Materials Park

The 45-acre campus known as Materials Park has been home to the headquarters of ASM International (formerly known as the American Society for Metals) for the past 52 years. Originally completed in 1959, the ASM International headquarters building, 20 miles east of Cleveland in Novelty, Ohio, is the result of the vision of three men, William Hunt Eisenman, one of ASM's founders and its National Secretary and first Managing Director, Cleveland modern architect John Terence Kelly, and architect, mathematician and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller.

With an open latticework geodesic dome arching over a semi-circular office building, ASM International World Headquarters at Materials Park symbolizes humanity's technological mastery of materials. Hailed 50 years ago for its futuristic design, Materials Park is renowned today for its timelessness. In 2009, Materials Park was named to the National Register of Historic Places, and an exciting renovation was completed in July 2011.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long has Materials Park been around?
Founded in 1913, ASM's headquarters have been located in Northeast Ohio since 1920. We have called Materials Park home since 1960.

Who designed Materials Park?
The design was the result of the vision of three men: William Hunt Eisenman, ASM's Managing Director from 1918 through 1958, Cleveland architect John Terence Kelly, and inventor R. Buckminster Fuller. Eisenman personally donated 100 acres of farmland to the society, selected the architect, approved the final design, and drove the wooden stakes that marked the building's footprint.

Kelly envisioned a structure that would bring nature and technology together in a celebration of materials. The building becomes one with the surrounding countryside, while the dome creates a junction point between earth and sky. The most spectacular feature of Kelly's design is the geodesic dome or space lattice, which was engineered and created by the dome's inventor, R. Buckminster Fuller. It is the largest dome of its kind designed by Fuller, and was one of his favorites.

What does Materials Park symbolize?
ASM's geodesic dome stands as a symbol of humanity's mastery of materials: from the minerals and laboratories they come from, to the processes that make them useful in ways that touch our lives every day. If it's manufactured, it involves materials. And if it involves materials, it involves ASM.

How large is the dome?
Made of extruded aluminum pipe, the open-work dome stands 103' high and 250' in diameter, weighs 80 tons and contains more than 65,000 parts. The dome stands on five pylons, two of which rise up from courtyards set into the building.

The geodesic dome is unique among structures because every part of it works together synergistically to give it strength. This makes the dome a highly appropriate symbol for the members and chapters of ASM – each providing knowledge to strengthen the whole.

What are some of the building's unique features?
A stainless steel sun shield 13' high and 390' long extends across the west face of the third level. The shield provides protection from the western sun without obstructing the view. The outer surface of the shield is a satin finish, the inner, soft gold. There are 4,000 louvers or openings in all.

The building houses approximately 90 staff associates within its three levels and 50,000 sq. ft. of floor space. It is made of reinforced concrete with special emphasis on uses of metals. Every door on the lobby level is stainless steel; the "floating" main stairway is also of stainless steel, hung dramatically by the use of steel rods running the height of the three levels. Copper sheeting frames the elevator.

Green (environmentally sound) design is an important consideration for architects. The design of our building was ahead of its time, featuring an extensive roof surface covered with grass. Outside, the Eisenman Garden features more than 60 specimens of raw mineral ores and more than 70 varieties of perennials, shrub and flowering trees.

What takes place at Materials Park?
The staff of ASM works closely with our membership to create online communities, technical events, continuing education programs, magazines, and technical journals to serve the changing needs of materials scientists and engineers.

The building serves an important educational role. Materials Park features a state-of-the-art materials laboratory and classroom facility, where professionals can develop and strengthen their knowledge of materials science, metallurgy, failure analysis, heat treating, surface engineering, metallography, and other topics. Materials Park also serves as home to the ASM Materials Education Foundation's flagship program, ASM Materials Camp.

Are the grounds open to the public?
Materials Park is located at 9639 Kinsman Road, Russell Township. We are located next to the Geauga Park District's West Woods and are approximately 4 miles west of Punderson State Park. The building is closed to the public, but our gardens and grounds are open during the normal work week from 7:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Materials Mastery:  The Renaissance of Materials Park

Preparing for ASM's next hundred years as the top provider of materials information, the office building under the dome completed a multi-million dollar renovation.

The Chesler Group, based in Cleveland, Ohio, served as developer and general contractor for the project and drafted the application for historic designation. The building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a Historic Landmark by the state of Ohio.

The Chesler Group replaced the building's mechanical systems, cleaned and refurbished the sun screens, installed new gaskets and seals for the plate-glass windows, added better insulation and repaired corrosion. The garden level of the building, which is below grade, has a "green" roof with soil and grass over the reinforced, and newly water-proofed, concrete.
 
Because of the Historic Landmark designation, the building had to be returned as closely as possible to its original design. Although computers and high-tech lab equipment are allowed, the open spaces of the original design had to be returned.
 
Many original elements from the 1959 design were restored, reupholstered, or refinished, including 32 original Steelcase chairs, brass metal screens, a conference room table with stainless steel ASM medallion inlays, and door handles and hinges designed by Kelly. All of the original light fixtures, also designed by Kelly, are in working order and needed no work. ASM rediscovered seven panel brushed aluminum murals by metals artist Bel-Jon. The "History of Iron" series of panels was commissioned in 1953 and has been rehung throughout the building.
 
The geodesic dome, made of 7075 tubular aluminum, is in perfect shape and needed no renovation. The dome's purpose is aesthetic and symbolic. It is the largest open-work geodesic dome in the world.

After receiving historic designation in 2009, ASM staff moved into temporary offices in 2010. The renovation finished on schedule with the staff moving back and resuming full operation in July 2011. The grand reopening in August carried the theme: "Materials Mastery: Experience the Renaissance of Materials Park."