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Shalom Baranes’ renovation of a 1984 office building transformed a waterfront eyesore into a sleek condominium complex. (Thomas Arledge Photography)
Brick and metal transform a tired office block into a residential building worthy of its site.
Located on a slice of land adjacent to the Potomac River in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, the 1984 Sheet Metal Workers Union National Pension Fund building failed to live up to the site’s potential. “I’ve used this in a couple of lectures,” said Shalom Baranes Associates principal Patrick Burkhart. “I show ‘before’ photos and ask the audience, ‘What is this building?’ The answers include: ‘It looks like an urban jail.'” When the property came on the market, Maryland-based developer EYA seized the opportunity to transform the waterfront eyesore into a contemporary condominium complex. Clad in brick and metal paneling, with high performance glazing emphasizing views along the Potomac, the Oronoco balances a sleek urban aesthetic with sensitivity to Old Town’s historic fabric.
You’ve got to have one. A facade, that is. So AN rounded up five leading glass and metal facade systems whose value is more than skin deep. For instance, Kalzip‘s FC Rainscreen, used on New Orleans’ Superdome. These aluminum panels form a non-penetrative facade system that can be installed in two directions, from top to bottom or from the bottom up. Individual sheets can be removed and installed independently of the rest of the assembly. The system’s quick, cost-effective installation procedure won it the job of renovating the Superdome in Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.