Banker Wire collaborated with architects in Detroit, MI to deliver a custom metal mesh system for the renovation and historical preservation of a more than 90-year-old parking garage in the heart of the city.
Originally built in 1924, the parking garage at 801 West Lafayette Blvd. was one of two buildings in the Detroit News complex – the other being the home of the namesake newspaper. The garage was constructed for Detroit News employees and delivery vehicles. In 2014, Bedrock Management bought both buildings to serve Bedrock employees and other corporate tenants. Renovations began immediately with the preservation of their historic design elements top-of-mind.
A major part of the parking garage’s renovation was converting it from closed to open. The original structure was fully enclosed with glass windows, and architects Albert Kahn and Associates needed to provide sufficient ventilation without affecting the building’s traditional aesthetic. The firm found that Banker Wire’s product and custom manufacturing capabilities were ideal for the project.
Albert Kahn and Associates challenged Banker Wire to manufacture custom metal mesh panels for the garage’s openings that would mimic the wired glass that was previously used in its place, while allowing air and vehicle exhaust to pass through. To satisfy the design and simplify the installation, Banker manufactured panels of its F-83 woven wire mesh and then sheared each panel in a “diamond” orientation to the exact sizes required for the job.
“We were very impressed with the ability of Banker Wire to customize their material to match the exact specifications by the architect,” said Bob Galster, owner of Acme Wire and Iron Works, the metal fabricator on the project. “Banker exceeded our expectations and delivered a beautiful, quality product.”
F-83 was specified because it combines a mid-to-high percent open area with looks and performance that reflect strength and durability. The product is a simple square wire mesh pattern that is woven as a flat top crimp style. The flat top tooling creates a weave that has two unique sides, a smooth side and a bumpy side. Designers can choose the side that suits their design.
The 801 West Lafayette Blvd. parking garage has always been a Detroit landmark, but now it has new life in the heart of a burgeoning corporate and recreational downtown Detroit. It serves growing, innovative companies and is within walking distance of Cobo Hall and Joe Louis Arena.
The 200-space, 111,000 square-foot parking garage’s renovation and preservation was completed in the fall of 2015. The project team included owner Bedrock Real Estate Services, Detroit, MI; architect Albert Kahn and Associates, Detroit, MI; general contractor Colasanti, Macomb Twp., MI; metal fabricator Acme Wire and Iron Works, Detroit, MI; and installer Industrial Fencing & Landscaping, Inc., Detroit, MI.