UW Tacoma’s Paper & Stationery Building Utilizes Wire Mesh for Indoor Railings

Banker Wire Mesh Material Creates a Clear Distinction Between New and Historic Elements

MUKWONAGO, WI - FEBRUARY 13, 2018 - The Tacoma Paper & Stationery (TPS) Building, the University of Washington Tacoma’s last unrestored historic warehouse recently underwent a $28M renovation with the goal of bringing together disparate academic programs, including urban design, electrical engineering and biomedicine, to create a truly interdisciplinary space. The design, led by The Miller Hull Partnership, aimed to maximize fexibility of interior elements and create clear and visible wayfnding throughout the building. One important component of this was Banker Wire’s LPZ-71 woven mesh, which was incorporated as a design element on the interior staircases.

Located along the Old Prairie Rail Line in Tacoma, Washington, the 40,000-square-foot masonry warehouse is built on the side of a steep slope, which resulted in a need for the building to feature staircases that connect the main entrance to the separate foor levels. The Miller Hull Partnership, which specializes in designing dynamic and environmentally sensitive buildings, wanted the staircase to stand out from the already-rich variety of materials and construction systems used on the other stairs on the campus. At the same time, one of their main design concepts was to create a clean distinction between new and historic elements.

The team was thoughtful about how the sleeker new elements could be respectfully inserted into the old heavy timber and masonry structure. “Banker Wire’s LPZ-71 woven mesh is an elegant, modern and light take on industrial metal meshes, and provided a great choice for honoring the building’s history,” said Zubin Rao, Project Architect at Miller Hull. “Most of the other products we looked at were too clunky and obviously industrial-looking. The Banker Wire product line was much more varied, and we were able to fnd a very tightly spaced, modern-feeling rectangular patterned mesh that worked well with other signature design pieces in the building.”

After Banker Wire’s LPZ-71 was specifed by Miller Hull, L&M Industrial Fabrication, an AISC-certifed fabricator specializing in innovative industrial, structural and civil projects, obtained large sheets of the wire mesh to laser cut, bend and shape to ft their frames. “Ultimately the material far exceeded our expectations on how it bent,” said Nick Slyter, Project Manager at L&M. “We were able to do precision press work on it. Now, whenever we have a mesh project, Banker Wire is what I push.”

With a delicate balance of diameter and spacing, LPZ-71 was the ideal product to accomplish the architect’s intent, which was to give the railing infll panels a “free foating” appearance. Ultimately, this building provides a unique and exciting opportunity to connect past to present, and to bring new life and purpose to a structure with much more to give.

About Banker Wire

Banker Wire is the world’s leading manufacturer of woven and welded wire mesh for architectural and industrial applications. With the most modern and productive mill in the U.S., Banker Wire provides custom-weaved material for any aesthetic on any scale – from intricate design highlights to expansive building facades. Founded in 1896, Banker Wire’s manufacturing expertise has been refined for more than a century, bringing unmatched customization, quality, and service to customers. State-of-the-art grid welding equipment provides a wide variety of wire alloy, spacing and diameter configurations, trimmed or untrimmed. For more information visit www.bankerwire.com.

About Architectural Woven Wire Mesh

Pre-crimped woven wire mesh is constructed of individual wires that are crimped prior to being woven together on a loom. Pre-crimping the wires provides a much higher degree of control during the weaving process. This allows for far more intricate and interesting patterns, as well as unique customization, to meet the vision of the designer. Banker Wire has refined and innovated its crimping process more than any other manufacturer, delivering more than 8,000 different spacing, diameter, and crimp combinations, plus endless customization options. As a result, Banker can make any woven wire mesh pattern imaginable – manufactured to specify for any project type.

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