The Center For STARK Cultural Venues

RHEINZINK America Inc.

An old church dome in Orange, Texas was returned to its former glory and the building it tops given a new lease on life, thanks to new ownership and the products of Peachtree City, GA-based MetalTech-USA. The company fabricated the shingles and roof panels used in the iconic dome's restoration, using RHEINZINK titanium zinc from RHEINZINK America Inc., Woburn, MA.

The dome was one of the most prominent features when the First Baptist Church was constructed back in 1914, helping to make the building an instant landmark. It was wrapped with wooden shingles in those days but over its 100-year life, the 35' dome has undergone several renovations to preserve the structure and aide in waterproofing.

In May 1913, the building began a new chapter with its purchase by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation to serve as the new home of The Center of STARK Cultural Venues. The property is adjacent to both the Stark Museum of Art and The W.H. Stark House, which are two of the venues that comprise the Foundation’s STARK Cultural Venues. The foundation's purpose is to encourage and assist education, and to improve and enrich the quality of life in Southeast Texas.

“In the 1960’s the dome was clad with metal,” said Gus Harris, Chief Properties Officer of Stark Foundation. “This served the church well but eventually began to leak, primarily due to inappropriate flashing and caulking near the bottom.”

The aluminum-clad dome's waterproofing problems were exacerbated over time by severe storms and hurricanes, including Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008, thus causing it to leak and creating water damage to the building interior. The renovation plans called not only for rendering the structure watertight, but also changing the existing appearance of the dome to resemble the original 1914 design.

“We consulted with waterproofing experts and architects,” said Harris.  “They recommended a total roof replacement, including the dome. We decided to replace the metal dome covering with [MetalTech’s] product due to both appearance and cost effectiveness.”

MetalTech-USA is a premier distributor and specialty fabricator of eco-friendly architectural metals. One of the materials it frequently recommends to customers is the one used on the dome re-cover— RHEINZINK 0.8mm prePATINA blue-grey zinc.

MetalTech-USA fabricated the project's preweathered zinc Flatlock system, installed in a square diamond orientation along the dome surface, to resemble the 1914 shingle design. The transition from Flatlock diamond tile, which makes up about 90% of the lower portion of the dome, to a Standing Seam system at the apex of the dome, not only added waterproofing but also visual interest. RHEINZINK material in roofing applications can last between 80-100 years due to its protective patina that's derived naturally from the combination of water, carbon dioxide and oxygen. Unlike most metals, this zinc layer, insoluble in rainwater, will hinder any further exchanges between oxygen and zinc, protecting it from further corrosion.

“The MetalTech Flatlock panel system is perfect for designs with curved surfaces; allowing the panel to naturally adapt to the substrate as it is installed using our pre-notched clip detailing with concealed fasteners,” says Eric Simonsen, MetalTech-USA Vice President of Project Management and Design Support. “The dome was segmented into 8 wedges so that a uniform panel size and shape could be used and keep all courses of panels square.”

Installation of the MetalTech-USA Flatlock Tile system was completed by Competition Roofing, Inc. of Houston, Texas.

MetalTech-USA is a premier distributor and specialty fabricator of eco-friendly architectural metals, specializing in roofing, rainwater, soffit and cladding systems. For more information, visit www.metaltech-usa.com.

About RHEINZINK America Inc.

RHEINZINK America, Inc. is a North American provider of architectural zinc used in the fabrication of roofing, facades, rainware and architectural details. For more information visit  www.rheinzink.us.

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