Discover Copper Online

Spring 1998

Versatile Prepatinated Copper

Instead of waiting for copper exposed to the elements to develop its beautiful blue-green patina, architects are now specifying prepatinated copper. And, when the prepatinated material is also used indoors, it can immediately share and retain the same familiar and appealing coloring with any external copper wall covering or decoration. That's one reason why prepatinated copper wall coverings were specified both outdoors and indoors for the beautiful Class of '59 Chapel at the Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, by the architects, Moshe Safdie and Associates, Inc., Somerville, Massachusetts.

Prepatinated 45-foot copper wall of the Robertson Branch Library in Los Angeles, built in 1997. Cover shows interior view.

The copper for the small, nondenominational chapel, which opened in 1993, was supplied by Revere Copper Products, Rome, New York. Revere licensed the prepatination process from its Swiss inventors. Prepatinated copper, which doesn't need any maintenance, is widely applied in Europe, especially in Germany.

Prepatinated copper exterior of the Cass of '59 Chapel at the Harvard Business School.

Another striking application of prepatinated copper is the Robertson Branch Library in Los Angeles (cover). Architect Steven Ehrlich specified prepatinated copper, both inside and out, for its"... ageless quality, no need for maintenance and depth of coloration." And he reports that the city agency that commissioned the 12,000-square-foot, $3-million building "loves" the use of copper, which was supplied by Hussey Copper, Leetsdale, Pennsylvania. This was the first time the Culver City, California-based architect specified this material.

Coated copper for architectural applications is not new. For many years, Outokumpu American Brass, Buffalo, New York, and other U.S. mills have supplied lead-coated copper in a variety of weights and sheet sizes. Architectural use of the material is growing, according to Scott Patterson, the OAB sales manager. The Center for the Visual Arts at the University of Toledo is an example of extensive exterior use of lead-coated copper. The 51,000-square-foot center, designed by Frank O. Gehry, is described in Copper Topics No. 75.

Hussey Copper: 724-266-8430
Outokumpu American Brass: 716/879-6700
Revere Copper Products: 800/448-1776
Moshe Safdie and Associates: 617/629-2100
Steven Ehrlich Architects: 310/828-6700

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