At more than 500,000 SF, newly constructed 225 Wyman is the largest Class A office and lab space situated along the Route 128 Technology Belt. Just 12 miles from Boston, Waltham has the highest combined office and lab inventory as compared to any other Boston suburb.
The project team opted to take advantage of the offsite manufacturing of the precast panels to meet their schedule objectives. The dark hued precast wall panels are in stark contrast to the curtain wall system and they ground the building amidst the trees and parkland setting. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide abundant natural light deep into the office and lab space.
The design/build collaboration enabled the team to engage early with precaster Strescon Limited to gather input and achieve buy-in on the aggressive schedule. After extensive collaboration on colors and textures, the precast panels were manufactured and then shipped to the job site. Installation of the precast was completed in mere weeks, keeping the project on schedule.
Designed by Gensler, the new five-story building is seeking LEED Silver certification and is able to satisfy laboratory/research and development and traditional office needs. The new space is highly engineered, with custom lab and office configurations; flexible column-free 70,000 SF floor plates.
A total of 134 precast pieces that are jet black in color, wrap the base of the building to create a nice contrast with the curtain wall above. The prefabricated panels are very distinctive and are the result of extensive collaboration and several iterations of samples before arriving at the desired color and texture. The architect was looking for a panel as dark as possible. That was accomplished with black sand, black pigment, black aggregate and a light sandblast to achieve the final result.
Many of the 6.5-inch thick panels feature reveals, while several spandrel panels are also angled to slope 4-inches into the building footprint to add depth to the façade design. The trapezoidal column covers were give the building’s entrance a more elegant appearance. A cross section of the column covers resembles a diamond incrementally increasing in size up the height of the column. The unique shapes made them a challenge to produce and handle. Strescon fabricated them in two stages, to ensure proper angles were maintained. In order to install these custom pieces, each column cover had to be split into two v-shaped sections.
Precast fabrication was completed in October 2020, but the project will not be completed until 2022.
With immediate access to Route 128 and I-95, the building is part of Hobbs Brook Management’s 1.9-million-square-foot office park, and embodies their commitment to high-performing building design. The building’s floorplate can be configured to support large single-floor tenants or multiple smaller tenants, with amenities centralized in the core.
Spanning more than 6 acres, this complex was thoughtfully designed to optimize the workplace experience. The campus includes garage parking with covered walkway connector, shuttle service to Red Line MBTA Station, cafe, conference center; fitness center; walking paths and a large landscaped courtyard.
The project team created a first-class, Class A office building with an unusual design and layout. While the tenants might notice the amenities, the precast concrete and curtainwall structure also contribute to the resilient and productive work environment.