When planning the new Milton Academy Pritzker Science Center in Milton, Mass., designers were charged with shying away from the remote, cold, fortress-like appearance of previous structures. Located at the center of the academy campus, the two-story center incorporates a pre-patined copper façade that helps make the building and surrounding environment more open and creates harmony with the landscape. The center was awarded an honorable mention in the metal buildings category of the 2011 Metalmag Architectural Awards.
“The project was well developed into the site, and the pre-patined copper panels help create an amazing transition from landscape to architecture,” says awards judge Tim Wurtele, architect with HDR in Omaha, Neb. “The mottled color of the copper, along with its ever-changing quality and long life make it an amazing building material. The very thin lines at the roof line of the entry are outstanding. It looks like an inviting and relaxing space on the interior because of all the natural light.”
The use of metal—such as the copper paneling on the west side, which contains 85 percent post-industrial recycled metal—helps underscore the Science Center’s dedication to sustainability. The copper material was sourced locally, saving fuel consumption during transportation. Its ease of maintenance further decreases consumption of cleaning materials and energy. An aluminum-framed curtainwall offers large glass openings to let in abundant natural light, which helps save electricity. Aluminum mullions containing significant recycled content allow for abundant daylighting and enhance the center’s overall sustainability. The steel structure contains 91 percent recycled content.