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Health Care

Penn Medicine Washington Square, Philadelphia

Photo: Jeffrey Totaro

Photo: Jeffrey Totaro

Ballinger designed Penn Medicine Washington Square with reddish-brick hues to fit in its historic neighborhood and to be noticeable on the city's architectural landscape. The architecture firm specified 90,000 square feet of 3A Composites USA Inc.'s Alucobond Plus aluminum composite material (ACM) panel for the 12-story, 153,242-square-foot tower. The $45.8 million project was completed in September 2013. Nine color and finish combinations were created by producing the three custom colors in three finishes: matte, low gloss and mica.

Thomas Lehman, AIA, project manager at Ballinger, says the building's color is noticeable across the city. "We wanted to push the envelope with custom colors and finishes," he says. "We wanted to break down the mass of the building with color and reflectivity. The characteristics of these panels change as environmental conditions change from sunlight to rain. While this was not the original color of the building, the client was much more excited about the oranges and reds that offer a pop of color in the landscape."

Wyatt Inc. installed 15,000 square feet of metal wall panels in custom Spice Hue, 30,000 square feet in custom Fireweed and 45,000 square feet in custom Fired Brick in an alternating color pattern generated with a computer algorithm. The ACM was built into a prefabricated stud-framed system with panels up to 10.5 feet by 42 feet. Wyatt prefabricated the panels at its facility in Monessen, Pa., and transported them to the job site.

LF Driscoll Co. LLC, the general contractor for the project, and Wyatt coordinated the building enclosure with the installation of the prefabricated panels and a hook-and-pin rainscreen system as concrete was poured and set on each building floor.

Penn Medicine Washington Square was constructed over an existing seven-story garage; it features medical offices for more than 100 providers. Original air rights in the urban area designated an apartment building be erected above the parking garage. The footprint of the existing structure was given a larger floor plate and the building extended over the garage to accommodate medical offices.

Penn Medicine Washington Square serves as a hub of outpatient care for Pennsylvania Hospital. It features a green roof planted with sedums and metal screening covering rooftop mechanical units.

Owner: Liberty Property Trust, Philadelphia

General contractor: LF Driscoll Co. LLC, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

Architect: Ballinger, Philadelphia

Fabricator/installer: Wyatt Inc., Pittsburgh,

Aluminum composite material: 3A Composites USA Inc., Statesville, N.C.,