The biannual publication of MolyReview features Zahner’s process for designing the facade system of The Zaha Hadid-designed Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum in Michigan.
The article talks about the process of selecting material, excerpted below:
“Would it be the right material? Could stainless steel exterior be built within the available budget? What grade of stainless steel should be used? To help answer these questions, the design build team invited Zahner, an architectural fabricator well versed in the manufacture of stainless steel facades.
The outside consultants argued that stainless steel would be too expensive, could not be welded, and could not develop the design’s sharp pleats. They suggested instead a composite structure… The other (fabricators) produced alternative facade mockups of aluminum composite panels with a silver paint coating and non-weeded joints. There simply was no comparison between these and the stainless steel design. The design team recognized that the Type 316L stainless steel fabricated as proposed by Zahner would have a greater impact.
The 316L stainless steel pleats were made from 1.5mm thick sheets that were custom V-cut to create the pleats. The fabricator used a specially designed mill with an accuracy of 0.005 mm to make these cuts. The formed stainless steel sheets were strong enough that they required no backup support. Each pleat was made of several formed panels, using in total 970 unique panels.”
MolyReview is a trade publication released by international molybdenum association based in London. The Molybdenum magazine focuses on raising awareness of alloys of stainless steel containing molybdenum. Molybdenum is an ore used in the creation of high-grade stainless steel alloys such as 316, which has better weldability, corrosion resistance, and reduced expansion and contraction.