The Kent Police Station is located at a transition point between two different neighborhoods and architecturally distinct areas, meaning that the new structure had to serve multiple purposes. Visually, it had to echo the more modern Kent State College Architecture and Design building while nodding to the nearby, more classic structures of the central business district. Additionally, the station had to present an energized, neighborly aesthetic positioning it as a safe pillar of the community.
The building’s materiality was extremely significant. To mirror the more historic buildings, it needed the appearance of brick, yet with a lighter, less oppressive product – something modern and forward-thinking. At the street level, selected materials had to withstand heavy snowfall and resist salt and ice. Because the building can be accessed from two different sides and is visible from four different directions, its signage also needed to stand out and act as a beacon and safe haven for those who need police assistance, further positioning the station as a community-oriented establishment.
The team at DS Architecture utilized CENTRIA’s Formawall Dimension Series Graphix metal panels and Ecoscreen perforated screenwall in the Allura Terra Cotta finish to effectively establish the Kent Police station as the desired transition between the historic downtown district and the more contemporary developments on campus. These panels achieved the project’s unique, modular aesthetics using a limited number which helped maintain budgetary requirements. The additional high-performance insulated metal panels by CENTRIA, FWDS and DS60, are also able to diminish the likelihood of air or water infiltration, while providing exceptional thermal efficiency.
Visually, the Formawall Dimension Series Graphix panels added a unique rhythm and pattern to the building and created a distinct, clean façade which broke down the larger masses of the building and made it feel more approachable.
The Allura Terra Cotta finish, a premium PVDF coating, presented the desired matte, low-gloss appearance reminiscent of brick.
CENTRIA’s Ecoscreen was used on the building’s fin and signage and enabled the architects to incorporate light into this part of the structure. This afforded the desired level of visibility and allowed the sign to seemingly glow from within, further establishing the police station as a safe haven in the community.