architecture - engineering - construction

Parkhill Selects StoVentec® Rainscreen to Deliver “Meaningful” Aesthetic for Amarillo College’s State-Of-The-Art Innovation Hub


Innovation drives progress. And in Amarillo, TX, there is a new hub for innovation on the campus of Amarillo College. It is called Innovation Outpost, and the building’s renovation nods to the past with an eye on the future. The structure, which was the former site of Amarillo High School, holds significant meaning in the community, and it has now been rehabbed with innovative, high-performance, industry-leading products that illustrate the purpose of the new space.

Parkhill Selects StoVentec® Rainscreen to Deliver “Meaningful” Aesthetic for Amarillo College’s State-Of-The-Art Innovation Hub

Creating a Defining Structure

Parkhill was the architecture firm in charge of the building’s design and product specification, and they collaborated with Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, president of Amarillo College, who spearheaded the development of the innovation center. Parkhill presented a number of creative ideas for the building and conducted a series of stakeholder meetings with the college to discover what kind of structure would be beneficial for the local communities.

Ultimately, Parkhill presented a concept package that allowed the college to apply for an EDA grant, which are distributed by the Economic Development Administration and are designed to support projects that contribute to job creation, innovation, and economic improvement.

With an eye toward creating a building that would define innovation, the architects and the college turned to Sto Corp. for the precise aesthetic they needed.

“We wanted a building with a modern look on both the interior and exterior,” said Danny Smith, master plan program manager at Amarillo College. “Sto’s products provide an inviting atmosphere for people to hang around outside and discuss new ideas.”

Reflecting on the Past, Seeing the Future

The project needed to be a “large box” with no windows, originally tailored to meet the needs of the proposed first tenants that would utilize the space as a visual effects studio with 360° cameras. Natural light from window openings would have disrupted such an atmosphere. There was also interest from local film studios, but the building ultimately ended up serving as a performance space, similar to a Ted Talk environment.

“Our challenge was figuring out how we take that information and visually tackle it to make it meaningful as a part of the aesthetic of the building,” said Amber Buscarello, AIA, architect at Parkhill.

Buscarello and the Parkhill team had the idea of a mirrored facade, one that would allow passersby to see the rich history surrounding the building by looking at the structure itself.

“The idea behind the design is to reflect on the past while seeing what the future can be,” explained Buscarello. “Sto was the only product that truly gave us a mirrored effect.”

Performance in Sight

Parkhill specified a StoVentec® Glass Rainscreen facade with a StopSol mirrored glass finish. This allowed them to flawlessly execute on their design vision, which was priority number one, while simultaneously providing ease of installation and long-term performance all in an integrated system.

“For this project, we were really looking for aesthetics, but we had trust in Sto’s product performance from our previous experiences with them. This made StoVentec® an easy choice for both function and looks,” said Buscarello.

StoVentec® Glass is a high-performance open joint drained and back-ventilated rainscreen wall system that combines superior air and weather tightness, excellent thermal performance, and fire protection. The system incorporates noncombustible continuous exterior insulation and a continuous air and moisture barrier via the StoVentro™ sub-construction and StoVentec® Glass Panel. The end result is an advanced, high-performance wall assembly that incorporates all of the necessary control layers, sub-construction, insulation, and exterior cladding from a single source: Sto. For the project team and installers, this means one supplier, one warranty, and one point of contact for the exterior facade. This translates to time, labor, and cost savings, and valuable peace of mind.

Distinguished Reflection

Innovation Outpost mirrors what Amarillo College wanted in a building representative of innovation. With the help of Sto, the structure is a campus standout, catching the eye of onlookers while reflecting Amarillo’s surrounding built environment, including the Sante Fe Building and the vivid neon sign bearing its name.

“The goal with Innovation Outpost is to foster new ideas and the collaboration to develop these new ideas,” added Smith. “The exterior of this building is designed to have people sitting around at tables discussing their ideas or listening to a speaker who is an expert in a particular field of study.”

The college and the architects at Parkhill were both pleased with the final result. Buscarello noted that even though the original idea of a visual effects space did not come to fruition based on the tenants, the facade is truly following the original design intent.

“It has evolved in functionality,” added Buscarello, embodying the true spirit of change and innovation.

Sto Products: StoVentec® Glass Rainscreen System
Architect: Parkhill
Applicator: ProWall Inc.
Contractor: Amarillo Western Builders

@StoCorp #StoCorp #building #offices #stoventec

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