McMurtry Building

McMurtry Building for the Department of Art & Art History

The McMurtry Building was designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro whose design team worked with executive architect Boora Architects to bring this 100,000-square-foot project to fruition.

Located in Stanford, California, the building was named for donors Burt & Deedee McMurtry. The campus building brings studio art, design, art history, film, and media studies together under a zinc roof.

Photo of McMurtry Building in Stanford, California, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

McMurtry Building in Stanford, California, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

About the McMurtry Building's Design

The building's design includes stacking cantilevered forms, broken by a sloping diagonal on both the east and west sides. This balanced criss-crossing of elements divides the various disciplines within its space.

In a speech delivered at the McMurtry Building groundbreaking , principal-in-charge Charles Renfro expounded on the building's unique design approach. He describes how the two interwoven ‘strands’ influence the building's form. The strands divide as well as unite the building's two wings. At one end, classrooms serve as a clean learning space, and at the other, artist studios provide a work area. The strands come together the building's rooftop communal space, and again the spaces are united at the ground floor library for art and architecture.

The strand of the southern wing is clad in preweathered zinc. Zahner performed the design-engineering and manufacture of the zinc aspects of the McMurtry Building. Zahner also performed the installation of zinc panels and metalwork, working to ensure a high-quality product for the architect and client.

Photo of Detail of the cantilevered facade with custom-patinated zinc metalwork, on the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California

Detail of the cantilevered facade with custom-patinated zinc metalwork, on the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of The soffit area is detailed with a preweatehred custom zinc with custom panel-patterns.

The soffit area is detailed with a preweatehred custom zinc with custom panel-patterns.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Detail of the custom zinc ceiling corner and facade for the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California

Detail of the custom zinc ceiling corner and facade for the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of McMurtry Building in Stanford, California, designed by Diller Scofidio + RenfroPhoto of McMurtry Building in Stanford, California, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

 

McMurtry Building in Stanford, California, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Creating a custom roof and facade with Design Assist

Before making the actual facade and roof panels, Zahner was selected to design-engineer the exterior cladding systems. Hiring Zahner through a separate Design Assist contract, the architects were able to solidify the design details before building the actual project.

As part of the Design Assist contract, Zahner also provided multiple mockups for the zinc rain screen. The final mockup was installed just North of the actual McMurtry Building on the University campus. This mockup focused on many of the most difficult and complex aspects of the facade, soffit, and roof. By creating a mockup, the entire project team was able to predict and better develop the final product.

Photo of The McMurtry mockup was installed on-site in Stanford, California.Photo of As part of Zahner Design Assist, the team made a mockup to test difficult sections of the custom zinc metalwork.

 

The McMurtry mockup was installed on-site in Stanford, California.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Patina technicians in the Zahner Dallas facility create the custom patina on zinc

Patina technicians in the Zahner Dallas facility create the custom patina on zinc.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Creating the Custom Patinated Zinc Roof & Facade

Zahner’s scope required a unique warm-toned brown zinc material, which would encompass the roof, facades, soffit, and other areas of the building. Zahner developed this preweathered patina on zinc in multiple variations as part of the Design Assist process.

During the development of details, three final ‘color’ options were presented in mockup form. The architect then narrowed the selection down to the finalized stable patina option. The chosen patina has a rich brown hue, interspersed with variegated grey and umber. The tone defines the McMurtry Building.

Photo of The building's cantilevered form highlights the rooftop area's custom patina on zinc

The building's cantilevered form highlights the rooftop area's custom patina on zinc.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Detail of the Zinc panels on-site at the Stanford McMurtry Building in California

Detail of the Zinc panels on-site at the McMurtry Building in California.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Detailed of the corner where the zinc facade meets the zinc soffit

Detailed of the corner where the zinc facade meets the zinc soffit.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Custom zinc ceiling soffit for the McMurtry Building in Stanford, with custom patina.

Custom zinc ceiling soffit for the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Custom zinc ceiling soffits and staircase at the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California

Custom zinc ceiling soffits and staircase at the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Detail of the custom zinc interior atrium staircase at the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California

Detail of the custom zinc interior atrium staircase at the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Detail of the custom zinc interior atrium staircase at the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California

Detail of the custom zinc interior atrium staircase at the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Detail of the custom zinc interior atrium staircase at the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California

Detail of the custom zinc interior atrium staircase at the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Detail of the custom zinc soffit metalwork around the recessed light fixtures at Stanford McMurtry

Detail of the custom zinc soffit metalwork around the recessed light fixtures in Stanford, California.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Detailed metalwork uses Zahner's preweathered custom zinc patina.

Detailed metalwork uses Zahner's preweathered custom zinc patina.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of The Stanford McMurtry Building's cantilevered forms (zinc panels across the top)

The McMurtry Building's cantilevered forms (zinc panels across the top).
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of West side of the Stanford McMurtry Building, detail of the copper-toned patina on zinc.

West side of the McMurtry Building, detail of the copper-toned patina on zinc.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Detail of the east utility area. The zinc provides an alternative to cor-ten weathering steel

Detail of the east utility area. The zinc provides an alternative to cor-ten weathering steel.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Detail of the corner edge of the zinc facade and soffit.

Detail of the corner edge of the zinc facade and soffit.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Cafe on the east side of the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California

Cafe on the east side of the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Utility area of the McMurtry Building at Stanford, California

Utility area of the McMurtry Building in Stanford, California.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of Zinc roof with a custom patina, McMurtry Building, in California

Zinc roof with a custom patina, McMurtry Building in California.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

The project was managed by Whiting Turner for Stanford University . The base zinc sheet, which provided a starting point for the weathering process, was provided by Jarden Zinc , the only United States-based manufacturer of flat zinc sheets.

The McMurtry project is the second major work featuring Zahner manufacturing at the University campus. Earlier this year, Zahner worked on the WRNS-designed Hoover Garage which is located just a few minutes from the the McMurtry Building.

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