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Museums, Libraries and Cultural Centers

Skyway Library, Seattle

There is no backside on Skyway Library. The triangular building is on a tight, angled site. To anchor the building, the entrance and front porch were positioned at a main intersection. The mechanical units were installed in a sunken penthouse on the roof, which isn’t visible from the street. A skylight is the only part of the library visible above the parapet.

BuildingWork LLC and Weinstein AU Architects and Urban Designers LLC, the two architecture firms that completed the project, specified three shades of blue metal wall panels to wrap around the library. The variety of colors gives the panels depth. They stand out during daytime and blend into the sky at twilight. RSB Construction Inc. installed Dri-Design’s 0.08-inch aluminum metal wall panels in three shades of Starry Night Blue for the project.

Matt Aalfs, design principal and project manager at BuildingWork, says, “We envisioned the building as a solid, 3-D sculptural form. With Dri-Design, the corner panels allowed us to have the cladding turn the corner while achieving this goal. We could not achieve this with a two-dimensional metal panel product system.”

Aalfs says the exterior skin was the most important part of the project. “From early on, we made the decision not to puncture the Dri-Design skin in any way, so creating space for all the necessary elements took many iterations, and we are thrilled with the results.”

Brad Zeeff, president at Dri-Design, says, “The metal is on display with every turn to showcase the versatility of Dri-Design wall panels and highlight what can be done when residents and designers come together to inspire a community.”

Skyway Library also has a 20-foot-high curtainwall, supplied by Kawneer Co. Inc. The windows allow for views of library activities from the exterior and views of Mount Rainier from the interior. The skylight, which is above the children’s area, is lit by color-changing LEDs.

The northeast corner of the building houses a community meeting room. It features a 17-foot-long study table made from a repurposed Boeing airplane tail wing. The 8,000-square-foot library was completed in July 2016.