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Kalzip forms a welcoming wave at Oklahoma University Children's Hospital

   Author: Dan Vinet
Location: Valparaiso, IN

May 15, 2013, Valparaiso, IN – The 65,000-square-foot atrium at The Children’s Hospital at Oklahoma University Medical Center, Oklahoma City, is designed to serve as a hub for the University’s sprawling Health Center campus.

The six-story atrium’s main feature is a roof inspired by floating kite ribbons. The roof uses approximately 20,000 square feet of Kalzip 65/400 with an AluPlusPatina finish. The center bay of the three rolling waves extends 70 feet beyond the front facade to form a sheltered front entrance. These awe-inspiring convex/concave waves of metal and blue-green glass were also the project’s most complex challenge.

Miles Associates, Oklahoma City is architect of record, handling architectural master planning, facility programming, interior design, and construction administration. Hellmuth, Obata+ Kassabaum, St Louis, is associate architect responsible for developing the exterior concept design. Opened in April 2011, the project is the third of four phases of a master plan that include a multi-level parking garage, a 14-story medical office building, and an education center, which opened in 2012.

Jorge Charneco, senior vice president for health, science and technology at Miles Associates notes that the design of the atrium needed to consider multiple projects while working in an active, busy hospital. Charneco also was familiar with Kalzip’s material and engineering capability. “Kalzip was one of the few products that could handle the geometry of the project. We worked closely with them through the design process to find solutions to challenges we encountered from the beginning. The roof is sloped and is a combination of metal and glazing elements, so expansion and contraction with the roof system was a concern. Also the atrium is in the middle of three different buildings so we had different lateral movements to consider and the challenges of multiple design phases before and after the atrium was built. Coordinating all of that was a bit of a challenge.”

Tim Moone, senior project manager at Miles Associates agrees that working with the right materials and suppliers was a big factor in the project’s ultimate success. “Kalzip was selected because of its unique clip system. From my perspective, the most challenging issues we had were coordinating the metal panel, the skylight and the roof to work as a single unit. This required significant coordination between Kalzip and Supersky, the skylight manufacturer. All this coordination effort from the design team, the engineers at Kalzip and Supersky and the contractors resulted in a great looking iconic roofline.”

Ronnie Peace, vice president, management operations for Flintco, LLC, Oklahoma City was construction manager for the atrium, the education center and parking garage. “The architect chose Kalzip because it was the best way to make sure the slope and roof tied together with the skylights without worrying about leaks. The result is that everyone loves this new entrance - the doctors, nurses, staff and especially the women and children and their families.”

The atrium’s circular open design provides space for patients and visitors to connect and relax. Its active, welcoming interior includes 30 translucent butterflies floating beneath the roofline and an interactive upright water feature that changes colors and patterns. All of the features add to the welcoming atmosphere. “How well the building has been received by clients, user groups and patients is most rewarding. We’d been working on it for so long and were so engulfed in it we didn’t appreciate what we were doing until it was finished,” adds Charneco.

The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center also cares about the environment. The new atrium is designed to be energy efficient. It faces west to harvest sunlight through the glass curtain wall and reduce electrical daytime lighting needs. The treated exterior glass also reduces ultra-violet radiation to decrease cooling costs. Additional air circulating devices draw in cooler outside as needed to further reduce electrical needs.

Kalzip offers worldwide distribution of materials and services through a network of international sales offices, more than 100 mobile roll forming units, and approved and dedicated installers. In addition to its North American office in Valparaiso, IN, the company maintains its original factory in Germany, and has facilities in China, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

For more information about Kalzip products, visit, or contact Dan Vinet at the North American office at 219-286-3481 or

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