You can’t judge a book – or a building – by its cover.
Not these days.
What looks like brick, stucco or wood on the outside could actually be a metal building.
Metal is no longer easily detectable. It’s gotten sneakier visually. And a great example of that is the Madison Square retail center in Norman, Okla.
Completed in 2010, the 20,000 square-foot structure is currently undergoing an 80,000 square-foot expansion scheduled for completion in fall 2014. It isn’t a warehouse or an industrial complex; it isn’t storage space or a personal garage. It’s a stunning retail space that, just before dusk, settles into the landscape with a relaxed air as if it’s been there for ages.
That was the intent: old world style meets new world technology, according to Tim Grissom, co-owner of Precision Builders, who built the complex and is currently handling the expansion.
“We wanted an old, small-town downtown look where you have multiple facades of buildings that are done in different ways with different materials,” he says. “That makes each space unique.”
The veneer is a variation of stone, split-faced rock and brick of varying sizes.
“I don’t think there’s anything in the way of veneer that we couldn’t use if we wanted to use it,” Grissom says.
The varying appearance gives the building – as well as its tenants – the opportunity to streamline their visual persona.
The appearance of a metal building never looked less like metal. And that fact has retail businesses of all kinds keeping an eye out.
“As soon as people started seeing that building go up, they wanted in there. Before we even finished construction the first tenant had moved in,” Grissom says. “It doesn’t look like a metal building and that allows us to tailor the exterior veneer to the clients’ needs.”
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