To expand administrative space at Gillette Stadium, home to the NFL New England Patriots, owners are creating a two-story, 25,000-square-foot addition to the east side of the stadium. In an effort to match the existing façade and fast-track the project, designers chose precast concrete architectural wall panels and other decorative elements for the façade.
The addition will consolidate football operations into one unified area, bringing them together from a variety of current locations, explained Peter Tamm, attorney for developer The Kraft Group. “The goal of these improvements is to unify football-related core operations on a single floor, including scouting and video operations which are currently located on upper levels.” He noted that the construction project would not impact traffic or other existing amenities around the stadium.
The construction timetable was shortened when the city’s planning board agreed the addition qualified as a minor renovation that did not require a long site-plan review. That created a fast-track design that was easily met by precast concrete’s ability to cast components while the site was prepared and steel structural framing was erected. “The precast panels were being cast as the footings were being poured, so they were ready when the site was ready,” says Gerald K. Grassby, sales associate at Strescon Limited, the precaster.
The key challenge for Strescon came in finding a close aesthetic match to the existing precast concrete panels on the stadium, which were fabricated by another supplier when the stadium was originally built. A variety of mock-ups and prototypes were created to find the ideal match. Planter wall curbs also were fabricated in the same finish to complement the addition.
Two sizes of panels were cast, consisting of 36 14-inch base panels, encompassing 1,517 square feet, for use on larger areas, and 11 8-inch base panels, covering 1,851 square feet, for use around curtain wall. The panels were erected quickly, allowing interior trades to move inside and begin work faster. The panels were erected in early May 2014, with occupancy expected in July.