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Alcoa’s Cedar Rapids Public Library Project Profile

Alcoa’s Cedar Rapids Public Library Project Profile

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The new Cedar Rapids Public Library is a vibrant, multipurpose destination with spaces for the community to mix and collaborate. A community-driven project commissioned to replace the previous library lost in the devastating flood of 2008, the resilient structure was designed to withstand such an event. The unique architecture makes a statement that heightens the building’s presence in the community while easily being identified as a library.

Cedar Rapids Public Library detail

To distinguish the architecture, OPN Architects, Inc., layered irregularly sized panels ofReynobond ACM finished with the Design LineZinc Patina paint coating in random patterns on the exterior walls of the library’s three-story wing to create a sense of depth and contrast to the smooth surface materials used on other portions of the building. “The irregularly sized zinc-colored metal panels provide an interesting visual counterpoint to the smooth, mocha-colored cement composite panels used for a portion of the library skin,” said Bruce Hamous, AIA, recently retired from OPN Architects, Inc.
According to Matt Rechkemmer of Metal Design Systems, Inc. (MDS), the project featured a non-repeating pattern of high- and low-panel projections with each panel having its own specific location. A large 5-foot panel was required for the base and smaller variations were then layered and applied in a random pattern. Lighting panels were also integrated into the panel system.

Cedar Rapids Public Library detail

The panels were more or less a unitized assembly, which greatly reduced the number of individual panels to be installed. Architectural Wall Systems installed the Reynobond ACM in a MDSI Series 72 high-performance pressure-equalized rainscreen system. The system is non-progressive so that individual panels or lighting panels can be easily removed or replaced.
A large portion of the Reynobond cladding material is accessible to library patrons enjoying the green roof garden. The use of Reynobond composite panels with the Design Line Zinc Patina finish alleviated the architects’ concern about the potential for “fingerprinting” if the project had used natural zinc. An advanced coil-coated paint finish, Design Line natural patterns and textured coatings are formulated with high-tech polymer-based resin and highly durable inorganic pigments that are ideal for all types of indoor and outdoor applications and a wide range of specialty uses.
Reynobond ACM with the Design Line Zinc Patina coating delivered exactly what the design/build team was looking for: a crisp, clean, sophisticated look and a durable and easy-to-work-with material that could accommodate a 5-foot base panel and achieve their objective of an articulated surface. For more info please visit


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