Translate your Image to Metal
The patented ZIRA™ Visualizer* enables artists and architects to automatically translate an image, graphic, or design to metal, using imagery of their choosing onto a metal surface of any size using any combination of selective embossing, cutting, or perforation of the metal. Any image, photograph, drawing, or pattern can be translated to the metal surface using with our ZIRA™ technology.
* Patent No. 7,212,688 B2 - May, 2007
Download the ZIRA™ PDF
Download the ZIRA™ PDF Presentation, which shows many of the surfaces that have been produced with the ZIRA Process. As the designer or architect, you provide the imagery that we use to perforate, bump, or punch onto the surface of the metal.
The resulting mosaic or pixelation pattern is not limited to any one kind of cutting or perforation process. Several projects are produced using bumped textures as well as perforated holes cut into the metal such as the Royals Stadium pictured above, the Fairmont, below, or the de Young in San Francisco.
How we transfer an image to metal wall panels
Our latest completed project using the ZIRA™ Visualization Process is the parking garage produced for the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver BC. The metal surface of this project was mechanically bumped and perforated throughout via computer-controlled machinery, not unlike the de Young Museum in San Francisco.
The ZIRA™ Machinery is guided by engineered cad files that are generated using the architect's original drawing. James KM Cheng, the architect for the Fairmont, provided a photograph of the dense forest which surrounds Vancouver. Zahner Engineers took this photograph and ran it through a series of filters and tests to produce the designs which would one day result in the custom-perforated, custom-bumped, custom-image that surfaces the Fairmont Hotel.
The photograph above was translated onto the surface of the building itself.
How the ZIRA™ Process Works
ZIRA™ stands for Zahner Interpretive Relational Algorithm. This patented process was developed to expedite complex custom perforations and selective embossing on projects of every size and scope.
The process begins when an architect or artist provides an image which is mapped and translated into bumps, dents, holes and shapes. This map is then digitally laid across the building or specific area of the building and imprinted on the panels. Finally the patterning is translated into machine language and produced in our shop. Once installed the patterning matches up perfectly - Patterns and images seamlessly continue from one panel to the next, edge to edge, and around corners and edges. We call this the pattern’s parametric relationship of individual elements to the whole surface.
The end result was that light appears as though filtered between the trees, as seen on the de Young project's page.
Projects using the ZIRA™ Visualizer
Zahner® has completed several projects using the ZIRA™ process, and it several more projects are in the works. This is painting with metal, so the possibilities are endless.
- Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
- Art Wall at Doha in Doha, Qatar.
- Cooper Union in New York City.
- Power & Light Bridge in Kansas City, Missouri.
- The Fairmont in Vancouver BC.
- De Young Museum in San Francisco, California.
- Alexandria in San Francisco, California.
- Cerner Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri.
- Ovitz Residence on Leona Drive in Beverly Hills, California.
- Lumenhaus (Pictured Below), a portable housing unit by Virginia Tech Students.
News & Updates
"Zinc shows its mettle" - The Miami Herald 4/20/2013
Zahner's Director of Marketing, Gary Davis, discusses the benefits and uses of Zinc in architecture.
The Zahner App is now available for iPhone. Features hundreds of projects by artists and architects.
Introducing the Hands of the Artist™ division, where Zahner engineers and craftsmen produce projects for artists.
Follow @azahner on Twitter.