EMP Museum

Experience Music Project Museum

Jimi Hendrix inspired the name, Frank Gehry designed the project, and Zahner produced the stunning curvilinear forms and structure. Residing in the shadow of the Seattle Space Needle, Civil Enginering Magazine calls it the "most complex exterior skin ever devised for a building."

The EMP Museum was the first project to use the patented ZEPPS™ Process for producing curvilinear and complex structures. Since then, the ZEPPS™ Process has gone through multiple iterations, growing more powerful, accurate, and refined.

The forms of EMP were created using over 4,000 ZEPPS™ Panels fabricated by Zahner using over 21,000 sheets of metal. No two sheets and no two panels were the same.

The Experience Music Project is one of Frank Gehry and Zahner's first big collaborations, and the first implementation of what was to become the most powerful and efficient system for constructing complex curves and forms, prevalent in works by Frank Gehry and Randall Stout.

How we built the facade for EMP

Zahner had begun working on a way to rapidly build curved forms in metal for several years, starting with the Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa, Florida.  The team found that by reducing the curves to large panelized sections, the building could be pre-engineered and fabricated for delivery and rapid installation.  The resulting technology is now known as the ZEPPS™ Process.

The ZEPPS™ Process was first implemented to meet the demanding curvature of the Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington. Notable for its twisting curves and smooth planes of stunning sheet metal, the facade is installed on the smart metal panel system.  A highly specialized team was assembled at Zahner to develop this process. This team is called the Design Assist Group (DAG), and the members of this team continue to advance the ZEPPS™ Process, develop new systems, and guide architects, designers, and general contractors through the process of building complex forms.

Using the ZEPPS™ Process allowed Zahner to efficiently produce the complex forms with minimal waste and a reduced ecological footprint, eliminating the need for additional structural construction. This massive project includes 3,300 unique panel assemblies, resulting in over 140,000 square feet of metal surfacing. The surface used includes Angel Hair™ Stainless Steel, Red Interference Coated Stainless Steel and Fluorocarbon-coated Aluminum.

View of Experience Music Project & Science Fiction Museum

View of EMP Seattle Science Fiction Museum

EMP During Construction, Revealing ZEPPS™ Process.

Experience Music Project, Completed.

View of Experience Music Project Interference Stainless

View of Experience Music Project Interference Stainless

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