The Wayne State University School of Medicine’s new Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences medical office building in Detroit was designed to create “visual impact” at its high-profile location along Interstate 75. It succeeds in doing so through the use of a zinc cladding system from Dri-Design on its exterior.
The 63,000 sq. ft. building is near the Detroit Medical Center which houses the School of Medicine’s primary facilities. It is clad with more than 20,000 sq. ft. of Dri-Design panels fabricated from two different materials. The majority were formed from 1mm-thick VMZINC® ANTHRA-ZINC from Umicore Building Products USA. The remainder were produced from .080” aluminum finished in Clear Anodic and Ceiling Bright White.
“We like to work with a rainscreen system,” admitted project designer Mike Decoster with Hamilton Anderson Associates, Detroit. “There are a lot of forces moving exterior wall design in that direction, especially with energy efficiency and other exterior envelope considerations.”
The building was conceived as being a simple, well-proportioned form executed with high quality materials. “The material selection became a critical decision for the building,” Decoster said. “The zinc cladding was chosen to help meet our design objectives. The black zinc and the aluminum trim serves as a foil to the adjacent stainless steel Detroit Receiving Hospital.
“The zinc panels look terrific,” Decoster said. “We’ve had a very positive reaction to the finished job.”
The dean of the WSU School of Medicine concurs. “With this building, our Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences has a new, state-of-the-art home, with a physical presence on the campus of the medical school and on Midtown’s medical campus,” said Valerie M. Parisi, M.D. “This is a beautiful edifice that further complements the growing Midtown area and adds to the revitalization of Detroit.”
The patented Dri-Design Wall Panel System is an affordable dry joint, pressure-equalized rainscreen system. Its individual 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. The system is Dade County and AAMA 508-07 approved.
For more information about VMZINC, click here.
Photographs by Mark Kempf, St. Louis