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Metal panels turn exposed parking deck into art installation

When you’ve got a high-rise condominium tower with prices starting at $1.3 million, you better make sure that even the 3-story, open parking deck has an upscale look. The large-format perforated metal panels adopted for the purpose at Atlanta’s new The Charles Condominiums, certainly fits the bill. In fact, with their cross-hatching of metal support structures, the panels look more like a modernist, abstract art installation.

High-rise parking decks are always a challenge for architects, especially in such upscale settings. Keeping them open to outside air circulation is necessary for preventing a build-up of vehicle fumes, but the bare concrete and vehicle barriers can be eyesores. Perforated screening isn’t an unusual approach to addressing this problem, but architects with the local office of Lord Aeck Sargent decided to take this solution up a notch, incorporating perforated aluminum panels from Petersen.

In all, the project incorporates 31,000 sq. ft. of Petersen’s ribbed 7.2 panels that have been perforated to create the code-required open area to ensure adequate ventilation. The .040-gauge panels are finished in Weathered Zinc. Metallic beams overlay the panels at odd angles to create a sculptural effect. The Pierre Construction Group from Stone Mountain, Ga., completed the installation.

The $118 million project, as a whole, has been very successful, with 41 of the 57 units selling before construction had been completed in September 2019. Residents enjoy a broad array of amenities in the building, including an infinity-style swimming pool, fitness and yoga center and a covered club area.