Though not necessarily by intention, the use of mirrored stainless steel panels for the building’s angled soffit creates the eye-catching illusion of bent support columns outside the new ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington. The soffit panels, along with the matching mirror-finish stainless steel column covers, were manufactured by Firestone Building Products.
Completed in December 2008, the ShoWare Center is a 154,000 sq. ft. multi-purpose entertainment event center that also serves as the ice hockey home of the Seattle Thunderbirds semi-professional team. The exterior of the structure was designed with excitement in mind, hence the use of mirror-finish materials on the exterior to reflect anything below, including lighted signage and neon-green graphics painted on the sidewalk.
The architectural team had a small budget and short time frame to complete the project. With regard to choosing a material for the soffit, basic requirements included durability, reflectivity and flat installation with limited joint lines. But that was not all.
“The surface had to be creative and fun to reflect the excitement and energy of people entering the building,” said a statement about the project by Firestone. “By using mirrored-finish stainless steel, the soffits and the columns reflect not only the people entering the building; it also reflects the building name.”
Working closely with Krueger Sheet Metal, Firestone Metal Products developed a way to fabricate the stainless steel panels in longer-than-usual 19’ sections, while meeting the architect’s specifications in terms of gauge and finish.
In all, nearly 13,000 of Firestone’s 20-gauge UNA-CLAD™ Series 2000 Honeycomb Panels and 16-gauge UNA-CLAD™ Series 200 Column Covers were used on the project. Both products were provided with a #8 Mirrored Stainless Steel finish.
Krueger Sheet Metal Co., based in Spokane,WA, installed the Firestone products. MA Mortenson of Bellevue, WA, was the general contractor.