Zinc Metal Panels Identify Entranceways and Provide Canopies for Resource Center

Los Angeles Trade Technical College

Los Angeles Trade Technical College recently completed a remarkable transformation of its Learning Resource Center. Also known as Mariposa Hall, the renovation was designed not only to improve the functionality of the building but to refresh its look as the centerpiece of the campus.

Stripped down to its structural grid, the building was upgraded to current code compliance and new infrastructure systems were installed throughout.

Stripped down to its structural grid, the building was upgraded to current code compliance and new infrastructure systems were installed throughout.


Stripped down to its structural grid, the building was upgraded to current code compliance and new infrastructure systems were installed throughout. The existing structure’s usable space was increased from 81,807 square feet to nearly 100,000 square feet.

To enhance the building’s appearance, the façade was redesigned to better connect with its surroundings on all sides. Architectural design for the project was done by Harley Ellis Devereaux, Los Angeles. The design team created a series of undulating RHEINZINK “ribbons” jutting out beyond the existing floor structure to identify entranceways, provide canopies and sunshades and radiate an outward energy to the four corners of the campus. “There’s basically no backside to the building,” says Michael Bulander, project designer. “That led to the idea of these ribbons that would encompass the whole building.”

“We looked at various metals for the ribbons but zinc quickly became the preferred alternative because of several aspects,” says Bulander. “We liked its organic character and the slight variations in the finish as it develops a nice matte patina over time. As it gets older, it becomes even more beautiful.”

“We looked at various metals for the ribbons but zinc quickly became the preferred alternative because of several aspects,” says Bulander. “We liked its organic character and the slight variations in the finish as it develops a nice matte patina over time. As it gets older, it becomes even more beautiful.”


“We looked at various metals for the ribbons but zinc quickly became the preferred alternative because of several aspects,” says Bulander. “We liked its organic character and the slight variations in the finish as it develops a nice matte patina over time. As it gets older, it becomes even more beautiful.” Bulander also pointed out zinc’s “self-healing” attribute as another important quality for the campus environment.

The building envelope utilizes 34,000 square feet of 18-gauge/1.2-millimeter RHEINZINK PrePATINA blue-grey Interlocking Reveal Panels fabricated by MetalTech—USA, Peachtree City, Ga. MetalTech vice president and project manager Eric Simonsen was influential in the selection of the 18-gauge/1.2-millimeter zinc to assure the flatness and lack of oil canning as desired by the architect.

Installation of the RHEINZINK panels was done by Tinco Sheet Metal, Los Angeles. The general contractor on the project was Suffolk General Construction, also of Los Angeles.

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