Shadowline Wall Coping

W.P. Hickman

The inspiration for the Shadowline profiled coping designed by HOK Los Angeles’ Chris Anderson was simply a response to the lack of commercially available standard options.

Historically, great emphasis has been placed on that point where buildings meet the sky. This union often was celebrated with meticulously crafted cornices that became defining elements of the design.

As building methodologies evolved and modernism took hold, sheet metal flashing began to take the shape of the ubiquitous and economical inverted ‘U’ coping. When properly installed and specified, this coping can complement a design and keep moisture out of a building. Over time, however, exposure to the elements causes conventional coping to weather, lose its form and ultimately detract from a building’s aesthetic by giving it an air of cheapness.

In recent years, architects paying increased attention to this concern have responded by designing clever, clean, nicely crafted and well-integrated wall copings.

Surprisingly, the roofing industry has not responded to this need by making attractive, standardized designs commercially available to architects. Instead, nearly all non-conventional coping designs are one-off creations, fabricated by sheet metal shops for individual projects. These solutions often have not gone through the wind testing required by many agencies and owners.

Anderson has designed the Shadowline coping to provide architects with a tested and aesthetically pleasing alternative to conventional coping. The inset reveal is designed to add both visual interest and structural rigidity that ensures it will retain its shape and integrity throughout the building’s life. Shadowline coping is compatible with a wide variety of wall types, including masonry, and can accommodate many different wall widths while retaining its wind-testing status.