July 2010
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On April 19, 2009, the 65,000-square-foot Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, designed by Chicago-based Tigerman McCurry Architects, opened in Skokie. A project of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, the center is dedicated to preserving the memories of the 6 million lives lost during the Holocaust and teaching current and future generations about the need to fight hatred, indifference and genocide.

The center features a "dark" wing symbolizing the historical context of the Holocaust and other acts of genocide, as well as a "light" wing representing liberation, immigration and rebirth. Installation was challenging because the design required a barrel roof to meet a gable roof, involving many different angles. A-1 Roofing Co., Elk Grove Village, Ill., installed the gable and barrel roofs, which comprise six of the center's 20 roof areas; there also were smaller roof areas that successively decreased in elevation.

"At first we looked at standing-seam metal roofs to evoke an industrial feel to the dark building," says Dennis McNeil, senior design consultant for Building Technology Associates Inc., Homewood, Ill., the roof consultant for the project. "However, when we looked at the interfaces between the gable and barrel roofs, we realized the flashings would be a nightmare with a standing-seam roof."

The roof system consists of concrete placed over a steel deck (a crimp-curved deck was used for the barrel vaults); a vapor retarder; two layers of 2-inch-thick polyisocyanurate insulation; and a gypsum roof board. On the dark wing's steep gable roof, A-1 Roofing installed a dark gray Sika Sarnafil Décor Roof System. A white Décor Roof System was installed on the light wing's barrel roof.

"The layout of this job was pretty intense because the seams had to line up with the composite panel walls," says Dave Rabin, vice president of A-1 Roofing.

Rabin was proud of the finished project and honored to participate.

"I really wanted this job because I'm Jewish and I saw this as a tribute to my dad, who fought in World War II," he says. "This building means something to me, and I feel fortunate to have been a part of it. It is a work of art."

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