Brandywine Hundred Library in New Castle County
The Brandywine Hundred Library in New Castle is designed by Studio Hillier and features a Zahner manufactured colonnade with a custom copper patina. The building's forms recall a historic aesthetic, while its large windows emphasize its natural setting.
Strongly rooted in the landscape and history of the Brandywine Valley, the new 40,000 gross square foot library serves as a 21st century meeting house, expressing and enhancing modern interconnectivity.
The project includes a custom patinated copper canopy which was fabricated by Zahner for the building's entry soffit. 290 sheets of copper were processed to develop a unique and rustic patina across its surface. This is an early architectural example of custom preweathered patina on copper.
Copper is a malleable and ductile metal with high thermal conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a reddish-orange color, which will quickly patinate under normal conditions.New copper can look as if it is on fire in low twilight, when the red wavelength of light is more prevalent. The surface of new copper is specular, moderately polished from the cold rolling process, imparting a burnishing effect on the copper. Like gold, copper absorbs most strongly on the red region of the light spectrum, hence reflect more intensely on the red scale. Thus, cloudy days have only a minor effect on the reflected light from gold and copper surfaces.Eventually, the surface of copper will oxidize and decrease in reflectivity, giving way to earthy tones of a dark matte, surface. After several years, the appearance will show signs of green verdigris in its crevices, and may completely turn green over the course of decades.
At the end of the colonnade, an outdoor amphitheater creates the library's storytelling center. The building is composed of two parts—the smaller encompassing the community center, the larger housing the library's 100,000 volumes, including a reading area with fireplace. The building is fully wired for computers, accommodates 350, and features a 50-seat café and 200-car secure parking lot.
Irving Convention Center
Completed in June of 2010, the project is designed by RMJM + Hillier. The convention center is located in Las Colinas, a master-planned community within the city of Irving, which is itself situated halfway between sister cities Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas.The project features a Zahner-engineered and produced copper curtain-wall. The entire surface of the project is custom perforated and bumped with a pattern unique to the building. The surface integrates the ZIRA Process for generating the embossed and punched surface.The surface was installed as mill-finish copper, which means that the raw 'red' copper surface will go through a long process of patination. Within weeks of installation, the project had already begun to darken in areas, and within a year, the whole building had a deep bluish brown patina. This natural process is a result of the temperature, moisture, and pollution in the air, which causes the material to at first darken, and eventually change to greens and blues many years from now.