Park Chelsea Apartments
Park Chelsea Apartments
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The 13-story 600,000 square-foot high-rise residential development, known as Park Chelsea, is located in DC’s Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. The building brings 429 new residences to New Jersey Avenue, a major corridor that extends from the Capitol Building to the Anacostia River. Its architectural character incorporates the memory of the original industrial neighborhood in which it lives.
Building upon Washington DC’s rich masonry tradition, Park Chelsea’s imaginative use of brick integrates contemporary details into an imposing, muscular facade. The layering of curved and straight walls adds intrigue, while the building’s rich color adds dimension and character, changing according to the sunlight throughout day.
“The brick we chose has a fine mix of color specks – like the pointillist paintings of George Seurat. This results in the brick varying in color depending on the time of day and by season. That’s because the mix of wavelengths in sunlight is variable as the name – Golden Dawn so accurately implies. Visiting the Hanley Plant for this project - as we have in the past – reminded us yet again of the high level of artistry the brick industry’s ceramists possess...as always, our expectations have been both high and - successfully met.” – Philip A. Esocoff, FAIA (now Residential Practice Area Leader at Gensler).
The diversified product line from Glen-Gery enabled the architects to select masonry in three colors, three sizes and nearly four dozen shapes. Through the use of a bonding pattern with alternating courses of 4x16’s (Saxon and Titan) and 4x8’s (Econo), the brickwork is similar to traditional brickwork bonding patterns. The use of larger bricks, matching mortar, and V struck joints, create a higher proportion of brick to mortar than typical of most modern masonry facades. The tight V joint also creates a fine shadow line, allowing each brick to be seen, yet does not distract from the continuity of the buildings curved surfaces.
The curves of the building are achieved through the use of a few special shapes and the careful layout of the 4x8’s and 4x16’s on a radius that allows the use of a standard brick to achieve the desired result. Wrapping the brick veneer around the free ends of the balconies implies this cavity wall system is the thickness of a multi-width masonry facade. Park Chelsea’s overall impression is made substantial by this tailoring of the wall terminations, like lapels on a suit coat.
Park Chelsea’s towers feature a rooftop pool and lounge/grilling area, dog exercise area and community gardens surrounded by three types of brick: Bermuda Blue (G391) glazed brick, Toledo Grey (S75) and Golden Dawn (S27-28).
Circa Central Park
Circa Central Park
New York, NY
Brick breakdown • 100,000 norman size klaycoats
Products • Dark blend: K11-9053 & K12-3008 • Light blend: K08-6008, K12-3009 & K12-3010
View Gallery Images of Circa Central Park
Circa Central Park is an 11-story mixed-use building with 38 one-to-five bedroom luxury residences and an additional 10 units that are designated as affordable housing. Located on a prominent site on Frederick Douglass Circle in Upper Manhattan, Circa offers modern, indoor-outdoor living with sweeping views of Central Park.
The building’s curved geometry is inspired by its cornerstone site. Tiered arcs of banded glass gradually set back and peel open, shifting orientation from the roundabout toward the park.
The façade—an abstract geometric composition of curves and colored fins—seeks a performative balance of panoramic views, privacy, and solar control within the residences.
The design team selected brick to create a specific narrative of what this building wants to say about a place, in particular, the context of Harlem and surrounding late 1880s architectural styles.
Glen-Gery brick was chosen due to its wide range of color and brick options available. This allowed the design team to tailor the design in a singular way that enhances the overall building aesthetic. The building is an architectural essay in arcs and lines–and the design of each unit reflects that. On the park side, a progressive stepping of arced setbacks provide multiple terraces, park views from the building’s north wing and a graceful form that will be the focal point for the circle.
The building is a series of terraces that arc off of the curve and slowly peel away from the form, giving way to a series of penthouses overlooking the park. The design team was able to meld preoccupations of sustainability with great views of park by using the curve of the building to its advantage.
A series of fins on westward-facing glass optimize Central Park views and block out the western glare and heat. The design team took an opportunity with the fins to make a colorful expression. On the park side, the fins are green and from the city side, they are a burnt orange color.
The building occupies a remarkably privileged location on the northwest corner of Central Park. Like its sibling, Columbus Circle, Frederick Douglas Circle forms a monumental entry fitting New York’s most iconic park. The building’s confident contemporary design conforms to the contours of the circle, hence “Circa”.
Children's Hospital of Michigan
Children's Hospital of Michigan
Brick breakdown • 86,156 brick in three sizes
Products • Dark Blue (G14-1432A), Blue Bonnet (G14-1433), Forest Green (G14-1434A), Mustard (G06-4057), Nikki Red (G14-1339), Orange (G14-1359) and Lime (G14-1375)
View Gallery Images of the Children's Hospital of Michigan
Resembling a giant toy within an existing drab commercial suburban context, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan provides a welcoming environment for both children and their families while serving as a visual icon in the surrounding community. As a result, the building has become a positive influence on the planning of future projects as well as a recognizable symbol of healthcare excellence in the region.
The playful composition identifies the primary service functions and support spaces within the main three-story blue block, the two-story yellow block denotes the main entrance lobby and the single-story red block identifies the emergency entrance and associated functions. These simple moves of color, geometry and scale create a welcoming memorable image while providing a necessary visual way-finding tool for the anxious parent as they arrive with their ill child.
“We wanted a number of bright colors and textures to capture the imagination of children and Glen-Gery had the products to turn our design vision into reality. We started with the colored pencils used in the original design sketches and Glen-Gery matched the design intent perfectly. Furthermore, they were able to deliver their material to the site to meet the demanding fast track schedule and within the allocated budget.” – Arthur Smith, FAIA, LEED AP BD + C, Harley Ellis Devereaux Architects (HED)
The masonry was a perfect material choice due to the variety of color, texture and scale. The blue box is comprised of only utility brick to provide color variations within an uniform texture. Conversely, the yellow entrance and red emergency boxes employ one solid color each that are comprised of norman units with bands of custom utility units to create a variation of texture. This small scale detail was intentionally incorporated to provide surprise and delight to the children patients of this facility.
From the prominent playful exterior design through the friendly and welcoming interior planning and design, a child-focused environment is created just for kids and their unique needs. Color, materiality, detailing, spacial organization and lighting reinforce the concept of creating a transformational experience for children with special medical needs that appears more suited as a big toy than a medical facility.
The use of simple color for these basic functions creates a fun memorable image not found in healthcare design while establishing a powerful branded image. Seen as an animated visual beacon at night along a mostly dark stretch of road, during the day, the glass throughout the building is a colorful composition that not only coordinates with the brick masonry but brings the interior environment to life with a kaleidoscope of color, lighting and pattern creating a vibrant healing environment that nourishes the human spirit.
Central Fire Station
Central Fire Station
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Brick breakdown • 99,110 facebrick and 20,670 false-joint header shapes
Products • Merlot Full Range
View Gallery Images of the Central Fire Station
On June 13, 2008, flood waters crested in Cedar Rapids at 31.12 feet, 19.12 feet above flood stage, inundating the Central Fire Station with 11 feet of water. The building was declared a total loss.
A new 67,140 square foot Central Fire Station was constructed with two-stories above grade and one below. It has eight apparatus bays, seven of which are drive-through. The first floor is occupied by the firefighters and contains seventeen dorm rooms, weight and cardio rooms, kitchen and dining room, day room and library. The administration occupies the second floor with offices, conference rooms and an emergency operations center. The basement houses parking for the staff vehicles, mechanical and storage spaces. A wing on the end of the apparatus bay contains training, storage and support spaces for the firefighters.
Glen-Gery brick was selected as the primary cladding material in an effort to pay homage to the original Central Fire Station, a masonry structure that served for nearly 70 years, from 1917-1985, and later as the city’s Science Station until the 2008 flood. Selecting brick from the Glen-Gery Marseilles Plant meant not only was the product selected going to be beautiful, but it was also mined and fired within the LEED Certification requirements, which contributed to this building receiving LEED Platinum Certification!
The expansive deep red brick building gives the city a landmark at a busy city block on the main avenue.
The Fire Department stated these requirements for the design of the new fire station: “Built of durable and maintainable materials, achieve LEED Platinum Certification, and act as a reminder of the proud history of the Cedar Rapids Fire Department.” And it did just that! The building achieved LEED Platinum Certification, and at the time of writing it is the largest fire station in the United States to achieve LEED Platinum Certification.
This project is a shining example of what happens when an architect’s vision comes together with quality workmanship and great materials!
Briarwood Elementary School Prairie Village, Kansas
This project is two blends: Dark Grey is a 3-way blend of Norman Klaycoat. The Light Grey blend is a 3-way blend of Norman S56 Oyster Grey, S72 Smoky Quartz, and S181 Dolomite Grey.
Architect • Hollis + Miller Architects
Mason Contractor • D & D Masonry
General Contractor • JE Dunn
Distributor • Glen-Gery Kansas City Masonry Supply Center
Brick Breakdown • 126,500 Norman Size Brick
Products • Blend 1: Custom Klaycoat colors (K12-3000, K12-3008, K11-9053) Blend 2: Oyster Grey (S56), Smokey Quartz (S72), Dolomite Grey (S181)
View Gallery Images of Briarwood Elementary School
Originally constructed in 1960, Briarwood Elementary maintained its neighborhood school image well into the 21st century. Many decades and two additions later, the sprawling footprint of the building could not keep up with a growing enrollment. The design team was tasked with designing a replacement school on the same site, while improving the parent drop-off route, providing a dedicated bus lane and increasing on-site parking. Additionally, the team had to maintain a proper neighborhood context to the smaller scale neighboring houses.
The land-locked school required a complete building demolition in order to erect a new two-story facility that could effectively accommodate the growing enrollment and other school needs.
Because of its neighborhood context, Briarwood Elementary needed help minimizing its near 40’ tall presence of the classroom wing. Though the site has a natural depression from the nearby houses, norman size Glen-Gery brick were selected to help elongate the overall form rather than help elevate it.
Additionally, to add some relief on the building, every fourth course was stepped in to help further accentuate the horizontal rather than the vertical on the classroom wing. With many schools having the stereotype of red brick buildings (in addition to not many adjacent houses being red brick) the design team selected a light grey 3-way blend and a dark grey klaycoat 3-way blend. The level at which the blends change on the classroom wing is 9’-4” which represents the elevation of the eaves of the former Briarwood Elementary.
The district had an established history of success using Glen-Gery brick on multiple buildings over the years and insisted the use of Glen-Gery products again to maintain success and consistency amongst the district - a decision that did not disappoint.
While the new facility is within 3% of the same total square foot size of the former facility, the usable space to hallway ratio was significantly improved thus making the new facility better equipped for the growing enrollment than the former facility. The compact footprint and approach to traditional application of space went a long way into helping the project come in on time and on budget.