placing the building on a concrete plinth. Above the plinth, much lighter and more transparent skins wrap the building.”
The RHEINZINK panels interface with lightweight aluminum glass curtainwall and the concrete. “Our recommendation to use zinc was based on the goal of providing a low maintenance, sustainable and long-term cladding material that was in keeping with the architectural themes,” according to Jacobs. RHEINZINK was also used in select interior applications.
Fabrication and installation of the RHEINZINK wall panels was provided by JC Industries, Louisville, KY. The general contractor was Messer Construction Company, Cincinnati, OH.
Photography by Frank Doering & Omni Architects