Winter 2008
Volume 15
Inside this issue:
• Whither the Wind Blows
Retirement Systems of Alabama Headquarters
• Clemens Gardens
• Quiet Inspiration
• K.G.A. Benches - University of Texax at Austin
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All your Seasons
can be Bright with Awesome Waterjet Cutting

Whither the Wind Blows

Pearson, Humphries & Jones Architects of Montgomery are transforming the State of Alabama with their imaginative use of waterjet cut metals. The technique is one in which an abrasive (80 grit garnet) is mixed with water and projected through a nozzle at a pressure of 50,000 PSI. Metal plate up to three inches thick can be cut in this method. Barry J. Turner, Master Patternmaker and Robinson’s Pattern Shop Supervisor oversees the conversion of AutoCad drawings into a CAD/CAM program (Sigmanest) that directs the cutting. Barry has managed the design and production of materials for many of the company’s most prestigious projects since joining the firm in 1992. His understanding of the medium’s parameters enables him to give the architect or designer a more direct expression through the waterjet process.

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Retirement Systems of Alabama Headquarters

The new corporate headquarters of The Retirement Systems of Alabama represents the best in architecture and innovation.  In this stellar design by PH & J Architects a connecting parking deck’s top level is designed as a terrace to be used for special functions. In order to allow natural light to reach lower levels the architects placed specially fabricated aluminum “Lanterns” along the terrace’s axis. Waterjet cut grilles cover translucent glass panels in each assembly and are operable allowing them to be cleaned. A planter bed with low seating increases the Lantern’s functionality while greening the space. All of the specially tapered and anodized aluminum panels that comprise the outer skin of these structures were manufactured with the waterjet cutting technique

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Clemens Gardens

Bill Clemens was looking for the perfect gift to give his wife, Virginia who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. As it turned out, he didn’t look far afield but directly across the street from their home in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. There in a vacant plot he began to develop an extraordinary rose garden which he and Virginia later donated to the City and which forms the basis of The Virginia Clemens Rose Garden.  In the 1990’s the Clemens decided to expand the rose garden to include a series of garden “rooms” in the tradition of European public gardens.

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Quiet Inspiration

Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama expressed a wish to Carolyn Tynes, Landscape Architect for a rejuvenation of an interior courtyard at the church. Part of her plan included a focal point on one of the courtyard’s brick walls.  She decided it would be interesting to base the new piece upon the modernist design of the altar cross in Saint Luke’s nave. It would have to be a fresh and somewhat different take on that much loved icon. Carolyn turned to Robinson Iron and in collaboration with designer Wayne Fuller arrived at the waterjet interpretation illustrated. The cross is constructed of polished waterjet cut bronze and is mounted within two distressed plates of waterjet cut aluminum plate.

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K.G.A. Benches - University of Texas at Austin

Houston’s hottest furniture designer has made a name for himself in Art Furniture with his latest design themed to please Longhorn fans everywhere. Utilizing the recognizable team logo along with the school’s motto and emblem Kelly has collaborated with Robinson Iron to produce a park bench in waterjet cut aluminum plate. The school logo and colors are carefully controlled and licensed items that had to be submitted for approval before manufacturing could proceed. Each piece receives a hang tag documenting it as an authentic licensed product of the University of Texas. Don’t you think these would look grand lined up outside the stadium? Actually, don’t be surprised if you see one of these at any Texas gathering!

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