More than 1,400 Dri-Design panels containing 3.3 million perforations were utilized to create an abstract design for one side of the new University of Massachusetts Lowell North Campus Parking Garage in Lowell, MA.
Serving as the new face of the University and announcing arrival onto the North Campus for drivers on the busy VFW Highway, the prominently-located structure completes the rebranding of the campus. The garage features a 50’ x 300’ abstract image of the University Avenue Bridge reflected in the Merrimack River that flows through campus.
The contemporary, perforated façade was created using Dri-Design’s Imaging Technology that cuts holes in varying sizes, shapes and densities into Dri-Design panels to form images. Using this exclusive software technology, Dri-Design can reproduce any image.
Design for the project was provided by Bertaux + Iwerks Architects, Boston. A photograph taken by principal Chris Iwerks was utilized to create the façade image. “Although it was abstract, the river image had connections to nature, the city of Lowell and the increasing technological focus of the campus,” Iwerks said. “Part of the challenge was to get the image to read properly when the framing structure was located directly behind the perforations. We were able to minimize the size of the spandrels and also utilize a dark shade of concrete that appeared shadow-like behind the perforations. Since the garage had to be naturally ventilated, the perforated façade was an ideal solution.”
The 1,428 Dri-Design panels were individually numbered in order to assure the proper design sequence. Installation was done by The Maddison Associates, Inc., Revere, MA.
The structure accommodates 630 cars on six levels and is designed to visually extend the color and material palette of buildings nearby. The Dri-Design panels interface with Terra Cotta cladding and aluminum louver blades.
Dri-Design panels are 100% recyclable and can be made from a variety of materials including zinc, copper, stainless steel and painted and anodized aluminum. Panels are available in any Kynar color and are sized and detailed to meet the specific requirements of each project. This cost effective system is Dade County and AAMA 508-07 approved.