The new 100 College Street development marks the return of Alexion Pharmaceuticals to the city of New Haven, Connecticut, after many years of being based in the suburbs. The project spans the Route 34 Connector, creating a challenging program for both the building and the adjacent parking structure. To help the project’s logistics and complement surrounding buildings, designers chose to clad the 14-story building with architectural precast concrete panels.
The $100-million project, which connects the downtown area to the nearby medical district, was made possible in part through a $16-million federal Tiger II grant that allowed the city to fill in parts of the unused roadway that now runs beneath the complex. Precast concrete components were used to help turn the existing College Street bridge into earthen culverts that form parts of the tunnels for the project. During construction the roadway was used by the nearby hospital for deliveries, but upon completion it will serve as the entrance to both the Air Rights Parking Garage and the 100 College Street Building Parking Garage and includes a variety of entrance and exit ramps for the highway.
“It was logistically a very challenging project with the variety of ramps and other facilities beneath the building, as well as three main roads and buildings completely surrounding the site,” explains Jeff Loch, project manager at John Moriarty & Associates, the construction manager on the project.
The architectural precast concrete contractor helped minimize congestion by casting the panels off-site and delivering them as needed each night while the steel frame was erected during the day. The panels were staged at a temporary storage facility near the actual site, which was too constricted to allow panels to be delivered there. The panels were picked from the trucks as they arrived and hoisted into place immediately by the tower crane. Coreslab Structures (CONN) Inc. in Thomaston, Connecticut, fabricated the architectural precast concrete components.
The panels were cast with a buff-colored, limestone-like texture to blend with surrounding buildings that feature limestone facades. “The finish presented no challenges, but we manufactured custom rubber formliners to create a random reveal pattern,” says Rob Del Vento Jr., sales manager for Coreslab.
The project, for which Alexion is the largest tenant, is part of a larger program intended to completely fill in the Route 34 Connector to create a new street plan and additional developments. The project is planned for completion in 2015, when Alexion will transplant its 350-person workforce to the building.