El Andaluz Commercial Offices & Residences
"Step into architect Jeff Sheltons El Andaluz courtyard and prepare to be transported to a far away world of color and whimsy. A bold kaleidoscope of ornately colored ceramic tile floors, fountains, ledges and stairs are strikingly juxtaposed with the glinting metal of laser-etched hot-dip galvanized steel balconies and support structures. The commercial offices of El Andaluz, coupled with residential condominiums, prominently display hot-dip galvanized steel elements in Sheltons adaptation of a similar picturesque courtyard six blocks from the Pacific Ocean in Santa Barbara. With a reputation for favoring galvanized steel elements in his creations, the architect was depending on the zinc patina finish, which develops in the months after galvanizing, to enhance the look of his artistic creation. As the patina develops, the galvanized steel will not only take on a uniform matte gray appearance to complete the architects vision, but will also ensure long-lasting protection for the project. The galvanized steel was incorporated to assure the structural integrity of the architectural display for decades to come, as it will stand strong and uncompromised by the ravages of corrosion for 75+ years. In addition to a long life for the structure, another high priority for El Andaluz was a maintenance-free corrosion protection system. Unlike other corrosion protection systems, such as paint, galvanized steel remains maintenance-free for 75+ years. No maintenance means no need for costly, interruptive, and repetitive touch-ups, as well as less impact on the environment the 100% natural zinc coating will not require any of the volatile and wasteful energy outputs associated with continuous repair. Handling of the elaborately designed pieces provided a challenging opportunity for the galvanizer to apply his skills. Because of the exposed nature of the galvanized features, special handling was required to ensure the finished product complied with the architects vision. Large, three-dimensional plate frames had to be specially secured on dedicated racks to guarantee a quality finish. Despite complicated handling and scheduling procedures implemented for this project, the 26 tons of embed angle frames, laser-cut plates, flat bar braces, and threaded studs were completed on time with quick turnaround. The intricate pieces were then incorporated into the final design of the courtyard. El Andaluz interlaces the aspects of galvanized steel with a collection of colorful tile artwork and ceramic flower pots for a one-of-a-kind architectural experience that elevates traditional courtyard design to that of artistic masterpiece."