Architect Uses Heaping Helping Of ACRYLITE®, Inspired Thinking From Evonik
Yogurt lovers driving through Winchester, Va., can’t miss one of the area’s coolest places to enjoy their favorite tasty treat. It’s Frenchies Frozen Yogurt Lounge, showcasing the combined efforts of ACRYLITE® and KUBE Architecture, a Washington, D.C.-based firm.
Looking at the outdated waiting area in their father’s car wash gave siblings Hanna and Hong Kim a big idea. “It was the perfect spot for a yogurt bar while people waited for their cars. We wanted something different; a place that not only would attract a lot of families but also people going out at night.”
Enter KUBE Architecture principal Richard Loosle. “Frenchies is surrounded by big box retail stores, so our challenge was to make everything about the space grab your attention, both inside and out,” said Loosle. “ACRYLITE® was perfect for this with its variety of colors and because it’s highly customizable. It’s exactly what we needed to bring Frenchies to life with a modern and fun atmosphere.”
Loosle continued, “We reconfigured the interior and completely opened up the entire space. We chose ACRYLITE® acrylic for decorations and unique LED lighting installations throughout. I’m particularly impressed with how well ACRYLITE® Satinice worked for the undulating ceiling panels inside. You can even see their light show from the street.”
Then Loosle turned his attention to the exterior. The original concept was to transform the outside into one large colorful sign to catch the eye. But finding the materials to pull this off proved to be a challenge. The Kims and KUBE Architecture wanted to make sure the façade had a clean look with no visible fastenings.
“Other solutions weren’t working, took too long to produce or were too expensive. So I asked my partners at Evonik if we could use an ACRYLITE® product as the exterior cladding,” Said Loosle.
“We knew ACRYLITE® LED sign grade acrylic was more than durable enough to be used outside like this,” says Chris Allen, Architectural Projects Manager at Evonik. “It’s easily fabricated, resists chipping and melting, and stands up to weather better than other plastics like polycarbonate and polyethylene terephthalate (PETG). But our team wasn’t sure how to attach our panels to the building. We worked with KUBE to have an attachment system created that allows for expansion and contraction with temperature changes, resists high winds and preserves that clean minimalist look. And we did it so that the project stayed on time and on budget.”
“Customers are really drawn to how different Frenchies Frozen Yogurt Lounge looks,” Hanna added. “Now they have no problem finding us. It’s definitely a cool place to be in Winchester.”
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Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms.
Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2012 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around €13.4 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €2.4 billion (excluding Real Estate in both cases).
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