The new 24 Hour Fitness Club in Portland, OR is a health and fitness center with a powerful, durable look that reflects the club’s purpose. The exterior of the steel-framed structure is glass and steel with a band of bronze-colored metal panels woven horizontally around its middle.
The Rommel Architectural Partnership LLP, located in Portland, designed a series of vertical projecting frames to create the structure’s strong architectural attraction. These decorative and useful elements are made from Kalzip 65/305 material in .040" aluminum with a 6-on-8-inch perforated pattern.
The perforated panels also provide 24-hour light screening for the building. During the day the Dark Bronze and Polar White colored panels act as a sunshade to filter the sunlight streaming into the gymnasium. At night the screens reduce the amount of light emitting from the building onto nearby residences and native plants that dot the landscape.
Construction of the 65,000-square-foot building was completed in the summer of 2009; 24 Hour Fitness took occupancy in August 2009. The Rommel Architectural Partnership LLP was the architect of record and Pioneer Sheet Metal, Portland, was the sheet metal contractor that installed all the metal panels.
According to Gary Rommel, AIA, partner in charge on the project, this was the first time the firm has used Kalzip. “Our initial idea was to use locally fabricated perforated sheet metal panels on the exterior screens; however, we found that custom fabrication was cost prohibitive. We had been interested in Kalzip since we heard of it, so we contacted the rep and found that Kalzip met the constraints of the budget. The product also provided a higher level of detail with the rounded standing rib profile, reduced the number of members in the steel backup frame because of the increased span capability, and reduced the potential for future rusting because it is made of aluminum,” he said. The firm is now using Kalzip material on another project.
About 7,800 square feet of Kalzip perforated was used for the 24 Hour Fitness Club project. The material is featured on the two-story fitness center as well as a 9,500-square-foot, single story retail building that adjoins it. “The perforated panels were used to marry the two buildings, which are quite different in size,” notes Rommel.
The building has several interesting aspects. “It was originally conceived as a brick veneer building with metal screens, but we changed it to a metal panel wall system to reduce the overall weight of the building skin and therefore the cost of the steel structure. We also incorporated many of the USGBC’s LEED guidelines, particularly in the electrical and mechanical systems. The site storm water is also treated through the landscaping before it enters the storm sewer, and the white roof reflects heat off the building, reducing the building’s cooling needs. We didn’t apply for LEED certification, but we designed the building and site with a goal of LEED Silver,” Rommel said.