FLB architecture & planning, Inc.
19 Silver Lane, East Hartford, CT 06118
Total Square Feet: 25,100
Construction Period: Jan 2002 to June 2002
General Contractor: Fortunato Construction Group, Inc. - 99 Old Brickyard Lane, #10, Kensington, CT 06037
Structural Engineer: Hallisey Engineering Associates, Inc. - 78 Beaver Road, Wethersfield, CT 06109
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: John Hoidge & Associates
- 111 Wright Road, Canton, CT 06019
Landscape Architect: F.A. Hesketh Associates, Inc. - 6 Creamery Brook, E. Granby, CT 06026
When the owner of the property located at the confluence of Interstate Route 91, Route 3 and Route 2 decided to develop the parcel, his concern was to create a building program that provided an attractive site compatible with other properties developed in the area. The property was already approved for commercial development and it was surrounded by existing similar development. While both the local municipality and the owner wanted to create an engaging retail environment, they needed to deal with the challenge of resolving the prototypical designs of the national retailers with the desire of the municipality to create an image commensurate with surrounding development.
FLB Architecture established a building facade that included some of the materials that were present in surrounding development and translated those into the space and configuration required by Staples. Throughout the entire design process, the prototypical merchandising floor plan had to be maintained including minimum dimensions, interior fixture layout, etc. Furthermore, the town wanted the tenant to eliminate one of the loading docks on the building to minimize the visual impact to surrounding uses. The site is located centrally to public roads and other developments. This resulted in the entire perimeter of the building being highly visible to the public — a situation that was not ignored by the owner or the municipality.
The building design included the use of a brick facade and arches, piers, and large lintel spans. Because of the high visibility, the municipality asked that all the facades contain large expanses of window areas. This was in contradiction to the desire of the tenant to use the perimeter wall for rack storage and product display. The design solution was the creation of more than a dozen “faux” storefront windows that had the appearance of windows from the exterior and provided for a solid wall surface on the interior. The openings were all indirectly illuminated so that the appearance of full windows was achieved even at night when the store was open.
The building is a steel-framed structure with metal stud back up partitions and brick veneer. EIFS trim was limited to a cornice at the top of the wall that was applied over the brick veneer. The basic roof structure is a single-ply EPDM roof. Because the roof area is highly visible from the adjacent highways which are elevated above the site, the municipality wanted to be sure that the mechanical equipment on the roof would not be visible to passing motorists. The rooftop units were relocated on the roof to a central location and the entire mechanical area (which occupied two full structural bays) was enclosed in a screen wall that was compatible in design with the remainder of the building.
The tenants normal color scheme is a basic white building with red accents including bands and roof elements. With the brick veneer this was not possible. Therefore, other elements were added that achieved the desired identifying color combinations including a red standing seam roof over the front arcade and red accent tiles inlaid into the brick facade. The use of the red tiles was also extended to be an integral part of the sign package for the building which combined the red tiles and white channel letters to achieve the same contrasting effect that the tenant planned to achieve through their conventional sign program.
DIV 07: EPDM: Carlisle Syntec; EIFS: Dryvit; Metal: ATAS International.
DIV 08: Entrances & Storefronts: Kawneer.
DIV 09: VCT: Armstrong.