zinc cladding
zinc cladding

Zinc Cladding Gives Distinction to Renovations at Johns Hopkins University

March 3, 2023

Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins University was the first research university in the United States. It is still considered one of the top universities in the country. Nestled in charming Baltimore, the 140-acre campus speaks to centuries of architectural design. For the recent expansion and remodel of the Ralph S. O’Connor Center for Recreation, the design build team turned to stately zinc composite materials (ZCM). This innovative and sustainable material provided a distinguished look befitting the ever-evolving campus style.  

The O’Connor Center, located on the northern end of the university, provides members with a comprehensive offering of fitness and wellness programs; everything from aquatics to racquet sports, indoor climbing, and yoga. With over 50,000 eligible faculty and student memberships–plus spouses and university affiliates–the O’Connor Center must both meet the growing needs of this community and withstand the heavy foot traffic. Durable ALPOLIC materials, specifically zinc cladding, was the perfect MCM option for this recent renovation.

zinc cladding MCM from ALPOLIC

Zinc Cladding Gives Building A "Face Lift"

JHU hired MJMA Architecture and Design and GWWO Architects for the project, which included renovations to the original facility and the addition of 30,000 square feet to accommodate the demand for improved workout spaces. The proposed redesigned exterior of the O’Connor Center boasted a dynamic shape, slanting and angular, and finished in a sharp point as though to direct toward the sky, a high-achieving goal. 

East Coast Metal Systems fabricated 20,000 square feet of 4mm ALPOLIC®/fr Quartz Zinc and Anthra Black Zinc MCM into their EC-200 rainscreen system. Part of the installation team at Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal, senior project manager Kyle Beaver felt the project helped give the building “a face lift.” The Anthra Black Zinc features on key accents throughout the exterior. Also, the Quartz Zinc cladding covers much of the addition’s facade, including the angled canopy above the main entrance. 


“Showcased above the canopy we see a gradual wave of protruding fin panels surrounding the windows,” said Beaver. The fins, in classic gray and tinted black zinc, serve “as the main focal point of the modernized addition.” The position of the fins also helps regulate natural light into the building, thereby creating a comfortable environment for people making use of the facilities.

ALPOLIC ZCM Offers Appeal And Elegance

The right choice for JHU’s latest renovation, innovative lightweight ALPOLIC zinc composite will not oil can. The materials offer a superior flatness over plate. Further, the natural patina of zinc possesses a healing effect. It can hide small scratches from the significant number of expected visitors over the years. With easy maintenance, zinc composite materials offer longevity for an appealing and elegant envelope. 

ALPOLIC Zinc Elements series adds a timeless allure to any project. Whether traditional quartz or one of our robust colors blended with the natural look of zinc, ZCM will help harmonize your project with its natural surroundings. Ready to learn more about zinc and all of our natural metal composite offerings? We invite you to schedule a free continuing education course today. 


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AZZ Quartz Zinc
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CZZ Anthra Zinc
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