The ‘wow’ factor
Arriscraft offers exterior cladding for the University of Wyoming’s Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center
With an eye on the future, the University of Wyoming (UW) set out to build an extraordinary welcome center that would embody, in every detail, the UW brand. As the first point of contact, planners envisioned a “wow factor” that would awe everyone – from visitors and students to families, supporters and the community. Completed in late-2014, the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center delivers a consistent experience, from fundamental architectural elements to finest details throughout.
The Gateway Center fuses the university’s brand qualities with a technological infrastructure. Designed by Pappas & Pappas Architects and DLR Group, the center combines the traditional with the contemporary, offering a visual venue that incorporates welcome areas, offices, ballrooms, conference rooms and exhibits.
The building’s exterior needed an impact – a wow factor. Serving as a “front door” of sorts for the university, two vital requirements challenged the center’s designers: incorporating the historical sandstone as the primary building element and utilizing the UW brand colors in a visual and lasting way.
From 1886 through the early-1970s, the university used the same sandstone quarried locally near Laramie, which became a signature look. When the quarry closed, a natural stone supply was difficult to source, given inventory and color limitations. Instead, UW opted for a manufactured building stone that mimics natural sandstone in appearance and performance. Since 2003, the manufacturer of that product, Arriscraft, has supplied a custom color blend as the signature sandstone for UW buildings.
Stone supplier BrickStone Inc. and project leader Chet Lockard, Project Guide Services, collaborated with UW to find not only a sandstone match, but also a palette that was a perfect representation of the UW brand.
Careful to continue a similar masonry pattern as was in existing buildings, Toby Marlatt, VP of marketing and communications at UW, helped create a four-inch module pattern using Renaissance Masonry Units in Garnet, Suede and Café colors in a rocked finish. The warm tan, red and brown tones combine to both brand the building and deliver the strong statement that the university was after.
The Renaissance stone was continued throughout the interior of the Gateway Center, maintaining the rustic feel and setting a fundamental color palette for the interior design. In the interior atrium, ARRIS.stack thin stone covers a three-story fireplace – a durable choice for the key visual feature.
About the Author
Arriscraft International is a subsidiary of General Shale Brick, Inc., the leading exterior building materials manufacturer in the United States. Learn more online at www.arriscraft.com.