“… We went through our design process and came up with the initial schematic idea. Being a relatively large building, over 60 feet high, our big concern was that the building would appear very monolithic if we used only one material color or cladding with no articulated joints.
In the 11th hour, my partner, Kevin Angstadt, and I chose two subtly different colors from their Stone Porcelain Series: Boston Bone & Boston Topo. We also introduced two to three different panel sizes to give the façade a little more character and variation.
Also, our design called for vertical panels, but Porcelanosa typically installs their panels horizontally. So, their team helped us apply their materials in new ways and a few uncommon details on this facade to help break up the massing.
Through their Design Assist process, the Porcelanosa team worked through all our details, and in the end, the product turned out quite nice, and I felt their process to get there worked out well.
We took our first shot at drawing the preliminary elevations and details. Our façade design had a lot of pushing and pulling of surfaces. Their team detailed all inside and outside corners and how other materials met the porcelain. Specifically, how the porcelain cladding engaged a window or how it engaged a sill or a coping.
It was their willingness to think outside the box. Given the building's size, the number of windows, and façade penetrations, there were many places for things to go wrong with respect to water infiltration.
… In the beginning, we were reluctant to use the porcelain cladding system because wood-frame buildings inherently have their flaws. They're very rarely true and plumb, but we worked through that concern with the Porcelanosa team. They explained the sub-girt system allows us to bring the panels together perfectly. They can adjust the system behind the panel, make it plumb and true, and create the desired alignments.