Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture

Charlotte, North Carolina

A true trailblazer, Harvey Bernard Gantt was the first African-American student admitted to Clemson University and Charlotte’s first African-American mayor. To celebrate his contributions to the community, the Afro-American Cultural Center was renamed after Mr. Gantt. The 46,500-square-foot Center was also redesigned to pay homage to African-American Arts and Culture in a striking way.

Known for projects that foreground African-American history, The Freelon Group was chosen for the revamp. They wanted to convey two culturally significant symbols in their design — Jacob’s Ladder and quilts. Our versatile, durable Hefti-Rib exposed fastener panels helped Freelon tell the story.

Fabral perforated copper panels frame the building’s exterior staircases and central atrium, for a modern interpretation of Jacob’s Ladder. This design feature perpetuates the ideals of enlightenment and advancement through cultural awareness. The copper panels are “stitched” together by diagonal steel channels, mirroring African-American quilting patterns from the Underground Railroad era.

Together, these architectural references help underscore the Center’s mission to ignite engagement and conversations that inspire, empower, and enlighten all.

Project Details

  • Architect: Freelon Group
  • Hefti-Rib panels in two shades of Fabral custom copper create a bold design element.

Color Details

Two custom shades of Fabral copper were used to complete this compelling design.


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Product Details

Hefti-Rib ®

Superior strength-to-weight ratio and spanning capabilities set this panel apart. It adds texture and strength to designs and can act as a canvas on the exterior.

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Hefti-Rib ®

Panel Options Available: Panel Variations HR-288 and Reverse Run Hefti-Rib I are Available
Substrate Offering:
.032″ Aluminum .040″ Aluminum .050″ Aluminum 18 Gauge Steel 20 Gauge Steel 22 Gauge Steel 24 Gauge Steel 26 Gauge Steel
Panel Features:
Vertical & Horizontal Applications
Customizations Available:
Curving Options Mitered Corners Wall & Roof Variations
Maximum Panel Length: 45′
Minimum Panel Length: 6′