Did you ever have a relative that seemed to have an opinion on just about anything? If so, you’ll be able to relate to this story. If placing a label on just about everything is a foreign concept, you might enjoy learning about our latest project. When it comes to a city known for beer and a basketball team, Permalac’s specialized matte finish needed some refinement to meet the architect’s specifications.
When the designer specifies a particular design feature to a building, it is often an opportunity for innovation. And so it was with the new stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Because of our speed to market and having on-staff innovation specialists we were able to create an ultra-flat reformulation that met the demands of the project timeline and quality standard. We therefore were the chosen awardee for the project.
Beer and Basketball
With nicknames like Miltown, Brew City, Milburg, The Mil, and most confusing, Cream City (more on this in a moment), surely there will come a new nickname with the completion of the new stadium for the Milwaukee Bucks. With its zinc panels encapsulating the structure, there’s no doubt that it will generate yet another moniker worthy of this striking façade.
As for innovation, we’re not bashful when it comes to competition, nor to creating something unique.
“Permalac has a long history of protecting exterior metals. For this project, the architects wanted an ultra-flat finish on the metal. Permalac has a matte finish, but they needed more than that. We tweaked our formulation to adjust the sheen level and arrived at an ultra-flat that did the job. We competed with a number of other products, but it was our willingness to move quickly and our flexibility that helped us win this project.”
The small section of panels in the photo above is merely for demonstration purposes, but the end of November should complete the entire structure’s exterior. All in all, there will be 317,000 square feet of metal panels covering the exterior.
Permalac’s ultra-flat finish will maintain the patina for decades to come. However, this design didn’t come to fruition without some resistance. One critic likened the proposed structure to a giant taco.
The zinc touch will come during the summer. Those panels stirred some of the most passionate debate over the design of the arena, with some detractors saying they would give the arena a “Rust Belt” feel. Project designers, however, said the zinc panels can take on the look of wood or leather and will change appearance in varying degrees of light.
A sample of those panels is on display outside in the warren of pre-fab offices on the northeast side of the construction site along the Park East corridor. Up close, the panels have a sturdy, rough feel, with a ruddy bronze hue.
One of the most-asked questions about the project is will the zinc panels change color over time like copper or other metallic building finishes.
Callahan’s answer: Nope. “No noticeable change with age,” he said.
Frankly, I don’t see it, the giant taco that is. However, to me it looks like a segment of an old, wooden beer barrel. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so the saying goes. You decide. We’re just proud to be part of this $500 million project. For additional information and more photos of the project, go here.
Oh, getting back to the unusual nickname for Milwaukee; Cream City. It seems that in the late 1830’s, newly constructed homes and businesses to be built included the local clay found on the western shore of Lake Michigan, which when molded into bricks and fired creates a creamy, golden yellow patina to the bricks. They became so popular much of the Midwest began using them. They were more resilient than others of the region, held their color, and were utilized for both private and public projects. Many of Michigan’s remote lighthouses were constructed with Cream City bricks.
It’s amazing the name didn’t come from my great, great aunt Betsy.
Keywords: Permalac flat finish, Milwaukee Bucks, VM Zinc, zinc panels, wall panels