Perforated wall panels offer a variety of benefits: they can provide passive ventilation, shade, and unique aesthetics to any façade. In the case of companies like Dri-Design, which specializes in customizable and sustainable metal wall panels, perforated panels can be produced according to a wide variety of specifications, including different colors, materials, sizes, textures, shapes, and styles of perforation. Dri-Design’s perforated imaging series even allows architects to apply images onto their facades by varying the size, location, and density of the perforations.
Below, we examine three case studies of buildings using different perforated panels, considering each of their panel specifications and overall aesthetic effect on the buildings.
American AG Credit / TLCD Architecture
The American AG Credit building, which was designed in 2016 in Santa Rosa, California, uses perforated zinc panels across its curvilinear three-story façade. The perforations, in combination with bands of tall glass windows, takes advantage of views of the California landscape while simultaneously modulating the sun so as to filter the daylight and heat. To complement these naturally functional characteristics of the perforated façade, the architects also implemented sustainable daylight harvesting systems, roller shades, and a displacement ventilation system.
The panels used belong to Dri-Design’s 1-mm Perforated Wall Series Panels, specifically using the VMZINC Pigmento Red material. The color is warm but modern, matching both the building’s surrounding environment and the rest of its design aesthetic, while the perforated panels lend a unique lightness and translucency to the façade. However, the zinc material was chosen not only for its aesthetics, but also because of its functional characteristics: lasting longer than other building materials because it develops natural protective layers over time, as well as its ability to be recycled indefinitely after use. For this reason, zinc is both a sustainable and low-maintenance option.
Altogether, the clients installed 48,198 square feet of panels, taking advantage of the company’s fastening system that allowed the panels to be installed on the curvilinear exterior walls.
The Wellness and Aquatic Center at Southwestern College / Gensler
This center at the Southwestern College in California, completed in 2019, utilizes Dri-Design’s perforated imaging series alongside standard wall panels. The images replicated are ancient Mayan hieroglyphs drawn by a university professor, repeating successively the words “first,” “health,” and “cool.” The perforated panels are illuminated at night, brightening the metallic exterior with warmth and light. The effect is to render the façade playful, intriguing, and culturally engaged as well.
The images are generated through variations in the diameter of perforations, with larger perforations constituting the linework for the hieroglyphs. Altogether, the center features 5,700 square feet of the Perforated Imaging Panels and 2,500 square feet of the standard panels. Like the other wall panels, the perforations provide airflow and shade, while the materials used subscribe to the highest levels of sustainability, with 100% recyclable panels that are efficiently manufactured and quickly installed.
The Shops at Clearfork / Nelsen Partners
The product series with the most design freedom, however, are the custom metal panels. This design for The Shops at Clearfork utilized the custom panel series to create a perforated geometric pattern, with parts of the metal paneling extruded to add texture to the façade. While the architects for this project used Dri-Design’s wide flexibility in color, material, size, texture, shape, and perforation to create this particular unique and intriguing façade, designers can approach the company with any ideas for the custom series to eventually create their own design.