Retrofit Project Transforms Grocery Store and Office Building into a College Campus

The retrofit market is filled with opportunity for the building owners who are willing to reinvest in structures. Antelope Valley College focused on its future with a retrofit project that created the Palmdale Center in Palmdale, Calif. With the retrofit project, the college now has a self-contained satellite campus that once was an existing grocery store with an attached medical office building. Dri-Design Tapered Series wall panels were selected to set the campus apart from the surrounding buildings.

With the retrofit project, Antelope College now has a self-contained satellite campus that once was an existing grocery store with an attached medical office building.
With the retrofit project, Antelope Valley College now has a self-contained satellite campus that once was an existing grocery store with an attached medical office building.

“Dri-Design clear anodized aluminum wall panels were chosen for the main facade because they project a contemporary image that contrasts with the existing surrounding buildings,” says Steve Dowty, retired principal with KBZ Architects Inc., Santa Barbara, Calif. “The diffused reflectivity of the material, varying panel depth and angled orientations produce an identifiable presence from the main street entrance to the center, which are hundreds of feet apart.”

Best Contracting Services Inc., Gardena, Calif., installed 5,200 square feet of 0.080-inch aluminum Tapered Series panels. The panels have a Class 1 Clear Anodized finish. Tapered Series Panels can be angled in any direction with varying depths and degree of slope. This freedom to design each specific panel gives an unlimited capacity to create a dynamic surface on nearly any façade without the need to modify the substrate or weather barrier.

Dri-Design Tapered Series wall panels set the campus apart from the surrounding buildings.
Dri-Design Tapered Series wall panels set the campus apart from the surrounding buildings.

This was the first time the architectural team had worked with Dri-Design panels though they have used other metal cladding products. Dowty adds, “We preferred the random look of Dri-Design’s Tapered Series. Construction detailing and simplicity also were a product consideration.”

The campus includes a student lounge, library, bookstore, computer center, wet and dry science labs, early childhood development center, classrooms, large lecture halls, offices and support space.

“Customization and endless design possibilities allow Dri-Design metal wall panels to transform existing structures into vibrant spaces,” says Brad Zeeff, president of Dri-Design. “The retrofit market remains strong because of teams like this that see the possibility in existing structures and the versatility of metal wall panels.”

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