Metal Architecture Home

Transportation & Aviation

Phoenix Biomedical Campus Parking Garage, Phoenix

Photo: Bill TimmermanSmithGroupJJR designed Phoenix Biomedical Campus Parking Garage with perforated panels for functionality and aesthetics. The 397,163-square-foot, pre-cast concrete parking garage has a 1,200 car capacity. It serves the campus at University of Arizona's College of Medicine-Phoenix.

The metal panels make it feel like it is another building in the downtown, urban fabric. The perforated aluminum panels complement existing campus structures, which have broken and natural metal panels including zinc and copper.

The perforated panels allow for views from inside the garage to the surrounding mountain parks and downtown skyline. They filter sunshine and provide diffused natural daylight throughout the garage. SmithGroupJJR tuned the micro-perforations' density to provide ventilation and enough opacity to screen headlights from shining into adjacent buildings.

Kovach Building Enclosures fabricated and installed 60,610 square feet of its AL-5052 H32, 0.08 perforated aluminum plate panels for the project. The panels were perforated with 0.101-inch diameter holes with 0.118-inch staggered centers and 26 percent open area. They were fabricated from coil coated with a three-coat, Dark Silver Kynar 500 (minimum of 70 percent Hylar/Kynar PVDF resins) fluoropolymer coating with 1-mil total dry film thickness.

To fabricate the panels, the coil was tension-leveled and flattened to prevent oil canning. Then, the panels were press-broken into 12 profiles, all with the same unrolled length. The unrolled length was half the width of the coil, thereby maximizing the use of the coil. Additionally, the panels were fabricated with a custom die with a large radius to accommodate the aluminum's thickness and perforation.

To create the 12 profiles, the panels were broken at incremental angles. They were broken at hard, geometric angles so they incrementally transition across the façade and create a fluid transition from a flat to textured surface. The progressively broken panels create changing shadow patterns that give the structure's four elevations relief and dimension.

The panels' thickness, break location and density of perforations were flexed so the panels don't have stiffeners. Returned end tabs were included to further stiffen the profiles and provide precise panel notching on the returned legs. A Turret Press tooling was used on all the panels. The $16 million project was completed in August 2015.

Owner: Boyer Phoenix Parking LC, Phoenix
General contractor: Okland Construction Co. Inc., Tempe, Ariz., www.okland.com
Architect: SmithGroupJJR, Phoenix, www.smithgroupjjr.com
Perforated panels/fabricator/installer: Kovach Building Enclosures, Chandler, Ariz., www.kovach.net

Photo: Bill Timmerman