The Essex County Hall of Records Parking Garage is a 900-car parking deck located on West Market Street in Newark, New Jersey. The deck consists of six levels, with a glass façade facing the Essex County Veterans Courthouse and Essex County LeRoy F. Smith, Jr. Public Safety Building making the structure resemble an office building. The parking deck is designated for employee parking with two convenient entrances, which is the start of a larger plan to revamp the Essex County Government Complex. The design provides for economically optimum precast concrete structural bays, minimal circulation patterns for both pedestrian and vehicle movement as well as high design, visibly and building transparency for additional safety and security concerns. Careful planning was required to erect this precast garage from outside of the garage footprint on a tight urban site.
Precast was the original design chosen for this structure because the architect utilized precast for several other parking garage designs with great success.
Utilizing precast meant there would be a speed of erection, the longevity of the material, low maintenance, quality of overall product, and appearance. The design of this project included five tablets that stand 65 feet tall and pivot between translucent Kalwal panels at the entry plaza. These tablets carry the seal of the County and inspiring words.
Precast was also a major player in sticking to a tight 11-month schedule and that was achieved without any delays. Careful planning, coordination, and erection sequences were planned months in advance so that the objective was met.
The unique obstacles in this project were the reinforcement, engineering, and treatment of unstable soils to accept the weight for the six-level structure and its heavy foundation. Overall, the design team and client were very pleased with the product.