CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, Windsor, Conn.

Friar Associates designed CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering to refer to Connecticut's aeronautics and aviation history. Friar Associates designed CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering to refer to Connecticut’s aeronautics and aviation history. The architecture firm intended the exterior to refer to an image of the Lagoon Nebula taken by the Hubble Telescope. A contemporary airfoil emphasizes the middle school’s façade.

MetalTech-USA fabricated RHEINZINK America Inc.’s 22-gauge, 0.8-mm PrePATINA blue-grey zinc into 5,200 square feet of Double Lock Standing Seam metal roof panels and 3,900 square feet of Flat Lock metal tiles. The metal tiles were installed diagonally to conform to the curvature of the lower roof.

Michael Love, senior project manager at MetalTech-USA, says, “The curvature and conical shape of the structure made it difficult to continue the straight line orientation of the standing seam panels on the upper roof area.”

The 150,197-square-foot project included stripping an old business complex structure to its steel frame to be retrofitted for the school. Bryce Sens, senior project manager at Friar Associates, says the tiles corkscrew around the wing. “We transformed what used to be an ordinary office building into what we would consider a habitable work of art that teaches and informs the occupants of the building aeronautic concepts via architecture and engineering,” he says.

Sens says the zinc represents the look of an airplane wing. “Additionally, the gray color of the zinc fit perfectly into the exterior color scheme of the building, which consists of both black and white phenolic rainscreen panels on opposing sides of the structure,” he says. CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering has 735 students in grades 6-12 and opened in September 2015. Owner: CREC Capitol Region Education Council, Hartford, Conn.

General contractor: OWI Contractors LLC, Stratford, Conn.
Architect: Friar Associates, Farmington, Conn.
Installer: Silktown Roofing, Manchester, Conn.
Distributor/fabricator: MetalTech-USA, Peachtree City, Ga.,
Zinc: RHEINZINK America Inc., Woburn, Mass.,