New dome in Kansas
The Kansas State Capitol in Topeka in the USA is not just the headquarters of the state government, it's also a major historical building dating back to 1866. From 2010 to 2013, significant renovations were carried out in order to bring the building in line with current standards and restore its former glory. The ultimate phase of these renovations is the full renovation of the impressive dome with its 15 metre diameter. Ornametals, a zinc and copper ornaments company offering standard and custom ornaments, has provided the fabrication for this dome. As a proud partner of Ornametals, VMZINC® has also played such a significant role in the restoration of this prestigious historical treasure.
Kansas State Capitol, Topeka, Kansas, USA :
Administration/Client: Department of Administration, Office of Facilities and Property Management, Topeka, Kansas
Architect: Treanor, Topeka, Kansas
Roofing contractor: Baker Roofing, Raleigh, NC
Ornamentation: Ornametals Manufacturing LLC, Cullmann, Alabama
The entire roof had been badly damaged by wind and hail
The most serious long-term damage to the dome, including major leaks, was caused mainly by the traditional 19th century soldering methods used to assemble it, which did not allow for expansion.
As it was not possible to re-use 19th century techniques, it was necessary to adapt all the products for more modern installation and use (wind, expansion) while at the same time retaining the initial aspect of the roof and the monumental parts of the building
The biggest challenge was to copy the existing design, with all details included. The original supporting frame had to be partly replaced. The hips were quite complex, curved and tapered at the top.
A site visit was required to check the measurements, curves and degrees on site in order to make the necessary production drawings.
Our production drawings show the different connections used during assembly, which provide the necessary expansion after installation. These types of drawings were sent to the architect for approval, to make sure we met the client’s expectations.
We use new and old techniques to reproduce ornaments, from laser cutting to casting our own stamps. The picture shows the ‘sand’ in which we cast our stamps.
It’s necessary to make plaster, used as a form to make the shape in the sand.
Finally the stamp is cast and has cooled down for a week. We’re now ready to enter the metal and stamp in different stages.
We like to invite our client during production. It reassures the client about the quality and progress of the work. Sometimes a mock-up makes things clearer and site issues can be discussed.
Explaining everything in advance saves a lot of time on site. Difficult points and installation can be discussed.
We can make 3D drawings to check if all items fit well together. This type of drawing gives the architect and installer a better view of the items produced.
Partly finished, copper starts to develop a patina and has a beautiful colour in the evening sun. We met with the installer and architect and suggested replacing the flat lock panels with standing seam panels in order to introduce more clips per m².
This huge dome is one of the biggest copper domes in the US.