Downtown Phoenix building wins architecture award for top copper project

In 2007, Arizona was the top copper-producing state the nation, which was a pillar of the state’s early economy along with cattle, cotton, citrus and climate.

Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building (Photo courtesy of Bill Timmerman/Timmerman Photography)

Since then, Arizona’s diversifying economy has overshadowed the “Five C’s,” but copper’s influence can still be seen through project’s like the Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building at the University of Arizona’s Phoenix Biomedical Campus, which is among this years’ 2017 North American Copper in Architecture award-winners for new construction project.

Established in 2008, the NACIA awards program recognizes and promotes North American building projects for outstanding use of architectural copper and copper alloys.

Sponsored by industry representatives at CDA and the Canadian Copper & Brass Development Association (CCBDA), the annual awards program showcases a wide range of projects, all of which highlight craftsmanship, attention to detail and architectural vision.

Four years after receiving its first NACIA award, the University of Arizona is being honored again for its impressive construction of the Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

 The design of the BSPB is inspired by Arizona’s iconic, majestic mountains. The building’s striated texture is achieved by manipulating 90-95 percent recycled copper, forming a sunscreen of sorts. The cladding system utilizes nearly 4,800 formed, bent and perforated copper panels to reflect light and cast shadows that reflect the striated canyon walls. To meet the design intent, panels are custom shaped with folds. Due to its durability, malleability and high ductility, the copper cladding could be formed and stretched into complex and intricate surfaces without breaking.

Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus – Phoenix
Application: Roofing, Exterior Cladding
Architect: CO Architects
Sheet Metal Contractor: Kovach Building Enclosures