A CUSTOM FACADE for the University of Wyoming
In 1993, architect Antoine Predock completed the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center and Art Museum to house the university’s manuscript and rare book collections and archive.
Predock enlisted Zahner to assist in creating a rainscreen façade system with a custom copper patina. Zahner utilized similar processes as those innovated within the aerospace industry. Planar, flatseam panels were attached to the building façade in much the same way that panels on a commercial aircraft are seamlessly stitched together.
Custom Pre-weathered Patina
Working in tandem with the architect, Zahner developed a custom copper surface to reflect the building’s earthy, rugged surroundings. Coined “Dirty Penny” the resulting dark brown patina will continue to darken over time and will not easily scratch or rub off.
Predock describes it as a 'mountain, detailed like an airplane wing and aerodynamically positioned with respect to Wyoming's omnipresent winds.'
"Patina" is an oxidized layer which develops naturally on the surface of many metals. In many cases, this mineralized surface will protect the surface from further corrosion while providing unique colors and textures on the metal surface. This is a naturally occurring phenomenon for many metal alloys. The process can take many years to fully develop. Depending on the atmospheric conditions, the results of this oxidization process can be visually difficult to predict. Moisture, air, sun, as well as salt and pollutants each have a powerful effect. In addition, factors such as how the metal is stored and produced at the mill, and how it is cleaned and prepared can have striking effects on the final visual surface appearance.While the patination process is predictable, sometimes the end result will surprise and delight. This is because small shifts in the atmosphere can have large effects on how the patina colors reveal themselves.