Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov Elementary School, Chicago

Photo: SAS Architects and Planners LLC

To make an entrance a focal point at Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov Elementary School, SAS Architects and Planners LLC designed it with a combination of three colors of metal composite material (MCM) panels in an alternating pattern: Pewter, Silversmith and Vancouver Copper.

The entrance is part of a two-story, 26,500-square-foot addition to the school. The project, which is phase one of a more extensive expansion plan for the school, also included renovations to other spaces in the 65,510-square-foot building.

Darek Zarnowski, project architect at SAS, says, “We also needed to make the entry a focal point of the project by contrasting from the existing concrete block wall finish. The metal panels we used, their outstanding quality and ability to create a beautiful pattern of different sizes and shades, allowed us to achieve a modern, memorable entry façade with a sleek and, at the same time, inviting character. By creating an archway element, projected further into the drop-off area, also finished with metal panels, we were able to give it a more three-dimensional character.”

Champion Roofing Inc. installed 2,100 square feet of Arconic Architectural Products LLC’s 4-mm-thick Reynobond MCM panels with a fire-resistant (FR) core.

The project consists of a new school drop-off, two-story entry lobby, administration area, 12 classrooms for grades 6 through 8, tutorial rooms, second floor multipurpose room, computer lab and library.

The colorful pattern of MCM panels at the entry achieved one of the project’s goals, which was to reimagine the school’s appearance.

“We wanted to make the coming to school experience more pleasant for kids and more memorable for their parents anytime they visit the school,” Zarnowski says. “Another factor that was very important in the design process was to create an identity for their school, an easily recognizable image of the building façade.”