Light Interference Color Stainless Steel Brings Motion and Life to the Museum

Visitors at the Museum at Prairiefire in Overland Park, KS will be in awe as they first set their eyes on the colorful and engaging building. The museum entrance is made of brilliant colored stainless steel and dichroic glass that is engaging and transforming.

Materials and colors that change with the sunlight, viewing angle and surrounding conditions give the museum a living appearance that is constantly changing.

“The idea is that it would be a gradient… to give it (the building) movement and depth and reinforce the notion of fire,” said Jonathan Kharfen, Principal at Verner-Johnson “When you walk around the building certain panels shift color. It really makes the building alive, which was the whole intent.”

Covering the front wall of the museum entrance are Millennium Forms Flat Lock Panels made of 304 Stainless Steel in a variety of LIC (Light Interference Color) bright colors. LIC panels are made with an electrochemical process that colors the stainless steel without the use of dyes or pigments. The result is a chrome oxide (chromate) layer that acts like a prism, changing the color of the surface metal depending on light, air conditions, and the angle of view.

The colorful stainless steel is just one of the key materials to this successful and exciting civic hub. The fire-like appearance on the museum would not be complete without the intriguing dichroic glass mixing in with the stainless steel. The dichroic glass is a film typically used for decorative finishes, but this is the first known performance glazing application of its kind in the United States.

Along with the LIC stainless steel and dichroic glass is one other very important element – the backdrop to the burning façade is beautiful Limestone, most of which was sourced locally in Kansas. You will notice the stone has a color gradient just like the stainless steel panels. The shapes of the stones and sharp edges on the building tie in the three key materials that make this building come to life.

“We couldn’t be more proud to work with talented architects like Jonathan Kharfen and be involved in such an amazing project,” “Stainless” Steve Holeczy, Millennium Forms sales manager said. “Countless people will enjoy the beauty of this one of a kind museum and discovery center.”