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Visual Icon, Curved Façade

By Mark Robins, Posted 08/01/2017

New curtainwall offers stadium views and welcoming interior

Novi High School's new, $3 million fitness center replaces an outdated weight room that served only a few of the 2,000 students. Now a modern facility, the Novi, Mich.-based school includes 30 varsity sports teams and 10 physical education classes per semester. Featuring a glass-and-metal curtainwall by Walker, Mich.-based Tubelite Inc., the new fitness center offers natural light and views overlooking the north end zone at the school's Wildcats Stadium. The 5,700-square-foot space more than doubles its predecessor.

The project's architect was Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based TMP Architecture. John Castellana, FAIA, REFP, chair at TMP Architecture, says, "Due to the proximity of the competition running track and football field, the design responded by incorporating a slightly curved glass façade that reinforced the geometry of the site and allows spectacular views to the stadium. The new glass-enclosed center becomes a visual icon during the day and at night to highlight the 'Home of the Wildcats!'"

Working closely with construction manager, Farmington Hills, Mich.-based McCarthy & Smith, to bring this vision to reality, glazing contractor, Marine City, Mich.-based Preferred Glass Inc. selected and installed Tubelite's 400 Series curtainwall systems. "The Tubelite system offered the necessary flexibility to craft a unique design," says Castellana. "The success of this project incorporated a concave curved wall façade with an acutely angled corner condition."

 

Precision Engineering and Installation

Brett Carte, senior associate at TMP, adds, "The curtainwall's installation location, combined with the construction tolerance variances, made it impossible to fabricate curtainwall framing members until the structure was in place and field measurements could be taken."

According to Howard Beindit, president of Preferred Glass, "very accurate measurements were produced" by Great Lakes Geomatics, Warren, Mich.-based professional surveying and 3-D laser scanning company, using 3-D laser scans of the structural frame. "Great Lakes verified the dimensions and layout of the structure was going to match up exactly to our fabricated shop drawings," he says. "This turned out to be a great tool to alleviate any issue during the installation process and proved the final product would work perfectly."

"These measurements allowed the vertical members of the curtainwall to center on the exposed structural steel columns and hold tightly to the curvature of the building's footprint with precisely mitered horizontal members where they meet the vertical members," says Carte. The curtainwall framing system is anchored to the building with cantilevered clips back to the structural steel framing rather than resting on a traditional sill wall.

All of the 7-inch-deep aluminum framing members for the curtainwall were painted by Wausau, Wis.-based Linetec in a Bone White color using a 70 percent PVDF resin-based coating. McCarthy & Smith's superintendent Dave Sprecher says the curtainwall "went together pretty well and, the school's very happy with the result."

"Construction-wise, the main challenge was access," Castellana says. "The site is at a depressed level with no vehicular access from the main building level. Construction space was greatly restricted due to the addition's position directly between the existing building and the edge of the existing track/football field. A temporary retaining wall and ramp were constructed to accommodate construction vehicles and equipment." 

 

Sidebar: Fitness Center, Novi High School, Novi, Mich.

Owner: Novi Community School District, Novi, www.novi.k12.mi.us
Architect: TMP Architecture Inc., Bloomfield Hills, Mich., www.tmp-architecture.com
Construction manager: McCarthy & Smith Inc., Farmington Hills, Mich., www.mccarthysmith.com Glazing contractor: Preferred Glass Inc., Marine City, Mich., (810) 420-0753
Glazing finisher: Linetec, Wausau, Wis., www.linetec.com
Surveyor: Great Lakes Geomatics, Warren, Mich., www.greatlakesgeomatics.com
Glass: Guardian Glass, Auburn Hills, Mich., www.guardianglass.com
Glazing systems: Tubelite Inc., Walker, Mich., www.tubeliteinc.com

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