Children's Hospital Colorado is regarded as one of the leading pediatric facilities in the nation. When plans began for the hospital's new South Campus in Highlands Ranch, there was a desire that the new facility share some of the visual characteristics of the hub in Aurora. Stainless steel panels fabricated by MetalTech-USA Inc. of Peachtree City, GA, helped make that desired connection.
The new Highlands Ranch facility better serves patients in communities south of Denver. This satellite campus includes urgent and ambulatory care and outpatient and inpatient beds. At four stories and 182,000 square feet, Children’s South was designed with future capacity to expand, though in its initial year of operation the hospital was expected to receive nearly 80,000 patients.
FKP Architects was charged with developing a design for the new hospital that was consistent with that of the Aurora facility while also imbuing a vibrancy befitting Children’s Hospital Colorado. In the design phase, project designers Paul Asteris and Michael Shirley of FKP met with senior leaders at Children’s to delineate “guiding principles.” One such principle was to extend the Children’s “brand” as defined by their values and the components of their existing facilities in which they identify. Several materials were identified as part of their brand for the façade design. The stainless steel panel system was one of the materials.
“Although we tried to accomplish a building that was new and fun for the kids, we also needed a link to all the Children’s facilities,” explained Asteris. The main campus in Aurora has stainless steel panels; however, for this offshoot, FKP desired material exuding a little more vibrancy. Zinc and aluminum panels with an iridescent coating were considered, but after receiving stainless steel samples from MetalTech-USA with more “sparkle” than previously reviewed, FKP settled on stainless steel to adhere to the guiding principles as well as control costs. MetalTech-USA was chosen to fabricate the wall system, cladding the façade with 13,000 square feet of 22 gauge, #4 Polish Stainless Steel Flatlock Panels.
Stainless steel is a sustainable exterior cladding material due to its superior corrosion resistance, recyclability, and durability, in particular, the #4 polish is the easiest to maintain. Despite its environmental benefits, Asteris states, “the choice of using stainless steel panels had more to do with maintaining Children’s exterior character as well as design aesthetic,” than aligning with green building standards. Children’s Hospital Colorado decided not to pursue LEED accreditation for this facility; however, FKP was asked to design with LEED and LEAN sensitivity.
The flat, overlapping seams of the MetalTech-USA Flatlock Tile System provide a subtle grid-like look to any simple or complex wall cladding solution. MetalTech Flatlock panels are cost-effective and render installation quick and easy. Gen3, a Colorado-based commercial construction company specializing in the installation of Architectural Metal Wall systems, was chosen to install the stainless steel Flatlock panels. MetalTech-USA Project Manager Michael Love cites the “project ran very smoothly. We worked well with the guys at Gen3 to deliver the project on schedule.”
Photographs ©Brad Feinknopf Photography