Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Custom decorative concrete developed by Aggregate Industries brings hockey imagery to life in sidewalk and square pavements at the Boston Bruins practice facility (Warrior Ice Arena)

1. Aggregate Industries is a multi-site concrete manufacturer. One of their plants is on Fort Totten Drive NE in Washington, DC, on the west of the CSX Metropolitan Branch railroad/eastern leg of the Metrorail Red Line.

2. I believe in utilizing opportunities for urban design treatments, public art, and aesthetics presented by "transportation infrastructure," in this case concrete for sidewalks and plazas, to promote placemaking and atractive public spaces. See "Ricardo Burle Marx streetscape treatments."

3.  WRT the project discussed below, the practice facility for the Boston Bruins hockey team, the Warrior Ice Arena ("Bruins unveil dazzling Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton," Boston Globe), is part of a mixed use development called Boston Landing in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston.

Boston Landing will include a new MBTA commuter rail station, office and residential buildings, and retail.  The Ice Arena complex includes other athletic facilities including a gym, indoor track, and an outdoor park. The Boston Celtics basketball team will also be building their practice facility in the development ("Celtics break ground on new practice facility," BG).

The athletic shoe manufacturer New Balance (also a sponsor of the Hubway Bicycle Sharing system) has their headquarters at Boston Landing ("New Balance opens new world headquarters at Boston Landing," BG).  The development agreement includes NB's title sponsorship of the arena, and partial funding for the rail station.  They've also opened a flagship/concept store featuring their products.

From a press release from Aggregate Industries and LafargeHolcim:

When the Warrior Ice Arena was built, the architect wanted to bring the imagery of hockey from the interior to the exterior of the complex. With a landmark 68-foot-high hockey stick, the new 75,000-square-foot practice complex of the Boston Bruins hockey team includes an ice rink with seating for 660 fans, a lobby featuring displays of Bruins accomplishments, a modern locker suite and team lounge and expansive training and weight rooms. Aggregate Industries US (AIUS), a subsidiary of LafargeHolcim Ltd., designed and developed the product that allowed the vision to come to life.

To achieve the aesthetic and LEED-certification goals of the project, AIUS created custom-designed mixes of its Artevia® brand of decorative concretes that contained unique colors, aggregates and textures, as well as treatments to reduce the urban heat island effect.

The Warrior Ice Arena hardscape was awarded the Scofield Decorative Concrete Award during the 2017 World of Concrete show in Las Vegas, Nevada for its creative and sustainable sidewalks and courtyards.

“We’re proud to have played a part of this project which, for Boston, is closely tied to our passion for sports,” said René Marais, Ready Mix sales manager for the Northeast Region of Aggregate Industries US. “The hockey imagery concepts for the arena’s main entrance were very detailed and creative. For example, the curvature lines by the hockey stick reflect the lines a player makes when he cuts hard on the ice, and the additional exposed white stones illustrate ice shavings kicked over by the skating blade.”

To achieve the design goals for the hardscape, AIUS developed Artevia® Color and Artevia® Exposed samples with white and gray cement. The specialized concrete mix incorporated an integral coloring admixture from L. M. Scofield Company to create vibrant solar-reflective colors that conform to LEED 2009 requirements for reducing the urban heat island effect.

This cool pavement technology helps keep concrete temperatures lower and provides a high solar reflective index value that qualifies the Warrior Ice Arena for a credit under the sustainable sites section of LEED.

AIUS also collaborated with Massachusetts-based Triad Associates, Inc. to produce mockup panels to ensure alignment with the design the customer intended. Due to uniform aesthetics and consistency, the finished decorative hardscape included Artevia® Color and Artevia® Exposed aggregate concretes, which combined design flexibility and strong visual appeal with low maintenance and durability. The Artevia® Color concrete, with onyx black and custom gray alternating strips, was placed at street level, while the Artevia® Exposed concrete, with colored stones and glass, was used for the elevated 2,000-square-foot courtyard.

“The vibrant color and textured effects of our Artevia® concrete enabled the architects to create visually stimulating and architecturally exceptional hardscape that is built to last,” commented Marais.

“All this landscaping creativity helps make the Warrior Ice Arena a unique, desirable and a pleasant place to visit and watch Boston Bruins hockey.”

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