The Flint Cultural Center Academy offers experiential learning to students in kindergarten through sixth grade alongside the programs offered by the Flint Cultural Center Institutions.
Students in the area have access to the 78,000-square-foot school as well as the Flint Institute of Music and Sloan Museum. Education through the FCC Academy instills fundamentals, curiosity, creativity and inspired learning.
When designers began planning the facility, they knew they wanted to showcase the flexible learning environment and embrace the new technology in education. Once they did their homework, architects chose insulated metal panels from CENTRIA.
Modern Lines, Visual Separation
Architects envisioned a building envelope with an innovative look to deliver the modern design of FCC Academy, which would feature curved and straight-wall sections. Planners selected CENTRIA’s Formawall Dimension series.
“Our goal was to create an ultra-contemporary expression that was going to emphasize the technological advances in education, and the sleek metal panels reflect that high-tech look we were striving for,” said Jeff Bennett, architect with THA Architects Engineers.
CENTRIA developed curved Formawall panels for the academy to make their vision a reality. The unique curved wall allows for southern exposure and serves as a way to separate classrooms from the part of the building that houses the gym and cafeteria. Exterior walls for those two sections have linear panels.
The Formawall Dimension series three-inch panels met new energy code requirements in Michigan using a singular wall panel solution while also delivering a visual expression not yet seen to Flint.
“The high-performance reputation of CENTRIA made us confident we were getting a high-quality product in place,” Bennett said.
The building’s external wall features 28,500 square feet of Formawall panels in four different colors. The panels are integrated with a brick base. Architects also specified a special flashing to build a sill condition at the transition point and highlight the metal panels.
“We were excited about the trueness of the colors we selected,” Bennett said. “We did a checkerboard with grays, and it was really effective to break up long bands of metal with efficient panel design."
Aesthetics and Durability
Formawall Dimension Series consolidates six wall components into one high-performance product for architectural wall profiles. The series features concealed clips, fasteners and sealants with insulated metal joints, improving aesthetics and preventing water infiltration.
The architectural insulated panels are factory foamed in-place, minimizing the potential for gaps within the panel. In addition, the panels integrate with most glass wall, window and louver systems.
Conceptual design began in Summer 2017, and construction was completed in July 2019. The first year of school for Flint Cultural Center Academy began in the fall of 2019. The center plans to more than double its enrollment by 2023.