The Seacoast region of New Hampshire is in the wake of an artistic and cultural spring and it's due in part to the recent opening of 3S Artspace (3S), a 10,000 square foot multipurpose building combining three key spaces-performance space, gallery, and restaurant. An adaptive reuse project, McHenry Architecture resurrected the nondescript concrete structure into a warm community gathering place with a raw industrial vibe, due in part to weathering steel cladding by MetalTech-USA.
The mission for McHenry Architecture was clear from the outset, and that was to completely recycle the underutilized warehouse space, turning it into the newly minted cultural institution. To that end, the Portsmouth-based firm's efforts were a complete success.
“3S Artspace turned out to be a remarkable project. The weathered steel really transformed the façade and completes the desired look that McHenry Architecture intended for the space,” says Michael Love, MetalTech-USA Senior Project Manager.
Built on the waterfront of Portsmouth’s downtown Historic District, 3S is the first truly contemporary building. The exterior material palette consists of weathering steel cladding in alternating profiles, weathered wood boards, and translucent cladding at entrances. Inspired by the area’s shipbuilding past, the oxidized metal panels are a nod to the scrap metal piles once lining the area’s shorefront.
“We were renovating an existing concrete building,” says McHenry Architecture Principal Steve McHenry. “Simple and rustic raw materials seemed appropriate yet visually distinctive.”
McHenry Architecture selected MetalTech-USA’s weathered steel to help achieve the distinctive look they were seeking. Weathered Steel, often referred to as Cor-Ten or A606, is a unique material gaining popularity as of late for its distinctive rust patina. This natural yet stable protective coating acts as a defense against further corrosion. Weathered steel arrives unrusted and develops a rust-like appearance once exposed to the elements for a period of time.
MetalTech-USA was chosen to fabricate the weathered steel panels for the façade. Roughly 3,300 square feet of sinusoidal corrugated panels and 1,800 square feet of flat panels were fabricated from 22 Gauge and 20 Gauge weathering steel, respectively. Panels were through-fastened to the plywood underlayment with stainless steel screws and exposed fastener heads. Installation of the metal panels was completed by Industrial Roofing Companies of Lewiston, Maine.
“The project was a good project for the community and with the finishes, including the weathering steel, fit right in the area and looked like it had been there for a while,” says Industrial Roofing Companies Metal Services Manager David Link.