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Fontaine Modification

Summarize the project's program, features and achievements?

This cross-dock building for Fontaine has a unique floor plan with bump-outs at the corners. These shield the truck court and trucks from direct public view and provide direct view access from the offices of the truck court. The interior offices run the entire length of the front of the building with bottom level windows for the entire length. A high solar shade on the corners caps the ends and creates dynamic shadows throughout the day. High clerestories on opposite sides provides generous daylighting inside the warehouse. The warehouse is used to modify factory-made chassis for vehicles to suit the end-user which works best for a cross-dock building. Vehicles are wheeled one side, worked on, painted in a custom paint booth, and wheeled out the other side.

What obstacles were overcome related to the schedule, budget, program, specification, site, etc. on this project?

Some of the obstacles encountered during the design phase included the sanitary sewer drop off due to the hilly nature of the site. With a 30 ft. vertical drop there were concerns about how to carry the sewer safely out of the building to connect to the city. After some careful underground routing, this was achieved with intermediate drops through the invert elevations. A second issue was the tree line and hill within 30 ft. of the rear of the building. Having to create a safe angle of repose in the rear with a thick forest of trees right behind was challenging for the construction crew while lifting the panel but coupled with expertise and good overall construction sequencing, the building was tilted without incident.

Please communicate any engineering complexities or unique features of the panel design for this project?

Several small internal fins protrude into the building on which the spandrel tilt panels rest. This created a depth of shade at the corners and a challenge for bracing the panels while they were being tilted. The internal fins provide spandrel support in addition to creating interesting nooks inside the office spaces. During interior design these were used as showcases with shelves for the office staff memorabilia and created focal points inside the office and conference rooms.

What is the potential for this project's impact on the community and/or environment?

Close to some basic metal industrial buildings, this project stands out as a stalwart of excellence in the architectural design and brings a clear freshness to the area. Being within the outer confines of the airport, there is very good visibility from the air which showcases a great site plan and movement of vehicles around the building. Fontaine Mods., being of the established Charlotte firms that employs close to a hundred people, along with the finely tuned interior design of the building and layout, gives the working demographic, a modern and office-like building to enjoy.

Main banner image for Fontaine Modification

Project Location

Charlotte, NC 28214
United States

Project Images


Project Team (TCA Members)

General Contractor:
Edifice Inc
Concrete Contractor:
Merriman Schmitt Architects, Inc.
Carlo Pieroni

Project Specifics

Project Category:
Building Types:
Applied Ornament
Paint (Textured)
Interlocking Panels
Shadow Panels
Stacked Panels
Post Applied (Interior)
Number of Floors:
Number of Panels:
81 panels
Total Floor Area:
145,626 sq ft (13,529 sq m)
Project Footprint:
145,626 sq ft (13,529 sq m)
Tallest Panel:
42 ft 0 in (12.80 m)
Widest Panel:
28 ft 0 in (8.53 m)
Largest Panel:
1,176 sq ft (109.3 sq m)
Heaviest Panel:
139,650 lbs (63,344 kg)
Longest Spandrel:
26 ft 0 in (7.92 m)