Anodized Aluminum Crowns the Iconic St. Louis Skyline

By Steven Soderberg, Lorin Industries, Inc.

Lorin is pleased to have supplied material for 100 Above the Park, the bold new residential tower in St. Louis that prominently features tiers of 4-story-high metallic leaves composed of anodized aluminum. Architecture firm Studio Gang selected Lorin’s ClearMatt® Architectural Class I finish for the highly-reflective, but diffuse look and its proven ability to retain these exceptional aesthetic qualities for decades to come with minimal maintenance.

The aluminum surfaces of the 37-story building really stand out, at about a 10 degree angle, to suggest a golden crown. The design also called for a metallic finish comparable to the way that the stainless steel surface of the nearby Gateway Arch takes on the color of the sky as weather changes and as the sun moves across the sky from dawn to dusk.

Anodizing aluminum builds a crystalline structure that reflects and refracts light in a way that creates a three-dimensional metallic look that you just can’t get from paint—precisely the look sought by the architect.

Anodized aluminum is created through an electrochemical process in which a very hard oxide layer is grown from the aluminum itself, rather than being painted on or applied. The raw aluminum is bonded at the molecular level to create a surface that is thick, translucent, and very hard—much harder than the base aluminum itself.

In fact, the surface hardness is second only to diamond and is therefore unmatched in abrasion resistance and durability. Therefore, anodized aluminum is much more durable than coated materials and will never chip, flake, or peel and will never rust, patina, or weather.

Lorin brings the advantages of anodized aluminum to a wide range of residential and commercial building needs. Exterior applications include composite, honeycomb, and insulated panels, rain screens, column covers, fascias, store fronts, screens, garage doors, awnings, car ports, patio covers, and sun shades.