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UTK Music Center Ups Its Creative Game with Valspar Coatings

Producing a creative space that inspires students during their music education adventure was the goal for the University of Tennessee’s School of Music’s Natalie L. Haslam Music Center. This modern music center replaced an existing facility that was built in the 1960s when the original outdated offerings could no longer serve the program’s needs.

The Natalie L. Haslam Music Center stands four floors tall, expands 123,000-square-feet and houses eight technology-enhanced classrooms in addition to the following: 56 practice rooms, 57 performance studios, academic offices, an organ studio, a 412-seat recital hall, a music library, a recording and mixing lab and an academic tutoring center.

BarberMcMurray Architects (BMA)andBlankenship & Partnerswere hired to design the new music center. As a joint effort, the two architecture firms divided responsibilities with BMA serving as the project designer and Blankenship & Partners producing the construction documents needed to implement the design. With a clear vision and creative direction in mind, the architects worked closely with the university and the director of the School of Music, Roger Stephens.

A strong design plan for both the building’s exterior and interior aesthetics along with strict sustainability goals paved the way for the material selection. For the music center’s exterior, metal wall panels were chosen, as they fit numerous visual and performance goals set by the teams. CENTRIA Formawall® Dimension Series® insulated metal wall panels were selected for the building due to their superior performance, sustainability and aesthetics. The panels provide the center with thermal efficiency, moisture control and superior weather resistance. The center’s metal wall panels coated in Valspar’s Fluropon Classic II in both Silversmith and Jade deliver the desired look, appearing unique, sleek and contemporary.

Valspar’s Fluropon® metal architecture coatings are high performance exterior finishes that are field-proven and contain 70 percent Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) proprietary resins. The Fluropon Classic II coating provides the music center with superior resistance to chalking and chemical degradation while providing vibrancy and durability to the project, as the coating also features a pearlescent shimmer. The Natalie L. Haslam Music Center utilized the classic color Silversmith as the base with a pop of Jade appearing evenly throughout the structure to accomplish a progressive and contemporary appearance.

With efforts to minimize energy consumption and conserve water, the music center was designed to meet LEED Silver certification standards, and is currently pending certification approval from the U.S. Green Building Council. For the center’s highly technical design elements and budget management, the Tennessee chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center with the second-highest design honor in the state for its striking interiors and applicable use of natural light.

Beyond the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center’s interior offerings, the University of Tennessee was able to create a staple exterior look that conveyed the concept of rhythm, pattern and repetition.  With the use of CENTRIA metal panels and Valspar coatings, the finished building truly accomplished the designers’ goals to inspire music students, but also the students and faculty that pass by the structure on a daily basis.  

Natalie L. Haslam Music Center, University of Tennessee; Knoxville, TN; http://www.music.utk.edu/about/facilities.php