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University of Arizona Sixth Street Residence Hall


The striking new Sixth Street Residence Hall at the University of Arizona in Tucson features a dramatic application of Dri-Design’s new Ombrae™ Imaging Technology. Ombrae was developed by artist and Hollywood set designer Roderick Quin and uses an advanced computer software system to cut three-dimensional pixels in Dri-Design panels.

In addition to the five-story Ombrae-created visual that utilized 1,000 sq. ft. of material, approximately 30,000 sq. ft. of Dri-Design panels were installed in various applications on the multi-building complex. The applications included 10,000 sq. ft. of Dri-Design perforated panels plus 20,000 sq. ft. of traditional Dri-Design panels. The .080” aluminum panels were finished in four colors including Copper Anodized, Garland Green, Aspen Meadow and Green Pear.

The patented Dri-Design Wall Panel System is an affordable dry joint, pressure-equalized rainscreen system.

The residence hall will house more than 700 honor students and is named Arbol de la Vida, meaning tree of life. The design for the complex follows two visual themes. One is of an iconic Southwest slot canyon which can be seen both through the complex’s shape as well as the canyon graphic that is prominently displayed on the building utilizing the Ombrae technology.

Architectural design for the project was provided by NAC|Architecture, Denver. Ben de Rubertis, principal, provided this description of the collaborative and artistic endeavor: “NAC Architecture was asked to provide an ‘unexpected moment’ at an important corner of the campus that would bring together the concept for this student residence hall project and also express an artistic vision for the University of Arizona. Artist Ingo Meckman generously provided imagery of a slot canyon, part of the heritage and iconography of the desert Southwest. Dri-Design contributed artisan-level detailing and technology as the three groups worked tightly in collaboration to provide an artistic expression for the building that could not have been achieved in any other way. The resulting brise-soleil is both appropriate to the desert climate, performing a crucial shading function for one of the important spaces in the building, and also providing a lifetime product that expresses the spirit and pride of place at the University of Arizona.”

Installation of the Dri-Design panels was performed by Progressive Roofing, Tucson.

Dri-Design panels are 100% recyclable and can be made from a variety of materials including zinc, copper, stainless steel and painted and anodized aluminum. Panels are available in any Kynar color and are sized and detailed to meet the specific requirements of each project. This cost effective system is Dade County and AAMA 508-07 approved.

About Dri-Design

DriDesign_logo_020511Dri-Design is a manufacturer of dry-joint rainscreen metal wall systems available in a wide range of styles and colors. In addition, the company offers graphic wall systems created though sophisticated custom perforating and via imaging technology. To learn more about the company's products, visit

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