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Hotel Interurban

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Metal panels help high-design hotel meet budget, design needs

When plans were being developed for the new Hotel Interurban in the close-in Seattle suburb of Tukwila, Wash., “modern” and “contemporary” were adjectives high on the list, given the region’s tech-focused economy. Asian and Native American references also were important, to reflect the region’s cultural heritage. For the exterior, all of this translated into a palette of gray and tan earth tones that contrast against each other in patterns that emphasize the building’s squared-off lines.

Initially, designers with Group West Architecture had specified a fiber-cement product as their cladding of choice for the entire façade, but those plans were reconsidered due to budget concerns. That’s when the team at AMS, an Enumclaw, Wash.-based distributor of high-performance exterior building materials, came up with the suggestion of PAC-CLAD Precision Series HWP panels from Petersen as a cost-effective way to stretch the budget further without compromising the design. The revised plan uses the texture variations between the fiber cement and metal panels to emphasize the contrasting blocks of color.

“We were the ones that brought PAC-CLAD to the project – it’s a high-quality product,” says Tamara Lally, the AMS project manager on the job. She notes this high-profile project provided PAC-CLAD with a company “first” in the Seattle region. “I think it was the first big project using the HWP panels in the Pacific Northwest, and it went really well.”

Lally also says Petersen proved to be a helpful partner as the architects explored the options the company offered. In all, 77,260 sq. ft. of .24-gauge steel HWP panels were specified, in Sandstone, Bone White, Charcoal and Slate Gray finishes.

“Petersen performed at a very high level,” Lally says. “The owner and architect were very happy. We were able to provide colors that were compatible with the fiber cement, so it’s a seamless look. And we didn’t have to do anything custom – everything was available.”

The Interurban’s general manager, Mike West, says the exterior is a great fit with the hotel’s overall branding. “Our primary message to guests is that we are a hub for their Seattle experience – urban and modern with hints of Pacific Northwest and Asian influences,” he says. “The exterior speaks to that with a modern design and use of different colors and material styles, and with different geometric shapes incorporated into it.”

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