Tallest building in Cambridge (for now!)

Posted on April 12th, 2019 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: _MIT Site 4, construction

As of April 2nd, 2019 the MIT Site 4 project was officially the tallest building in Cambridge! Right now the building is at 299′, but will reach 330′ by the end of constrction.

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RISD construction timelapse

Posted on March 29th, 2019 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: _RISD RES HALL, construction

September 2018 through March 2018

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New England’s First Hybrid CLT-Steel Res Hall Structure

Posted on February 13th, 2019 by Katie Faulkner

Posted under: _RISD RES HALL, construction

Image above from Odeh Engineers

NADAAA’s new residence hall project for the Rhode Island School of Design is going up at 60 Waterman. The team celebrated the ‘topping out’ on January 23rd.  Neighbors, friends and the RISD community were invited to sign the final beam before it was hoisted to the 6th floor. In keeping with tradition, a small tree was placed on the beam.  The tree, a gesture to the Scandinavian forest spirits, will remain atop the structure until the building is enclosed. After a string of freezing cold days, the building was resplendent during the ceremony, its golden cross-laminated timber (CLT) deck glowing in a steel frame. More than one person commented that it was a shame that the building could not remain that way.

Most architects are acutely aware of the paradox that in trying to build our best civilization we are among the planet’s greatest producers of waste. Construction garbage accounts for a disturbing percentage of the world’s refuse.  Hence the excitement around the potential of CLT construction.  Made of plies of kiln-dried soft-woods, CLT is poised to make a significant impact to the market in the near term.  It can be cut to size in a factory, shipped, and installed without modification. The biggest financial challenge to using CLT tends to be logistics (e.g. how far is the job from the production facility), and with new plants coming online every few months, that may cease to be a problem.

60 Waterman was designed to take advantage of CLT’s dimensional stability and a maximum truck bed size. Five-ply planks were driven from Canada, 8 feet wide and 50 feet long. Due to the relatively light weight, the manufacturer fit many planks on a truck, so there was minimal strain in getting material to the erection crew. Weighing much less than precast concrete planks, CLT is capable of greater coverage, going up faster using a smaller crane and less fussiness than precast concrete plank. The building structure was complete in less than three weeks. CLT has no camber – it is joined to adjacent planks with a spline.  If the CLT needs to be modified, it can quickly be cut with a chain saw. Try that with concrete.

Using an Integrated Project Delivery, NADAAA worked with Shawmut Construction and subcontractors to coordinate a central utility spine in the corridors. Mechanical feeds and sidewall sprinklers afford maximum ceiling height and flexibility of layout for the bedrooms. Perhaps the most exciting thing about 60 Waterman’s design is the warmth that wood ceilings will bring to the building interior.  That simple gesture is the byproduct of a design process driven to optimize construction time, budget control, and minimize material waste.

Along with the construction partners, NADAAA collaborated closely with structural engineer Odeh Engineers, Inc. to evaluate numerous options for the superstructure. The team ultimately chose the hybrid CLT system due to its inherent sustainability, beauty, and speed of construction. When this building opens in late August, it will be the first hybrid steel-CLT residence hall in New England, although likely not the last.

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Posted on January 7th, 2019 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: _RISD RES HALL, construction

Foundations in and steel going up on the new residence hall!

Photo by Odeh Engineers

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60 Waterman Ground-Breaking

Posted on October 12th, 2018 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: _RISD RES HALL, construction

On October 5th RISD’s new Residence Hall officially broke ground! We are excited to announce we have been working with RISD to design this new addition to the Freshman Quad after having completed the Master Plan for the Quad early last year. More information can be found on RISD’s Campus Master Plan website HERE and more to come soon!

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Views Coming Soon to 515 Euclid!

Posted on July 10th, 2018 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: _The Beacon, construction

A big thanks to Josh Haney at our partner firm DLR Group for these amazing views from the 20th floor of The Beacon project in downtown Cleveland! Construction will be complete early 2019!

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Posted on April 4th, 2018 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: _The Beacon, construction



Posted on December 21st, 2017 by Nicole Sakr

Posted under: _MIT Site 4, construction

Office site visit: December 13, 2017, much going on including slurry walls, seacant piles, LBEs, driven piles, and sheet piling!

individual slurry wall hole

slurry wall system in use

 foundations for tower

elevator pit that will go from ground level retail down to the garage

bracing for E39

E38 stripped down

future skylight at E38



Between Industrial Production and Ergonomics

Posted on October 5th, 2017 by Lisa LaCharité

Posted under: construction, NADLAB, Things We Like

Part of our research examines the relationship between architectural conventions and their engagement with the body. The logic of industrial production permeates these conventions. As industrial production pushes for simplification, optimization, and an adherence to ‘machine’ protocols, the body demands accommodation, customization, and a figural adherence. The design of furniture consequently compromises the body more often than succumbing to costly craft. This furniture-scale intervention proposes a mediated balance between industrial production and its connection to the body. We follow an industrial-style logic for massing and detail assembly while leveraging the organic cabinetry details as an opportunity to better fit the hand and to aestheticize the plywood’s method of construction.

The object consists entirely of marine-grade Baltic birch plywood. We coated each piece with water-soluble polyurethane preserve its light color.

Wooden pegs and grooves connect the pieces to each other, allowing disassembly. While we milled pin holes on the faces of each piece, pin holes on the endgrains had to be hand-drilled with a custom jig.

CNC-milled cabinetry details aestheticize the plywood’s method of construction.

Prototypes test handle ergonomics.

We assembled groups of pieces in the lab and finished assembly on site.

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Dortoir Familial Construction Update

Posted on September 25th, 2017 by Jalisa Joyner

Posted under: construction

The cantilever at Dortoir Familial is taking form!




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