The Meaning and Memory of Material

JEMA’s design for St. Louis County Police’s new Precinct 2, Intelligence Center and Property Control Facility is a building comprised of two exterior materials: brick masonry and copper. The brick masonry symbolizes the solidity and stability of our police. But, why use copper? Copper panels, used here as exterior and interior cladding, are extremely durable and add a historic dimension to the new design. Copper is man’s first metal…and for nearly 4000 years, it was the only metal that was used to make tools and ornaments. Eventually, it was used as a building material since it is nearly impervious to inclement weather and requires no maintenance. Copper also has historical meaning and significance for police forces across the globe since police badges were originally hand-crafted from copper. The police badge is symbolic of the oath the officer takes and the duty he swears to uphold to protect and serve our community.