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IMOA’s »Stainless Solutions« e-newsletter covers a different stainless steel issue each month, with tips on design and specification, and links to technical resources.

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Stainless steel cladding examples

Bank Boston, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Type 316 Stainless Steel (Courtesy of NucleoInox)

Bank Boston’s new South American headquarters in Sao Paulo was completed in 2002. The 30-story Corporate Office Building was designed by the US architecture firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill, LLP in conjunction with the Brazilian architecture firm Escritório Técnico Júlio Neves.

Three stainless steel finishes were used: No. 4 polish (2J) on window frames, railings, column covers, the entrance canopy, and other details, black electrochemically colored details, and coined cambric spandral panels.

Sao Paulo has high levels of urban pollution, including very high levels of air borne particulate,which creates an aggressive atmosphere for architectural metals. To avoid corrosion staining a molybdenum containing stainless steel, Type 316, has been chosen. To further improve corrosion resistance and to minimize dirt accumulation smooth surface finishes were selected.

Window washing tracks were included in the design to facilitate the planned quarterly cleaning of the windows and wall panels.

Bank Boston South American headquarters

Bank Boston, Sao Paulo

Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom

Type 316 stainless steel, coined cambric and fine No. 4 (2K) finishes on the exterior (Courtesy of Outokumpu)

The architectural firm, Cesar Pelli & Associates, USA, designed the signature initial tower, One Canada Square, that began the redevelopment of London's Canary Wharf Complex.

The forty-eight storey tower was completed in 1990 and became the UK's tallest building. Cesar Pelli, always specifies molybdenum containing Type 316 stainless steel for exterior applications. In London, where urban pollution and a coastal environment contribute to the corrosiveness of the environment, this stainless steel has remained beautiful.

Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom

Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom

The selection of stainless steel cladding was central to the architectural expression of the building. "It's a glowing display," noted Pelli, "a display that changes from blue to white to orange to red during the course of the day."

The design takes advantage of natural rain washing and window washing tracks were included in the design to facilitate manual washing. Provision for cleaning and selection of smooth finishes help to ensure that the building's appearance will not change over time. A total of 34,000 square meters of 2.5 mm thick Type 316 were used for the facade. The window washing tracks are also stainless steel.

Type 316 stainless steel has been used for exterior components on subsequent buildings Canary Wharf Complex buildings designed by the US architecture firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill and for the new subway station.

Cheung Kong Center, Hong Kong, exterior detail

Type 316 stainless steel (Courtesy of Nickel Institute, Photographer: Tim Pelling)

Hong Kong's 63-story Cheung Kong Center was completed in 1999. It was designed collaboratively by the US architecture firms Cesar Pelli, Leo A. Daly, and the Hong Kong based firm Hsin-Yieh. Coined HyClad Cambric and a fine No. 4 finish were used on the exterior.

Cheung Kong Center has retained its original attractive appearance despite its location in a corrosive environment only a few blocks from the bay. The molybdenum containing Type 316 stainless steel, the smooth surface finishes, regular manual washing, and the heavy seasonal rains that wash the stainless steel surfaces naturally ensure that this building remains stain-free.

Cheung Kong Center, Hong Kong

Cheung Kong Center, Hong Kong

Mapfre Tower, Barcelona, Spain

Type 316 stainless steel (Courtesy of Acerinox)

The Mapfre Office Tower was designed by the Spanish architecture firm, Ortiz-Leon Arquitectos, as an environmentally conscious building. This office tower was completed in 1992 as part of Barcelona’s Olympic village and is located directly on the Mediterranean Sea. 

The climate is warm and humid with infrequent rain. Exterior metals are exposed to both sea salt and high levels of sometimes corrosive air borne particulate from loading and unloading ships in the nearby port. This constitutes a very aggressive atmosphere for architectural metals.

The stainless steel has remained pristine due to its smooth surface finish, selection of the right molybdenum containing stainless steel grade, and a rigorous cleaning schedule.

Mapfre Tower, Barcelona

Mapfre Tower, Barcelona

IMOA Case Study Links

Case Study 1: Pittsburgh and Chicago Handrails and Street Furniture
released in 2009
Case Study 2: Minneapolis Exterior Wall Panels and Window Frames
released in 2009
Case Study 3: New York and Miami Light Poles
released in 2009
Case Study 4: Singapore Roofing
released in 2009
Case Study 5: Hong Kong Building Exteriors and Railings
released in 2009
Case Study 6: Canary Islands Railings and Lampposts
released in 2009
Case Study 7: Barcelona Coastal Curtain Wall
released in 2009
Case Study 8: Sao Paulo Building Exterior
released in 2009
Case Study 9: Australian Costal Fence
released in 2009
Case Study 10: New York Pier Railings
released in 2009
Case Study 11: Thames Barrier
released in 2009
Case Study 12: Milan Builden Exterior
released in 2009
Case Study 13: Rio de Janeiro Building Exterior
released in 2009
Case Study 14: New Zealand Coastal Building Exterior
released in 2009