The Revetment House, a multifamily rental building in the historic Hamilton Park neighborhood of Jersey City, stands 75 feet wide by 400 feet long. Its six stories contain 163 luxury apartments from studio spaces to three-bedroom residences. It was set to be constructed on top of the 10th Street Embankment, a historic railroad embankment that was once operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad. In a picturesque area with tree-lined streets, the structure was designed to highlight the beauty of the nearby old 12-foot-thick masonry wall.
"This project is a sister building to the adjacent precast building completed in 2016. We wanted to improve upon the next building. The previous job used steel moment frames. To evolve the design and take advantage of all the strengths precast offers, we used the precast panels for our lateral loading. The end walls act as moment frames." – Carolyn Morin, Project Manager, Newport Construction
Because the owner set a speedy construction timeline, precast was chosen as the main structure and finish, with the team making the most of the hybrid structural system designed for the Revetment House project. Steel beams and columns were set down the middle of its 400-foot Length, and steel supported the stairwells and elevator core. Hollowcore plank was utilized to gain the spans required and reduce the number of columns.
This project required complex brickwork like recesses in the façade and intricate coursing. The precaster created a unique precast formliner mix, used thin brick, and applied a sandblast finish.
The architects worked with the precast structural engineer to develop a facade at a scale with the surrounding context using a sophisticated pattern of thin brick with precast sills and details. The parapet broke up the mass in elevation and wrapped the corners to echo historic building cornices of the past.
The Revetment House was the result of critical collaboration between teams who relied on the ability of precast concrete to speed up construction efforts and approach the project with maximum efficiency. During design, project engineers worked with the precaster to locate shafts, pipe penetrations, and sleeves to avoid cutting through strands in the plank. Drawings were shared back and forth, and layouts were modified as needed to avoid reducing the strength of the planks.
Their quick work created a structure that was modern in material and amenities but possessed a contemporary design with a loft look to the facade that references the area's past with industrial flair.
"Using thin brick within the facade panels allowed us to meet our design goals of keeping in tune with the historic neighborhood. We used rabbited window openings in the facade panels to speed the window installation timeline and achieve a clean look to the facade." – John Gering, Managing Partner, HLW International