By Steven Soderberg, Lorin Industries, Inc.
The architectural panels made with Lorin AnoZinc® and ClearBrite® are the focal point of the exterior for a private residence in Old Tappan, New Jersey, designed by architectural firm Architectura and built by Corsair Construction. Set on nine acres of preserved woodlands, the building’s façade contains few windows; the design instead relies on dozens of anodized aluminum panels in two different finishes to both reflect and replicate the look of surrounding trees. The result, built by Corsair Construction, is a breathtaking and unique design that highlights the home’s natural setting. This one-of-a-kind design, and its accessible price point, were made possible using anodized aluminum manufactured by Lorin Industries manufactured into exterior wall panels by ATAS International.
“For this home’s façade, we wanted to achieve a mix of reflection of the surrounding trees and a warm brown color that mimics tree bark. As the day goes on and the sun’s position changes, and as the seasons change, the façade of the house changes as well, ensuring that the house appears to constantly change adapting to the time of day, weather and seasonal changes apparently changing with the natural surroundings,” said Christopher Manos, Senior Associate and Director of Construction at Architectura, and one of the project’s architects. “Rather than standing out like many homes would in the woods, the façade of this house is like a mirage, blending in with the trees and sky, set back far from the road.”
Completed in 2019, the residence in Old Tappan was inspired not only by nature, but also by another common element in the New Jersey landscape: diners. Many of the state’s classic diner buildings feature highly reflective, durable stainless steel that, even decades after their construction, shines on. Manos wanted that kind of reflectivity and durability in the Old Tappan residence’s façade, but without the sky-high price point of high-end, marine-grade stainless steel. After researching how to achieve his vision without a prohibitively large price tag, Manos and his team realized that the natural choice was anodized aluminum panels from Lorin Industries.
“The reflectivity of the panels made from Lorin’s ClearBrite® anodized aluminum is fantastic; with them, you really get a high-end, polished stainless steel look at the price point of aluminum. Without Lorin, we wouldn’t have been able to afford to make the vision for this home into a reality,” Manos added. “Now, this home has the look of a $500 per square foot custom private residence, but construction costs were the same as an average luxury home.”
Given that the reflective nature of the panels is key to the façade’s design, durability was also a major concern. Lorin’s anodized aluminum sheets will weather in place without any dulling, clouding, or other weathering. Even without any regular maintenance needs, the panels will maintain the same striking visual impact for decades. This is because of Lorin’s proprietary coil anodizing process, which protects the aluminum from chipping, flaking, peeling, or UV damage.
“Thanks to Lorin’s friendly price point and outstanding durability, we were able to achieve something interesting and unique architecturally, without the materials being cost-prohibitive for a private residence,” Manos said. The building’s innovative design was an award winning architectural design project.