Columbus Museum of Art

Margaret M. Walter Wing at the Columbus Museum of Art

The new Margaret M. Walter Wing of the Columbus Museum of Art is a contemporary work of architecture featuring both interior and exterior custom-patinated copper sheets, manufactured by A. Zahner Company.

Creating a New Space for the CMA

Photograph of the New CMA, courtesy of the Columbus Museum of ArtIn 2013, the Columbus Museum of Art's Board of Trustees unanimously voted in favor of beginning construction on a new expansion project which would enable the Museum to bring global exhibitions to the residents of Columbus, Ohio. The museum reached out to DesignGroup principal Michael Bongiorno whose design team, including Keoni Fleming, Annie Neumer, and Joseph Mayer, developed a strategy for the museum's expansion. The expansion's centerpiece, the Margaret M. Walter Wing, adds 50,000 square feet to the total square footage of the Museum's available gallery space, and is expected to reach a LEED Silver certification.

The architects for the Columbus Museum of Art worked with their client to develop a design which would pair the Museum's rich history with its promising future. The designers achieved this balance in many ways, including aesthetics. The design of the building's form is contemporary, featuring many modern architectural touches, while its surface is an antiqued copper, a rich material which would normally require decades of weathering to achieve.

Photo of the New CMA: Columbus Museum of Art

Columbus Museum of Art, North Entrance.
Photo by Jeremy Purser, © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Columbus Museum of Art

Columbus Museum of Art, South Entrance.
Photo by Jeremy Purser, © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Columbus Museum of Art

Columbus Museum of Art, East facade, glass, and limestone.
Photo by Jeremy Purser, © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Columbus Museum of Art

Columbus Museum of Art, detail of the custom copper soffit.
Photo by Jeremy Purser, © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Columbus Museum of Art

Columbus Museum of Art, detail of the custom copper flashing and metalwork.
Photo by Jeremy Purser, © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of the NewCMA: Columbus Museum of Art

Columbus Museum of Art.
Photo by Jeremy Purser, © A. Zahner Co.

Developing the Architectural Copper Panels with Custom Patina

Zahner has worked with patinated copper and copper-alloys since the company's establishment in 1897, but it was only a recent advancement by Zahner's research and development team that allowed the firm to match naturally aged copper.

Typically, architectural copper panels are installed as raw or "red" copper sheets, and while this color will quickly morph from reflective reflective pinks and reds to a matte brown surface, it will still take another few decades before the metal fully patinates into the blues and greens.

An example of this slow patination process is the de Young Museum in California, which Zahner manufactured and installed in 2003-2005 as unpatinated copper panel system. Ten years later, the surface is now starting to show signs of green along the panel seams, but the overall tone is still a deep matte burnt umber tone. It is likely another ten to twenty years before the de Young will take on a green hue.

For the new CMA building, Zahner sped up the process. Zahner engineers manufactured pre-weathered custom blue-green copper using a rapid patina process. A process that normally takes twenty to thirty years was achieved in the span of a few weeks.

Zahner fabricated the building's custom flashing and standing seam roof and supplied the pre-patinated copper sheets for the copper wall panels. Keith Panel Systems (KPS) engineered and fabricated the wall panels on their KPS System 'A' which provides a compartmentalized and pressure-equalized rainscreen. Phinney Industrial Roofing coordinated the work with KPS and successfully completed the installation as the sub-contractor to Corna Kokosing Construction.

Photo of Columbus Museum of Art

Columbus Museum of Art, view from the main entrance.
Photo by Jeremy Purser, © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of the NewCMA

Columbus Museum of Art, view from the main entrance.
Photo by Jeremy Purser, © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Columbus Museum of Art

Columbus Museum of Art, view from the main entrance.
Photo by Jeremy Purser, © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of CMA

Columbus Museum of Art, detail of the custom metalwork.
Photo by Jeremy Purser, © A. Zahner Co.

Follow us and say hello:

More Projects

Featured Post: Building a dual-curved facade with pre-fabricated panels. — Writer Susan Chaityn Lebovits profiles Zahner in Form Magazine, about how the Neiman Marcus facade was made in Natick, Massachusetts.

Featured Post: Zahner ShopFloor team develops a perforated Louvered Screen Wall Facade System — How a small team of ShopFloor engineers at Zahner hacked a ten-year old welding robot arm to create louvered screen wall facade systems.

Picture of ShopFloor ShopFloor: Create unique designs for architecture and interiors using a simple configurator.

Have a complex project?

We‘ll help you design, engineer, and build it.

Get in touch