The FABRICATOR Talks with Bill Zahner About Architectural Metals and the Latest Zahner Products
The FABRICATOR is the industry’s most widely circulated fabricating and forming magazine. Editor-in-chief Dan Davis recently invited A. Zahner Co. CEO Bill Zahner to share more about the company’s history, current projects, and latest innovations in metal materials, patinas, and finishes.
The beauty and possibilities of metal are often hidden rather than highlighted in commercial structures. Yet the persistent visual appeal of natural metal – and the many surface treatments available – inspire artists and architects to push the boundaries of what’s possible (and what’s expected) in building construction. Not many know this better than Bill Zahner, president, and CEO, A. Zahner, who has written seven books about architectural metals.
The FABRICATOR invited Bill Zahner to share more about current projects and the surface treatments available at Zahner. The interview captures a glimpse of the large restoration project underway at The U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel (well-known even to those unfamiliar with contemporary architecture). With 17 spires reaching heights of 150 ft, Zahner developed the new aluminum panel system to match the original, but with significantly improved performance features—and no more leaks.
The interview continues to illustrate some of the biggest metal surface trends being used in architectural metal today. It explores coloring stainless steel through interference coloring, used to create the blue triangular panels at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), and how physical vapor deposition (PVD) coloring unlocks a wider palette.
The discussion delves into Zahner’s preweathering process for Solanum, its signature preweathering steel surface, and how it achieves a desirable earth-tone finish without waiting for nature’s slow progression. Bill Zahner also shares the company’s unique approach to custom perforated metal panels known as ImageWall.
Discover more about the surface treatments of metal and future trends by reading the full interview.