Perhaps the most impressive part of New London Hall was the combination of textures and custom panel profiles utilized to compliment the historic masonry stone buildings. A mix of honed, sandblasted, machine scored and natural textures was used to replicate the stone’s natural color variation. There were several different profiles, requiring the manufacture of five separate extrusion dies. With small height variations from panel to panel, the TerraClad™ vertical track system required a custom spacing punch for proper installation of the panels. In order to make the appearance of the façade seem natural and less grid-like, careful coordination for the placement of textures and profile variations was required through detailed Boston Valley elevation drawings.
Another challenge the building presented was the size of the modules. The peak at the top of the building features panels that are over 6’ long. A typical TerraClad™ panel is produced in dimensions up to 5’. The increased length is difficult to achieve because the panels have a higher chance of rejection for tolerance issues during the manufacturing process. Nonetheless, due to great care taken by the craftsmen at Boston Valley, the long panels were made successfully.
The jury from the Boston Society of Architects 2013 Design Awards commented that: “This new addition and renovation revitalizes the historic features of an existing building while creating a modern science facility. By further developing the existing site rather than building on a green site, the project protected the campus ecosystem. The proportion and form of the addition emulate the existing granite structure while asserting a contemporary identity with its handsome terra cotta skin.”