Springer-Peterson Fabrication stepped up to the plate as the only company in the state of Florida even willing to attempt to take on this challenging project. The contractor was happy that our team was willing to tackle this head on without hesitation.
Initially, everything was great for this church as the architect had designed a rendering with a bright brass finished domes, and to top it off, the diocese loved it. The issue that came into play was that the diocese wanted a bright brass dome with no patina and for it to stay in this shiny condition permanently. While we are quite talented in our craft, preventing mother nature’s weathering effects on an organic compound is a problem that isn’t easy to solve.
Our final recommendation was a combination of powder coat, clear coat and hand metal texturing to create the illusion effect that was desired. We used aluminum as well as a combination of powder coat products and techniques in conjunction with our friends at RSR Industrial coatings in Alturas.
We began this project by studying the proportions and shape of the of the original 6th century architecture that was the inspiration for the dome structures in Roman influenced cathedrals. Using the shape and proportions of the images, we plotted them into Auto Cad drawings that could then be sectioned into flat patterns and dimensioned. The internal structure was designed as well as the waterproof roof mounted curb. It was to be mounted on and sent to a third-party engineering firm that we work with frequently. With a few adjustments, the engineer confirmed and certified that our design was Florida Building Code compliant for hurricane wind resistance. After the official approval, the drawings were used to create two dimensional patterns for the parabolic leaves that were cut using our CNC plasma cutter to make the basis for the dome. The sections then went through a variety of rolling and bending processes to achieve both the curve and the roll of the dome shape. Each of the pieces were then welded from the inside. From there, an interior skeleton was created to reinforce the structure and allow for both picking and mounting points. Because they were too large to transport over public highways, they were then cut into modular sections and sent off for a custom two-part powder coat finish which was selected to imitate both the color and texture of the natural brass based on the designer’s intent. After powder coat, the sections were delivered to the site, we assembled on the parking surface and flown into place for installation using our own 30 Ton truck mounted crane. Modularized crosses were also added using the same materials and finishing techniques.
The finished product was beyond well received and this job led to a similar project with the same group at the Venice Diocese. We’re proud of our work on this project but most importantly, rewarded by the fact we could help this client with this huge challenge that nobody else could or would take on.