Contrarian Micro Textures’ InvariMatte® stainless steel finish played a role in the construction of the recently dedicated United States Air Force Memorial in Arlington, VA. Considered long overdue, the $50 million memorial serves as a national place of reverence and remembrance for America’s youngest military branch and the last to be so honored.
The new memorial, located on a promontory just west of the Pentagon, features three curved spires that arc up to nearly 300 feet in the air.
The memorial also includes an engraved glass wall saluting those who have died and a Guard House at its entrance, designed to provide security to the memorial. Contrarian’s InvariMatte® finish was used for the Guard House in keeping with the memorial’s overriding stainless steel motif.
“The amount of material we contributed to the overall memorial was very small,” said Jim Halliday, of Contrarian Metal Resources, “but the honor was a huge one for us as a company and for me personally. We are very proud to be associated with this national project.”
The U.S. Air Force Memorial was officially dedicated in October 2006, almost 60 years after the formation of the Air Force itself.
The monument was designed by famed architect James Ingo Freed, who was challenged to capture the concepts of sacrifice, valor and air. Freed, whose credits include the Ronald Reagan Building and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, chose to represent those abstract ideas with three slender spires, each having a different height, rising and curving away from each other. He hoped the image would mimic the sight of Air Force jets performing a “bomb burst” formation, such as the maneuver carried out by the Air Force Thunderbirds at air shows.
“Stainless steel was used throughout the project to represent material that, in fact, is used in aerospace manufacturing,” said Pete Lindquist, Vice President of the Air Force Memorial Foundation. “The architect was relating the medium in which the Air Force operates, open air and space.”
The Air Force Memorial Foundation, created in 1992 to raise funds for the memorial, says about 54,000 airmen have been killed in action while serving in the Air Force and its predecessor organizations. Until this structure was erected, the Air Force was the only branch of service without any memorial in the Washington, D.C. area commemorating its service to the nation.
InvariMatte® is a non-directional, low gloss, uniformly textured stainless steel finish designed for use in architectural applications. While its lower reflectivity lends itself to roofing applications, it can be applied to wall panels, coping and trim. The superb consistency of this finish results in excellent panel-to-panel matching. Since InvariMatte® has no coatings to deteriorate, it will last indefinitely with little maintenance. InvariMatte® is readily welded or soldered and available in coils and cut lengths up to 288 inches and widths ranging from 0.75 to 49 inches. Because stainless steel is dimensionally stable up to 2000-degrees Fahrenheit, InvariMatte® provides an added measure of protection in the event of a fire.