Stone can provide great performance with a rainscreen design, yet design teams have many questions about, how to incorporate it. Is granite too heavy for a rainscreen system? What kind of anchoring details are required? Will the stone panels remain secure? Will the rainscreen with granite remain low maintenance for years to come?
The Center for the Arts in Crested Butte, Colorado, was recently crowned the winner of Woodworks’s 2023 Wood Design Awards. The building combines an eclectic mix of materials into a “patchwork” aesthetic, to serve as a symbol for the creativity and diverse set of community activities encapsulated within its walls.
To maintain the green space as a park, the project team designed a structure that would integrate with the adjacent stream and woodlands. The project features a low-slung profile and a green roof, easing the transition between the built environment and its natural surroundings. The material palette, including wood beams, copper panels, and exposed concrete walls, gives the facility an elemental appearance.
By contract, rainscreen systems, such as open-joint and ventilated systems, are increasingly popular in North America. While the gaps may allow water to get behind the cladding, the increased airflow improves the assembly’s drying ability. These systems also have the added benefit of giving architects the design flexibility they seek—varying textures and depth that come with selecting different materials and assemblies.
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