Challenging Open Joint Cladding Design

Open Joint Cladding Design
Photo by Scott Dressel-Martin Copyright-Denver-Botanic-Gardens


The pyramid is one of the earliest forms of structure for human occupation, spanning the ages of the megalithic tombs of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia all the way to today where visitors can see an aesthetically gorgeous confluence of design, form, and function. The Denver Botanic Gardens’ new Science Pyramid is now open to the public.

Though ancient pyramids capture the imagination with their design, often imitated but seldom duplicated, the architectural firm, BURKETTDESIGN, Inc along with consultants Studio NYL and Skins Group designed a structure that not only transitions the harmony and design found in nature, but also utilizes some of the most technologically efficient building materials from DELTA®.

Constructed from hexagonal panels of open joint cladding by Swiss Pearl and the latest UV resistant vapor-permeable water membrane material available, this 16 sided pyramid is something that even the most talented architects of the ancient world could never dream possible.  Not only does the black matte coloring look visually stunning, but it also serves to regulate UV and moisture that would otherwise destroy the building materials in similar designs.

Open joint cladding and UV resistant vapor-permeable membranes, like the DELTA®-FASSADE S that was used, allow for versatility in design as well as dependable protection of insulation to ensure the durability of the structure for generations to come. In building, architects are in a battle against the elements, with the two toughest contenders being UV radiation and water.

The technology of the building materials has caught up to the point that design is limited only to the imagination of the architect, which promises a next generation of aesthetic creativity. UV radiation is controlled, thus protecting other elements of the building materials, as well as those inhabiting the structure.

Where once considered an enemy to material and structure, the sun’s energy can be used in positive ways, promoting use of light, space, and even energy into the mix.  Not only are buildings able to promote a living/work space that influences mood, beauty, contrast, and inspiration, but it also allows for better use of resources and a minimization of environmental impact as well.

What better way to incorporate technology to enhance design than to promote better sustainable solutions in architecture in ecology? The Science pyramid is literally the junction of ancient design meeting the latest design methods, construction, and materials.

The best part is that as the technology continues to improve, architecture will also become exponentially more creative, with better impact on the environment. Better understanding of climate, ecology, and engineering of building materials will not only allow architects to get more creative but also allow them to interface with inhabitants of those structures–whether it is work, life, or play–to promote creativity, enhance mood, and even give them as much inspiration as the pyramids of the ancient world.

When the way you get the job done is no longer inhibited by the limited materials available, what you get to see is pure inspiration and creativity, reflected in our everyday lives. Where architecture once challenged the ability of building materials, it is now freed by it. High performance air and moisture barriers from DELTA® enable today’s architects to be free to inspire, create, challenge, and motivate.

When specifying an open joint cladding system, consider DELTA®-FASSADE S as it has the highest UV resistance of any barrier, assuring a long trouble free life for the building.

Dörken delivers innovative, high-performance air and moisture barriers for commercial and residential construction sold under the DELTA® brand name. A North American manufacturer based out of Beamsville, Ontario, Dörken Products, Inc. is a subsidiary of Ewald Dörken AG, a leading European developer and manufacturer of waterproofing and drainage products sold worldwide. Dörken is known for delivering premium products while providing educational programs and full technical support. For more information, call 1-888-4DELTA4 (433-5824) or visit