Project: Morgan State University Library
Location: Baltimore, MD
Product: Custom METALWORKS RH200 Custom Planks – Interior and Exterior
School officials at Morgan State University in Baltimore wanted their new library to engage the students inside the building with the campus outside.
To help accomplish that, the school’s design team created a 3-story-high atrium-style space complete with a wall of windows overlooking the campus.
Another way of bringing the outdoors in was to continue various building materials on the library’s exterior into the interior. An example is the metal soffit that transforms into the ceiling of the library’s main reading room.
Selected for the soffit was a METALWORKS RH200 Custom Plank system for exterior applications. The soffit extends 35’ at its longest point and 15’ at its shortest.
The metal ceiling on the other side of the glass wall is comprised of the same METALWORKS RH 200 Custom planks as the soffit, only they are designed for interior applications and perforated for acoustic purposes.
The ceiling planks are installed in such a way as to impart a layered look. “The ceiling is actually rather complicated in profile,” states Design Collective Principal, Suresh Kodolikar, “which helps make it highly visible. It caps the entire space.”
He also explains why planks were chosen. “The scale and linearity of the space dictated that we use something that had substantial dimension to it. Small two-foot-by-two-foot ceiling panels would not have worked. The use of planks fit the application well and helped make the ceiling a dominant feature of the space.”
To aid in the design of both the soffit and ceiling systems, the firm worked in conjunction with the Architectural Specialties Group. “When we needed assistance, they were able to help us out, especially when it came to construction details,” Kodolikar says.