Monday, January 3, 2011

Project365: Day 2 - Rusty Ruan

Rusty Ruan, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

The Ruan Building in Des Moines was the tallest building in Iowa for 16 years (1975 to 1991, surpassed by 801 Grand). The building is locally notable for its rusted exterior.

The exterior of the the building is comprised of Corten steel and glass. Corten steel was used to prolong the life of the exterior. The steel is designed to intentionally rust on its outer surface. The rust acts as a protectant surface, making paint or other coatings unnecessary.

In most major cities, the Corten steel begins to turn a very dark brown or black color through weathering and airborne pollution adhering to the rusty exterior over time. Yet 35 years after its construction, the Ruan center is still a relatively bright rusty red color. Why is that?

Because the air in Des Moines is just too clean.

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