MCA Commercial Industrial Winner – Pterodactyl

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) awarded the Pterodactyl office building in Culver City, California its 2016 Chairman’s Award in the Commercial/Industrial category.

Pterodactyl is an office building for an advertising agency atop a parking garage in a complex of new and remodeled buildings in Culver City, Los Angeles.

The parking structure is the conceptual podium for the office building. Buildings in the area are three floors or less, so the office building on the roof affords spectacular views of the entire city from downtown to the Santa Monica Mountains to the Westside of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. The 800-car, four-level parking structure is straightforward and inexpensive construction of steel frame, metal decks, bays, and ramps at opposite ends.

The office building is formed by the intersection of nine rectangular boxes, lifted one level above the garage roof, stacked either on top of or adjacent to each other, along the west edge of the garage roof. The nine boxes organize essential program elements connected by an interior second floor bridge. The underside of the boxes is cut to accommodate an open plan on the main office floor below. The boxes are supported on the steel column grid extended from the parking structure. Highlighting the facade are metal RHEINZINK prePATINA blue-grey Flat Lock Tiles.  The metal tiles were also used in a low-slope roof application.

 “You couldn’t do anything like this in masonry or wood or anything else, that would have the same impact,” said MCA judge Mark Dewalt, AIA, Principal, Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Chicago, Illinois.

The Pterodactyl office is the final phase of the Wedgewood Holly campus: office buildings that were originally part of a grouping of contiguous warehouses in Culver City that had been added to since the 1940s. The design premise required a strategic removal of portions of the original buildings in order to establish new building identities, allow sufficient space for landscaping, and accommodate both pedestrian and automobile circulation on the site.

The original four-level parking garage was built in 1998. The structure was designed to anticipate a future building, with steel columns extended above the top floor plate. With the addition of the Pterodactyl in 2015, the final element of the Wedgewood Holly complex is complete.

Project Recognition

Building Owner: Frederick and Laurie Samitaur Smith, Los Angeles, California
MCA Member Distributer: RHEINZINK America, Inc.
Architect: Eric Owen Moss Architects, Culver City, California
Contractor: Samitaur Constructs, Culver City, California
Metal Installer: Architectural Metal Cladding, Inc., West Hollywood, California
Metal Fabricator: CSI Architectural Metal, Inc., Carson, California


MCA Municipal Winner – San Francisco International Airport

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) awarded San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Control Tower in San Francisco, California its 2016 Chairman’s Award in the Municipal category.

The design of San Francisco International Airport’s new airport traffic control tower not only focused on functional goals – including withstanding a magnitude 8.0 earthquake, offering maximum sightlines and accommodating state-of-the-art electronics – it also needed to serve as an iconic airport symbol.

The resulting 221-foot-tall 5,652-square-foot shimmering-metal tower features a geometrically complex design resembling a sweeping torch that is topped with an offset control cab – the latter providing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic controllers with an unobstructed 270-degree view of airport runways and taxiways. The tower is the tallest vertical self-centering post tension concrete structure in the United States and is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) was the option chosen to clad the tower, with a total of 10,000 square feet of formable 4mm ACM painted in the custom SFO Silver color by 3A Composites USA. Recyclable Alucobond, which is manufactured with both post-manufacturing and post-consumer content, contributes LEED credits to building projects.

The west face of the airport control tower is “opened” vertically with a backlit glass façade that stretches 147 feet high to create a local visual landmark. Situated above a new three-story FAA office building and walkways connecting two terminals, the open-core design allows passengers to gaze directly up into the tower through corridor skylights to view the cascading waterfall lighting. The tower lighting can be changed based on the mood of the airport. For example, LED colored lighting transforms the tower in recognition of holidays and special events.

“It looks like some sort of a floral shape. It is really interesting to see something like that rendered in metal. It’s a total contradiction to the form but I think it works and looks really interesting. And it’s a big departure from your traditional control tower concept,” said MCA judge Mark Dewalt AIA, Principal, Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Chicago, Illinois.

The torch design is reminiscent of the historic pier torches utilized in the 1800s to guide ships to port in San Francisco Bay, according to Curtis Fentress, FAIA, RIBA, president, CEO and principal-in-charge of design, Fentress Architects.

Project Recognition

Building Owner: San Francisco International Airport (SFO), a department of the City and County of San Francisco
MCA Member Manufacturer: 3A Composites USA Inc.
Master Architect: HNTB, Los Angeles, California
Architect of Record: Fentress Architects, Denver, Colorado
Contractor: Hensel Phelps Construction Co., San Jose, California
Metal Installer: Pacific Erectors, Inc., Rocklin, California
Metal Fabricator: Keith Panel Systems Co. Ltd., North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


MCA – Institutional Winner – Saint Paul Academy Huss Center

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) awarded Saint Paul Academy Huss Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota its 2016 Chairman’s Award in the Institutional category.

The Saint Paul Academy and Summit School Huss Center for the Performing Arts is a state-of-the-art facility for musical and theatrical productions. The new auditorium seats 650 for performances, school gatherings, and community events. In addition to the auditorium, the building features a 180-seat multi-use space, and area for costume and set design, in addition to a two-story arts commons.

The center is a series of boxes clad in thin, stack-bond face brick, with playfully arranged large windows. The architects lined two sides —the sides heavily trafficked by students—with a system of white perforated aluminum screens that angle out to reveal glimpses of the red-painted precast panels beneath. The eye-catching screens lighten the visual weight of the building; the brick allows it to achieve subtle harmony with a campus whose varied styles—from Tudor Revival to modernist and beyond—tell the story of 20th-century American architecture.

The designers “really understood making beautiful proportions, and they did that with the application of a screen. Because of what they did with something really simple…it is a stunning building,” commented MCA judge Brent Schipper, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, ASK Studio, Des Moines, Iowa.

Metal Fabricator and Installer, MG McGrath, worked with HGA Architects and McGough Construction to fabricate and install multiple types of aluminum panels to the exterior and interior of the facility. On the exterior, MG McGrath installed custom-perforated aluminum wall panels and frames, with Reynobond composite panels as accents. MG McGrath also installed exterior aluminum window and wall trims in Pure White and Deep Onyx with a Kynar finish. On the interior of the building, MG McGrath installed custom-perforated aluminum sheet wall panels in bronze and custom-perforated aluminum heater fin covers. Some of the aluminum wall panels on the first floor of the building’s auditorium were mounted on hinges, allowing the panels to open and expose the acoustical material mounted on the back. Metal was selected to achieve the modern aesthetic while providing sustainability and functionality.

Project Recognition

Building Owner: Saint Paul Academy
MCA Member Manufacturer: Accurate Perforating
MCA Member Coating Manufacturer: Arkema Inc.
MCA Member Manufacturer: Arconic Architectural Products
Architect: HGA Architects & Engineers
Contractor: McGough
Metal Installer: MG McGrath, Inc.
Metal Perforator: Accurate Perforating
Metal Fabricator: MG McGrath, Inc.


MCA Education – Primary Secondary Winner – Fayetteville Montessori

he Metal Construction Association (MCA) awarded Fayetteville Montessori Primary School in Fayetteville, Arkansas its 2016 Chairman’s Award in the Education – Primary and Secondary Schools category.

The Fayetteville Montessori Primary required a complete renovation, transforming an outdated suburban strip mall into a 9-classroom school building to fit seamlessly into the existing campus. The renovation, which was completed in 11 months for $132 per square foot, utilizes the original structure of the building, including the glass storefronts on two walls, which now provide expansive banks of natural light for classrooms.  Angled walls, conceived of as a carapace, drop in front of the windows to provide shade and visual separation from the street.  An addition on the north side of the building intersects the existing building, creating a dynamic corner framing two courtyards, used for outdoor play, between the old and the new.

A new elementary school, built in 2012, established a material language and identity for the campus. The existing materials, budget constraints, time constraints, and elegant detailing lead to the decision to use dark bronze box rib metal panel to unify the campus with a new aesthetic. The metal panel allowed lightweight, cantilevered, angled walls to fold down in front of the windows, providing shade and a visual separation from the street.  With custom corner details, the metal panel seamlessly navigated existing odd angles, and helped establish a material logic that integrated the existing structure and a three-classroom addition. The metal panel met the budget needs, and worked with established detailing and aesthetics from the elementary school, extending and unifying the campus.

“It’s really bold and creates a strong contemporary statement from a building that’s been recycled,” said MCA judge Mark Dewalt, AIA, Principal, Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Chicago, Illinois.

Project Recognition

Building Owner: Victoria Butler
MCA Member Manufacturer: Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp
MCA Member Coating Manufacturer: Arkema Inc.
MCA Member Coating Manufacturer: Valspar
Architect: Marlon Blackwell Architects
Contractor: Nabholz Construction Corporation
Metal Installer: Harness Roofing Inc.


MCA Metal Roofing Winner – Erie Residence

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) awarded a lakeside cottage renovation in Erie, Pennsylvania its 2016 Chairman’s Award for the Metal Roofing category.

Originally built in 1926, the unique lakeside cottage’s 25-year-old roof was due for replacement. Traditional asphalt shingles were ruled out due to their lack of long-term durability. The roof’s unique two-foot overhang required a malleable material to accommodate this architectural challenge. Metal roofing was selected for its balance of form and function. Custom gray VMZ Adeka panels, which mimic the appearance of shingles, were chosen. In addition to the zinc paneling for the roof, VMZINC® downspouts, gutters and other decorative ornamentals were used to give the home a cohesive look. To fit the radius of the buildings overhangs, the prefabricated panels were individually stretched and shrunk to create a striking diamond pattern reminiscent of scales.

With Pennsylvania’s harsh winter weather, zinc’s exceptional performance in extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, was another main factor in the  decision to use the metal product.  Another advantage, zinc naturally forms its own protective layer called a patina that redevelops or “self-heals” imperfections, decreasing ongoing maintenance needs. When the zinc is scratched, this process spurs a natural recovery that avoids the need for repainting or other rehabilitation efforts. In addition, architectural zinc is fully recyclable, from construction scrap to end of use, which contributes to the project’s overall sustainability and performance.

“We all commented about the intricacy of this roof. We saw such craftsmanship on the roof and so much importance given to the roof, it was the project that took the roof the furthest,” said MCA judge Brent Schipper, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, ASK Studio, Des Moines, Iowa.

Project Recognition

Building Owner: Grack
MCA Member Manufacturer: Umicore Building Products USA, Inc.
Architect: A.J. Grack Business Interiors
Contractor: A.J. Grack Business Interiors
Metal Installer: A.J. Grack Business Interiors
Metal Fabricator: Umicore Building Products USA, Inc.


MCA Residential Winner – Tripartite House

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) awarded Tripartite House in Houston, Texasits 2016 Chairman’s Award for the Residential category.

Addressing the issues of urban infill, this home is set on a busy street in a transitional neighborhood. Located where a vacant apartment complex stood, this house is part of a grouping of new homes that reinserts life into the neighborhood. Three stacked layers divide the public and private realms of the home into a strata of functional zones responding to the occupant’s needs. The first floor extends outward engaging views through floor-to-ceiling glass in the public realm and embracing connections to the community and greenspace. The second floor utilizes solid forms with zinc-clad cantilevered areas, which cloak the intimate spaces within. The third floor captures rooftop space into a breezy sky filled zone where occupants enjoy the evening above the fray. By stacking these layers, the home allows greater openness and visual connection on the first floor while maintaining privacy on the levels above.

“It’s a very elegant arrangement of residential spaces with a lot of light and interesting uses of metal,” said MCA judge Mark Dewalt, AIA, Principal, Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Chicago, Illinois.

“I think the use of different textures, many of which are metal, provide a really nice composition,” said Mark Horton/Architecture, San Francisco, California.

The home is anticipated to receive LEED platinum status though use of sustainable materials, including the zinc façade. Energy minded features were also employed including high performance insulation and AC system, low flow plumbing, and hydrophilic nanocoating with self-cleaning properties. Rainwater is harvested to meet the site’s entire irrigation demand and an expandable solar array is designed to offer future energy independence.

Natural metals helped achieve the project goals of authenticity, quality, and sustainability. Zinc enhanced the modern lines of the home on the façade, creating a durable, maintenance-free, sustainable surface. Zinc also provided more depth and richness in appearance than other materials. Carbon steel, used on the interior though exposed beams and stair structure, expresses the structural logic to the home, relating to the goal of authenticity. As a cradle-to-cradle material, carbon steel also helped achieve the sustainability goals. Weathering steel in the landscape was used to define space without becoming a fence. The beams, made with recyclable content, glow dramatically in the afternoon sun. Completely recyclable clear anodized aluminum was used as panels on the interior, which helped achieved the desired aesthetic, clean lines, and feeling of quality and authenticity in the home. Throughout the project, natural metals enhance the authenticity, quality, and sustainability of the home while enriching the overall experience.

Project Recognition

Building Owners: Rame Hruska and Russell Hruska
MCA Member Manufacturer: Umicore Building Products USA, Inc.
Architect: Rame Hruska, AIA and Russell Hruska, AIA
Contractor: Intexure Design Build
Metal Installer: Ideal Roofing
Metal Fabricator: Ideal Roofing

MCA Overall Excellence Winner – Gemma Observatory


The Metal Construction Association (MCA) awarded Gemma Observatory in Southern New Hampshire its 2016 Chairman’s Award for Overall Excellence, the highest honor given.

The 1,200 square-foot observatory is sited at the end of a steep, 1/2-mile gravel road on a remote summit, characterized by granite bedrock outcroppings. At the center of a 3-mile radius of dark landscape, there is very little light pollution for optimal astronomical viewing. Anmahian Winton Architects created a design that dismissed the traditional observatory dome in favor of an architectural form expressed as an extension of the site’s angular geography.

“There is a turret on the top that rotates, but unlike every other observatory, which is a round shape, it’s more like a Rubik’s Cube. It’s just fascinating and beautiful,” describes MCA judge Brent Schipper, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, ASK Studio in Des Moines, Iowa.

Metal’s adaptability to different architectural forms made it an ideal material for cladding the building’s innovative shape and moving parts.  Metal also can quickly dissipate heat gain once the sun has set. This is crucial to eliminating atmospheric distortion created by the building (similar to mirages produced on a hot day from materials that absorb heat like asphalt) and maximizes the time available for night sky observation.

The variable directionality of the panels reflects the building’s orientation to both geological and celestial landmarks, merging their different geometries and expressing the observatory as a nexus for where they come together. In addition, the zinc color matches the granite outcroppings, tying the building to its immediate environment.

“It appears that (the mountain stones) were pushed up against the base of the foundation… and then transforms into metal and becomes this small building. Because the scale, even though it’s not that big of a building, you could think it was ten stories tall,” describes MCA judge Mark Dewalt, AIA, Principal, Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Chicago, Illinois.

Furthermore, metal met the need to create a sustainable structure that functions completely off the grid. The zinc panels require no maintenance and are part of a super-insulated wall assembly that minimizes the cost of operating the building.

Project Recognition

MCA Member Manufacturer: Umicore Building Products USA, Inc.
Architect: Anmahian Winton Architects
Contractor: Patriots Builders (Scott Estabrooks)
Metal Installer: Crocker Architectural
Metal Fabricator: Crocker Architectural




The METAL DESIGN SOLUTIONS CONFERENCE is a one-day event providing architects, engineers, specifiers, and design professionals with AIA approved education on the proper use and benefits of metal in the building envelope. All educational seminars are AIA approved and attendees can earn up to 4 hours of continuing education!

Join us on Friday October 28, 2016 for a full day of AIA approved education as well as the METALCON trade show.

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See The Metal Roofing Championship Games LIVE AT METALCON!

Celebrating its 3rd Annual metal roofing competition to be held at this year, the MCA Games Task Force has finalized the event schedule. This year, there will be five challenges each day under the appropriately named theme; “Battle Stars Over Baltimore” in recognition of our Star Spangled Banner birthplace. Each day, 5 pre-registered teams with 2 contestants each will compete for a $400 cash award in each of the Battles or $2,000 each day. In addition, there is a $500 Grand Prize each day for the team with the most collective points.

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