Chapman Sisson Architects of Huntsville collaborated with Banker Wire, a worldwide leader in the manufacture of wire mesh for architectural and industrial applications, to design attractive and unique mesh panels for the front of a new parking structure at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The material selected for the panels was Banker Wire’s M13Z-145 architectural woven wire mesh, a heavy, large scale, and rigid cable weave design.
“Our goal was to take a simple parking deck and add a very distinctive element that would give it a high-tech look,” said Bart Rye, AIA, and architect with Chapman Sisson Architects. “Adding wire mesh to the masonry exterior was the right choice to achieve this goal. Not only does it provide an effective visual screen to the vehicles inside, but the metal finish reflects both sunshine and architectural lighting, giving the building multiple personalities throughout the day and night.”
Increases in student enrollment at the University of Alabama in Huntsville necessitated construction of the multilevel parking structure on its landlocked campus. Measuring 300 feet long by 200 feet wide, the facility consists of ground level parking plus two elevated slabs housing approximately 500 cars each.
“We chose to work with Banker Wire on this project because their vast portfolio of work gave us confidence in their product,” Rye said. “Also, their experience made them a creative partner in the design process.”
“We recommended our M13Z-145 wire mesh for this project because of its perfect balance between high-percent open area and wire diameter for strength,” said Harrison Horan, vice president at Banker Wire. “The M13Z family of weaves features consistently spaced straight wires intersected by three flowing crosswires stacked side by side. The extra width created by the three wires woven next to one other, emphasizes that direction in the screen giving it more visual ‘weight’.”
Rye said that Chapman Sisson has received a number of positive comments on the appearance of the parking deck, both from the client and from the students at the university.
“Woven wire mesh seems to have unlimited uses,” Rye added. “It’s durable and has great attachment options. After integrating wire mesh effectively into this project, it is now another great material we can include in our array of material choices to meet the needs of our clients.”