The new office building at 1200 Intrepid Ave., in the Philadelphia Navy Yard Corporate Center is a sight to behold, described by some as gravity defying in that parts of the structure are designed to replicate the shape of a ship's hull, narrow at the bottom and wide at the top.
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Type of Precast: Precast architectural cladding
Size: 100,000 sq. ft., 22,500 sq. ft. precast architectural cladding
When Speed Matters, Make It Architectural Precast
Working with a leading trucking logistics firm Total Quality Logistics (TQL), developers of the Offices at Ivy Pointe near Cincinnati, Ohio wanted to accommodate the need for the new headquarters building with high visibility in short order. Knowing that precast has a reputation for compressing construction schedules and delivering quality on similar projects, the design team gave High Concrete Group the nod to build the skin of the project.
The first building in a new office park, the new headquarters can be seen from a nearby interstate where it stands out to visitors and prospective employees, and potential future office park tenants. To fast track the building, the owners chose a design build approach.
"As project designer, selecting architectural precast for the envelope was based on several factors," says project architect Karol L. Laskowski,RA, NCARB and principal with PDT Architects. "Cost, speed and quality of the product all played an important part in the decision," he says. "Having just completed the Headquarters for Cincinnati United Contractors Developer/General Contractor, it was easy to show TQL that precast would be our choice in executing the approved design solution for their Headquarters. With the experience of the design team and High Concrete Group, we were successful in meeting the team's expectations and imposed deadlines."
The building is predominately thin brick-clad with light sandblasted buff-colored precast details framing the spandrels. The precast provides a face-sealed curtainwall that provides effective moisture control that typical rain screen construction cannot. The thin brick is finished with a rake joint. Additional precast details include a 2-1/2’ projection below the parapet to lend a dramatic shadowline. The parapets themselves are at a height of 42” over the roofline to allow maintenance and other personnel to work on the roof without tying off.
The design made repeated use of a few stacked panel designs, allowing maximum economy. L-shaped thin bricks wrapped around window returns as would a full depth brick course. Formliner created a stone look formliner to the columns at the main entrance to add to the feeling of solidity. Reveals add drama and break up the mass to create a human scale.
On the roof a barrel vaulted ceiling covers a mechanical house. The cladding is tied back to the steel frame of the building; inside the walls are insulated and finished with drywall. Outside, the grounds include a basketball court with masonry piers that echo the brick theme of the main building.