CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- January 24, 2017 – The Metal Construction Association (MCA) awarded Saint Paul Academy Huss Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota its 2016 Chairman’s Award in the Institutional category.

The Saint Paul Academy and Summit School Huss Center for the Performing Arts is a state-of-the-art facility for musical and theatrical productions. The new auditorium seats 650 for performances, school gatherings, and community events. In addition to the auditorium, the building features a 180-seat multi-use space, and area for costume and set design, in addition to a two-story arts commons.

The center is a series of boxes clad in thin, stack-bond face brick, with playfully arranged large windows. The architects lined two sides —the sides heavily trafficked by students—with a system of white perforated aluminum screens that angle out to reveal glimpses of the red-painted precast panels beneath. The eye-catching screens lighten the visual weight of the building; the brick allows it to achieve subtle harmony with a campus whose varied styles—from Tudor Revival to modernist and beyond—tell the story of 20th-century American architecture.

The designers “really understood making beautiful proportions, and they did that with the application of a screen. Because of what they did with something really simple…it is a stunning building,” commented MCA judge Brent Schipper, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, ASK Studio, Des Moines, Iowa.

Metal Fabricator and Installer, MG McGrath, worked with HGA Architects and McGough Construction to fabricate and install multiple types of aluminum panels to the exterior and interior of the facility. On the exterior, MG McGrath installed custom-perforated aluminum wall panels and frames, with Reynobond composite panels as accents. MG McGrath also installed exterior aluminum window and wall trims in Pure White and Deep Onyx with a Kynar finish. On the interior of the building, MG McGrath installed custom-perforated aluminum sheet wall panels in bronze and custom-perforated aluminum heater fin covers. Some of the aluminum wall panels on the first floor of the building’s auditorium were mounted on hinges, allowing the panels to open and expose the acoustical material mounted on the back. Metal was selected to achieve the modern aesthetic while providing sustainability and functionality.

The award was announced at a special ceremony during the MCA Winter Meeting, held in Weston, Florida from January 23-25, 2017. The annual 3-day event fosters industry collaboration, networking and growth in the metal construction industry.

The Chairman’s Awards are given to the year’s most exceptional building projects involving MCA member companies based on overall appearance, significance of metal in the project, innovative use of metal, and the role of metal in achieving project objectives

Recipients for these awards are selected each year from projects submitted by MCA members to Metal Architecture Magazine’s annual Design Awards Program. The honorees were chosen by a panel of professional architects, which included Mark Dewalt, AIA, Principal, Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Chicago, Illinois; Mark Horton, FAIA, Principal, Mark Horton/Architecture, San Francisco, California; and Brent Schipper, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, ASK Studio, Des Moines, Iowa.

The 2016 MCA Chairman’s Awards were given in eight categories: overall excellence; residential; metal roofing; education, primary and secondary schools; and education, colleges and universities; institutional; municipal; and commercial/industrial.

Project Recognition

Building Owner: Saint Paul Academy
MCA Member Manufacturer: Accurate Perforating
MCA Member Coating Manufacturer: Arkema Inc.
MCA Member Manufacturer: Arconic Architectural Products
Architect: HGA Architects & Engineers
Contractor: McGough
Metal Installer: MG McGrath, Inc.
Metal Perforator: Accurate Perforating
Metal Fabricator: MG McGrath, Inc.

About the Metal Construction Association

The Metal Construction Association brings together a diverse industry for the purpose of expanding the use of metal in construction through marketing, research, technology, and education. Companies involved in MCA gain tremendous benefit from association activities that focus on research, codes and standards, market development, and technical programs. MCA’s market development efforts increase the use of metal materials in construction through the education of the building and design communities regarding the benefits of metal.