Designed in 1954 as the home to the historic Philadelphia Bulletin newspaper, the Bulletin Building has stood for decades as one of the iconic structures in the city’s booming University City neighborhood.
But after the newspaper folded in 1982, the building underwent a series of transformations. Most recently, KieranTimberlake Architects retrofitted the 282,000 square-foot facility into a state-of-the-art laboratory and retail space.
As part of the historic renovation, PPG partnered with Spectrum Metal Finishing to develop and apply a customized PPG Coraflon® powder coating for the
structure’s new signature feature, a multistory glass façade on the east elevation. With a glossy “Galaxy Red” PPG Coraflon powder coating formulated exclusively for the project, the new-look Bulletin Building is the main
attraction in the city’s new Schuylkill Yards development.
Seeking to maximize the coating’s striking sheen, PPG adapted its automotive coatings expertise to create a PPG Coraflon powder topcoat that incorporates “glass flake” technology to increase sparkle, depth and dimension.
The result is a deep, cherry-red coating that achieves 70-degree gloss while complying with the Fenestration and Glazing Industrial Alliance and American Architectural Manufacturers Association (FGIA/AAMA) 2605 specification, the industry’s highest
The pearlescent effect of the coating was heightened by Spectrum Metal Finishing, a member of the PPG CAP Certified Applicator Program™ (PPG/CAP), which finished the aluminum framing using an exclusive two-bake paint application system.
Powered by 12 computer-driven electrostatic guns, the two-coat system enabled PPG’s Galaxy Red base coat to cure on the metal substrate before it was top-coated with the high-gloss powder. By inserting a bake interval between the application of
the base coat and the topcoat, Spectrum’s coating system prevented the glass flake in the topcoat from bleeding into the base coat, which further enhanced the finish’s three-dimensional effect.
Preserving An Icon
Standing for nearly 70 years, the Bulletin Building needed some restoration work after several decades of wear and tear.
As a result, touch-ups required during panel installation were field-applied with PPG Coraflon® ADS coatings in the same Galaxy Red color to ensure long-term color retention and chalk resistance.
Coraflon ADS coatings are two-component coatings optimized for restoration of weathered architectural metals that offer a long-lasting, resilient finish. With low volatile organic compound (VOC) content, Coraflon ADS coatings meet code requirements for
most regions and can be applied on building panels, architectural accents, curtainwalls, roofs and more structurally sound surfaces.
Richard Maimon, lead architect for the project, said his firm reimagined the Bulletin Building, designed by renowned architect George Howe, to retain the scale, massing and character of the original structure while modernizing the design to accommodate
new users and standards.
“Our design restores and enhances the original fabric and features of the building while incorporating evolutionary interventions such as the red-framed glass façade and an alphabet-patterned frit, which pays homage to the building’s
heritage,” he explained.
Based on a proprietary fluoroethylene vinyl ether (FEVE) formulation, PPG Coraflon powder coatings are formulated to provide exceptional UV durability, colorfastness and gloss retention. Available in satin and high-luster glosses, including solids and
micas, PPG Coraflon powder coatings have the unique ability to adhere directly to metal as a one-coat paint system or as a two-coat system with a primer for harsh environments. They are an excellent choice for curtainwalls, storefronts and other highly
visible, high-end monumental applications.
Photography credit: Matt Krissel