Wood Look of Radial Metal Ceiling Adds Warmth to New Student Union Building
All Saints Episcopal School in Fort Worth, Texas, recently constructed a student union building that houses an expansive dining area, collaboration lounges, conference rooms, and offices. The facility is semicircular and faces the chapel that is the school’s focal point. According to project architect Brady Dietert of Overland Partners in San Antonio, Texas, the semicircular configuration led to a number of design challenges, including the ceiling.
The interior of the building features over 9,000 square feet of open pavilion space. The design team initially considered a traditional acoustical lay-in ceiling for the space but decided against it because of all the field cutting that would have been necessary to fit the radial layout. “It would have involved far too much labor and material waste,” Dietert says.
To attain the desired exposed structure visual, the design team chose MetalWorks™ Blades in a cherry finish from Armstrong Ceiling & Wall Solutions. Manufactured from aluminum, the vertical panels are 1” thick, 4” high, and available in three lengths that can be joined together to create longer lengths.
The look of wood was important, Dieter says. “The chapel features wood in its ceiling, and we wanted the student union to echo that same material quality.” The design team considered linear wood panels but decided instead on the wood-look metal panels. “The metal panels are much lighter in weight and much more dimensionally stable than real wood, while still imparting warmth to the space," he says.
To create the signature ceiling, nearly 10,000 linear feet of MetalWorks Blades were installed, including over 1,100 individual panels. The panels are installed in two spans that mirror the roof design. One span is 21 feet in length and slopes down from the chapel-facing window wall. The other is 7 feet in length and slopes down from the opposite wall.
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