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Bally Total Fitness International (Reynolds Metals Regional Sales Office Building)
Constructed for a leading aluminum producer, this building was intended to highlight the industrial and technological uses of aluminum, particularly for the automobile manufacturers in the Detroit area. As well as displaying aluminum products dramatically, the building held offices for the regional sales staff.
Here Yamasaki created an artistic three-story, concrete-framed building on a white terrazzo podium, surrounded by a pool of water lilies. Interior spaces revolve around a central, building-high atrium. This lofty three-story display and lobby space is bathed with daylight by an aluminum space frame with pyramidal skylight elements. Air-conditioning, lighting, and acoustical elements are completely integrated with a concrete waffle-slab structural system. The specially designed gold-anodized aluminum grille wraps around the perimeter of the building to function as decoration and as a sunscreen. Its rich texture contrasts with the relatively clean window walls that it shades. The Reynolds Metals Building is representative of Yamasaki's work. The famed architect, whose office was located in Birmingham, Michigan, was highly respected for his ability to work with various building materials and to create rich textural compositions using modern architectural forms.
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