Triangle Park at Three PNC Plaza Offers Respite in Pittsburgh 

Two Local Companies Donate Material & Workmanship

Pittsburgh, PA – Triangle Park is a calm oasis among the hustle and bustle of Downtown Pittsburgh. There are handsome benches under a stainless steel canopy to provide shade and protection from rain and snow. The park which opened in late 2009 debuted in time for the G20 Summit meeting held here that fall. President Barack Obama was among the dignitaries both national and international that attended.

The park is the result of donations by two Pittsburgh area companies, Contrarian Micro Textures in Allison Park and ATI, Downtown. ATI donated the materials for ATI 2003® lean duplex stainless steel with Contrarian Micro Textures' InvariMatte® low glare finish. Contrarian donated the workers' time to finish the stainless steel which was used on the benches, canopies and a large monolithic sign.

The park was designed by landscape architect LaQuatra Bonci Associated in conjunction with Structural Engineers, the Kachele Group and PNC. Technique fabricated and installed the project. The result is a handsome, peaceful place that serves as a base to Three PNC Plaza, Pittsburgh’s newest skyscraper, as a meeting place between the cultural district and Market Square.
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St. Bernard Parish Cultural Arts Center Opens for Public & School Use 

Handsome Facility is a Katrina Comeback Story

Chalmette. LA: The St. Bernard Parish School District’s new Cultural Arts Center, serving both the community and the schools, had its grand opening March 18, 2011. The project goal was to create a multi-purpose building and performing arts theatre with 400 seats, including a fly loft and orchestra pit. There is also a 120 seat technology auditorium, music, and dance practice spaces, meeting rooms and classrooms. A key component is a library downstairs; the school library directly above.

The story begins with Hurricane Katrina; St. Bernard Parish was hit particularly hard. Chalmette School District and surrounding St Bernard Parish was decimated by Hurricane Katrina. The parish lost 22 buildings and the school district was the only one that was completely destroyed by the hurricane.

The parish used a recovery plan to assess the damage and plan next steps. Chalmette School District Superintendent Doris Voitier worked tirelessly to get things up and running again quickly. She managed the FEMA process and got the approvals required. Ultimately the decision was made to create a multi-purpose building for school as well as for community use. The school district opened 11 weeks after the storm, a miraculous event considering the obstacles and circumstances. The district anticipated the need knowing that the families of first responders, the Exxon & Mobil refineries and the Domino Sugar refinery were calling their employees back to work. On November 14th they opened with 334 students, by December they had 650, by January there were 1500 and by the end of the school year there were 2000 students.

They cleaned and gutted (to safety standards) the high school’s first floor and cleaned the second floor for classroom use. An emergency construction company worked on the first floor and restored it for use by January 18th and then the school district was able to use the first floor as well. The high school used the second floor for classrooms, the middle school the first floor and the elementary school used the temporary classroom trailers. At times we registered 30 to 40 students a day. At this time Chalmette School District has 6000 students, prior to Katrina that had 8800.

Now less than six years after Hurricane Katrina the cultural arts program has a facility worthy of the St. Bernard Parish’s perseverance, strength, and creativity.

“We are delighted to have this building as it is an enormous asset to our cultural arts program. As devastating as Katrina has been, we now have a state of the art facility, an opportunity we otherwise would not have had,” explained Beverly Lawrason, Assistant Superintendent of Schools.

The firm, Waggonner & Ball Architects was chosen for the project with David Waggonner the principal in charge. Project Architect Brian Swanner explained, “The site of the building is half a city block. We wanted to create an inspirational building that announced the recovery of the community and signaled the creativity of the students and educators. The building takes the form of a snaking bar that adapts to the limited site and cradles the curved main theatre volume along its edge. That tall volume is clad in metal panels that accommodate its curving walls. Contrarian Micro Textures' InvariMatte® was chosen because of the high quality and matching of the product. It was recommended by professionals familiar with its properties and the details of service provided to ensure top results. The working relationships on the project surpassed the norm, with the right quantities of InvariMatte® being shipped as requested at the right time.”

The complexity of the design – its saw toothed and lapped metal panels – required top skills, and fabricator Overly Manufacturing did an outstanding job working through the details. Rick Chaussinand of Overly explained, “The conceptual drawings were given to the factory manager who determined how to fabricate and install the panels. It was a complex project because of the elongated fin design which had a pronounced effect and it also had to be water tight. He had to ensure that the desired results were achieved."

MAPP Construction, the General Contractor, led the way with the exceptional exchange of information to all parties involved. GM Horne staggered delivery so that supplies arrived as needed. MAPP worked with Barnes to complete installation as directed.

The stainless steel for the windows was supplied by Pohl Inc. of America. They put the drawings into a 3D model and built a box to determine the best way to install the windows. “The St. Bernard project is a great example of how the use of the same metal finish, in this case, InvariMatte® stainless steel, fabricated by two different companies supplying panels to the job can create a unified appearance. The architect’s vision was well executed through the competent work of both Overly and Pohl using our stainless steel,” said Jim Halliday, of Contrarian Micro Textures.
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University of Oregon Jaqua Center Receives Multiple Awards 

The new state of the art University of Oregon John E. Jaqua Center for Student Athletes which opened in January 2010 has been recognized for excellence by Interior Design, Engineering News-Record (ENR) and Northwest Construction. Zimmer Gunsel Frasca Architects was recognized for Best in Education in 2010 for the University of Oregon John E. Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes. ENR named it the Best of the Best in Architectural Design in 2010 and Northwest Construction named the Jaqua Center Architectural winner for 2010.

One of the most interesting features of the Jaqua Center is the mosaic mural that graces the interior. It is made of etched stainless steel. The mural is comprised of 30,000 individual photographs of campus scenes and students and is displayed in approximately 1200 sq. ft. of stainless steel provided by Contrarian Micro Textures through their partner, Tsukiboshi Art Ltd. Together the etchings of photographs form the image of Albert Einstein. Advanced computer controlled laser technology combined with sophisticated chemical etching techniques were used to create the art work.

Photograper Basil Childers spent a year capturing the images of University of Oregon athletes following them throughout their days on campus. The design was conceived by Randy Stegmeier and his team at ZGF Architects, Portland.

The interior of the Jaqua Center focuses on allowing the visitor a varied experience during each visit. The Einstein wall, for example, may require several visits before Einstein’s likeness is apparent within the mosaic.

Contrarian’s graphic capabilities are apparent in the crisp execution of the design team’s vision. This is a great example of how Contrarian’s knowledge and problem-solving skills help designs become reality. Contrarian’s extensive line of interior and exterior colorized, coined, embossed and etched stainless may be used in a variety of applications and Contrarian’s sales representative are available to assist with the best choices for any project. Contrarian Micro Textures is thrilled to be a part of this cutting edge application of graphic stainless technology.

Built under LEED® guidelines, the Jaqua Center sports many environmentally sensitive features, including a double-walled envelope that uses water from an outdoor pool for heating and cooling.
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Sacramento International Airport Transformation 

The Sacramento County Airport System determined the need to modernize and upgrade Sacramento International Airport in response to the growth and passenger demands of the Northern California region. The existing Terminal B, which opened in 1967, was outdated from a technology perspective and not appropriately sized to handle current and future passenger growth.

Corgan Associates Inc., in association with Fentress Architects, were selected to develop the new program. The new Central Terminal B, Airside Concourse and Automated People Mover were designed to meet the air travel needs of the region, accommodate the requirements of the airport, and reflect the Sacramento “sense of place.” “We had a truly collaborative relationship and designed the facility as a single team,” explained John Trupiano AIA, Vice President, Corgan Associates and Project Manager.

The entrance of Central Terminal B rises above the surroundings with a dual level roadway separating departing and arriving passengers. The multi-tiered roof line above reminds travelers of the mountains in the distance as the landscape setting reflects Sacramento’s location in the Central Valley. Inside the Terminal, three-story glass walls offer unobstructed views to downtown while reinforcing the visual connection to the valley. The building’s architecture intuitively draws passengers into the central circulation spine, where overhead, large clerestory windows, and a glass roof allow natural light to stream across large crossing structural members, creating a dynamic rhythm of light and shadow throughout the space reminiscent of the canopy effect of the tree lined streets of Sacramento. Passengers proceed through the Central Terminal to the Automated People Mover which conveys them to the Airside Concourse. The new facility will offer 19 contact gates, which is a net of 6 new gates for the airport and encompass 675,000 sq. ft. between the terminal and concourse.

“Exploration of the key aspects contributing to Sacramento’s Sense of Place led to five key descriptors: Outdoors, Rivers, Valley, Trees, and Capital. These were used by the Design Team to develop the possible images of the Terminal and serve as a gauge to evaluate the alternatives. Multiple concepts were developed to explore different aspects of the Sense of Place. The concept selected and under construction was inspired by the Central Valley between two mountain ranges and the canopy effect of the tree lined streets of Sacramento. The play of light and shadow within the facility as well as a strong connection to the outdoors are important aspects of the design. The result complements the Sacramento Valley's sense of place,” Trupiano further explained.

“We are very excited about this transformation that will enable us to accommodate the growing number of passengers and their needs. In addition, we are happy to be providing jobs during these difficult economic times and proud that we are able to construct Central Terminal B while maintaining all airport operations at their current level,” explained Cheryl Marcell, Deputy Director, Marketing and Public Relations, Sacramento County Airport System.

Appearing on the cover of the January 11, 2011 issue of Engineering News-Record as one of the Images of the Year 2010, the Airside Concourse roof of Central Terminal B is clad in Contrarian Micro Textures’ InvariMatte® stainless steel. The roof was fabricated by BEMO USA. “Once the architects determined that stainless was the way to go, the collaboration between Corgan, Contrarian, Kodiak Roofing, Turner Construction and we led to the success and handsome appearance of the roofing system,” said Bob Strang, Regional Manager, BEMO USA. “We used 176,000 sq. ft. of InvariMatte®,” he added.
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Contrarian Micro Textures Receives MCA’s President's Award 

San Diego, CA – Contrarian Micro Textures was honored January 25, 2011 with Metal Construction Association’s President's Award for Overall Excellence for the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton.

“The stunning gallery, designed by architect Randall Stout, opened a year ago. The design reinvents the museum’s public spaces through a continuous stainless steel surface that moves lithely through the museum’s interior and exterior spaces,” courtesy Randall Stout Architects website. Known by many as the “Aurora Borealis” it is that dramatic architectural feature that uses Contrarian Micro Textures’ non-directional, low gloss, uniformly textured InvariMatte® stainless steel finish. The undulating ribbon was fabricated by A. Zahner, Kansas City, MO. Zahner’s Hunter™ Pre-weathered Zinc, which resembles slate or limestone, was used throughout the interior and exterior of the building on flat and geometric surfaces. Flynn of Canada handled the installation.

The public is guided to entry points for the galleries, gathering spaces and event areas by the stainless steel ribbon as it shows visitors the way to their area of interest. The galleries are more traditional in shape which offers maximum flexibility for exhibitions, programs and shows.

"We are honored to have our InvariMatte® stainless steel featured on this outstanding project. Randall Stout's creativity combined with expert fabrication and engineering on the part of A. Zahner Company add significance to our participation," Halliday explained. “While our participation in the project should be recognition enough, we are humbled that the MCA has honored us with the President's Award for Overall Excellence,” he added.

The addition added 87,000 sq. ft. to the museum, 30,000 of which is new exhibition space. Its original design was a 1960’s concrete structure. Access to Edmonton’s underground light rail system and public walk-way via the main lobby add to the amenities.
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