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  Renaissance Park Garage, Northeastern University, Page 21Renaissance Park Garage, Northeastern University
Architect 
Stull & lee, Inc. 
38 Chauncy Street, #1100 Boston, MA 02111


Location: 
Boston, Massachusetts
Total Square Feet: 301,000
Construction Period: Aug 1999 to Oct 2000

Construction Team
General Contractor: Turner Construction Company - 2 Seaport Lane, Boston, MA 02210
Structural Engineer: Desman Associates - 42 Washington St., #210, Wellesly Hills, MA 02481
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Cosentini Associates - 1 Broadway Street, Cambridge, MA 02142
Landscape Architect: Pressley Associates - 432 Columbia Street, Cambridge, MA 02141
Cost Estimator: Turner Construction Company - 2 Seaport Lane, Boston, MA 02210


Renaissance Park Garage is a 10-level, 950-car precast concrete, open-parking structure designed for Northeastern University in the city of Boston. The University commissioned the construction of the garage to replace campus surface parking that was being converted for a new dormitory and academic building construction. The structure occupies a prominent site as part of a mixed-use development that has become the gateway to the southern edge of the urban campus. The garage also abuts a primary intermodal transit point in the city, and, as a result, is viewed continuously by the general public. 

The treatment of the two principal elevations varied significantly. The south elevation facing the adjacent neighborhood of the city is where one enters the building by automobile or on foot. This facade relates to the surrounding, more traditional masonry vocabulary with punched openings in the spandrels and cast-in masonry tile at the base panels closer to the pedestrian level. This treatment also projects a stronger institutional message than the traditional precast garage spandrel treatment. Red sand was added to the gray concrete mix to soften the normally stark appearance of concrete and to provide a complimentary hue to the color of the masonry tiles. An inset zone of bands of aluminum panel and grilles marks the vehicular entry area on the facade. This metallic zone rises to meet the aluminum louver cornice zone. Glazed stair and elevator towers anchor each end of the facade. In addition to increasing security, their transparency adds animation, light, and color, particularly in the evening hours.

The north elevation faces the transit station and the university campus shares a dialogue with the strong horizontal language of the transitway. To maximize free area requirements for ventilation, a substantial portion of this elevation consists of bands of aluminum panels and grilles similar to the south elevation. Where the facade abuts the transit station shed structure, the structural line shifts away; the floors and facade panels are cantilevered out to maintain a consistent facade line.

The ends of the facade are rendered by more traditional spandrels, which have been sandblasted and capped by a bold red-painted pipe rail guard treatment. These spandrels turn the corners and constitute the end elevations of the structure. The reveal patterns in the spandrels carry around the building, tying the four facades together as well as the mullion pattern in the stair curtainwalls. At the west end of the building nearest the landmark transit station entry, a curving 30-foot radius spandrel was used to maximize the use of the property while allowing the building to approach the iconic entry gracefully. The revenue also suggests externally the movement of vehicles inside the structure. 

This distinctive garage structure was achieved through a focus on detail and coordination among all parties involved. The resulting building has become a dramatic statement on the skyline and is admired by its owners for its efficiency of operation and maintenance by the community at large for its overall aesthetic.

Manufacturers/Suppliers
Exterior Walls - Precast: Unistress; Glass: Guardian Glass; Curtainwall: United States Aluminum; Composite Metal Panels: Alcoa; Louvers: Construction Specialties.
Floors - Precast: Unistress.
Interior Walls - Paint: Sherwin Williams; High Performance Coating: Tnemec.
Elevators - Thyssen Dover.
 


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