Case Study: Elegance Belies Energy Efficiency
Just minutes from Boston, the suburb of Brookline consistently ranks as one of the most desirable in the nation. Nestled in the heart of town is The Brookline Place, a stylish redevelopment project consisting of outdoor public spaces, medical offices and mixed retail. The transit-oriented development includes a six-story, 683-space parking facility dubbed Brookline Place Garage.
Striving for an understated and environmentally integrated scheme, architect Elkus Manfredi designed the garage to blend into the surrounding landscape and provide a touch of elegance to what could have otherwise been an afterthought.
The new parking garage was a calling card of sorts, as it was the first building built as part of Phase 3 of The Brookline Place project. The parking garage includes 12,835 square feet of GKD metal fabric as part of a sophisticated material palette. “It is definitely a more elegant material and related well to the neighborhood and the abutting brick,” remarks architect and Project Manager Tim Talun of Elkus Manfredi.
Talun collaborated with GKD-USA in custom version of its Tigris metal fabric. “We worked on the detail throughout the shop drawing process to make it a success,” says Territory Sales Manager Shawn Crismond. The resulting custom metal fabric has an open area of 72%. Because of its transparent characteristic, no mechanical systems are required for ventilation—translating into energy and cost savings.
GKD Metal Fabrics developed the systems and hardware to incorporate metal mesh facades into the parking structure with security and visual appeal top of mind. The custom 3D metal fabric is held in tension with a flats and clevis attachment system. “It is designed for understanding what that connection looks like, how it attaches to the [metal C-Channel], and how to access it for installation,” explains Talun. “They were flexible in working with the attachment details to resolve the aesthetics.”
Talun says that the use of GKD Metal Fabric was a functional aesthetic that elevated the style of the parking deck to harmonize with its surroundings. “We chose the metal mesh for visual screening. We were thoughtful of views from the residential neighborhood and it's a naturally ventilated garage,” says Talun. “It was a pretty elegant solution. In fact, the 3D dimension mesh pattern changes aesthetically from the viewer’s vantage point.”
Practical and functional benefits of metal mesh parking facades include a secure environment that limits unwanted access, pedestrian safety and protection from the elements. Fifty to 64% open area offers high visibility and optimum airflow. Cost-effective installation, plus efficiencies associated with the sustainable material and production process of stainless steel include easy maintenance and a long material lifecycle.
Through any installation challenges, GKD was conscientious of the construction timeline in working to resolve them. Talun insists that working with GKD from the start made the project go smoothly. “My recommendation would be to work with GKD early on to resolve details and ensure flexibility in the design.”