Boston Valley Terra Cotta is the leader in the production of custom terra cotta façades. In this blog we discuss four projects where the design utilizes terra cotta in new and complex ways.
To realize our client’s vision, Boston Valley works with architects, designers and building professionals early in the design process to help them to understand how to use the material to their advantage. Advancements in technology have brought the production and design of terra cotta facades to new heights in the past decade. These innovations have improved Boston Valley’s ability to fabricate new, unique profiles using traditional methods of ceramic production highlighted in these projects:
University of Arizona – Health and Sciences Innovation Building
The Health and Sciences Innovation Building is a recent example of Boston Valley’s capacity to produce custom facades and attachment systems. Working with Kovach, we were able to develop a manufacturing technique that takes a typical sunshade and twists it gradually over several panels. The unique twisted terra cotta louvers on The Health and Sciences Innovation Building is a fresh take on the TerraClad® Sunshade designed by CO Architects. The signature 90° rotation on the building’s exterior disrupts our expectation of a typical sunshade panel system creating a unique visual rhythm.
John and Mable Ringling Museum — Center for Asian Art
The John and Mable Ringling Museum — Center for Asian Art is the quintessential custom profile manufactured by Boston Valley. The building is a testament to digital technologies and their impact on traditional materials and engineering. Machado Silvetti Architects designed the “Jewel-Box” extension of the Ringling Museum to be clad in a complex, interlocking system of terra cotta units.
These terra cotta panels utilized the RAM Press forming method to create the several different units used in the design. Towards the top of the structure, special window frames are integrated into the façade to bring light into the upper classrooms. Custom designed corner units needed to be engineered to accommodate the interaction between the planes of the building. With both small and large curved TerraClad® panels, the entire building becomes a hypnotizing pattern of light and shadow.
Upper East Side Townhouse
Michael K Chen Architecture’s stunning renovation of a classic New York brownstone is a unique project that utilizes three different styles of terra cotta rainscreens. The Upper East Side Townhouse has two unique exterior terra cotta walls and one on the interior of the building. The rainscreen panels in this project differ from the outer restoration on the front elevation, which is a classic terra cotta masonry restoration.
The multifaceted terra cotta wall on the exterior utilizes white extruded forms with varying levels of depth. Toward the outer part of either side of the wall the panels increase in depth, and as the panels grow closer to the center they recede in depth. The three-dimensional terra cotta wall in the exterior was designed to house plants in a vertical garden façade system. MCKA used digital rendering to create the unique geometry of the building forms that bring the classic New York brownstone into a more contemporary aesthetic with its application of terra cotta.
FDNY Fire Rescue 2
FDNY Fire Rescue 2 is a building designed by Studio Gang as a firehouse and training facility in Brooklyn, NY to simulate a variety of emergency situations. The concrete building is two stories tall and features TerraClad® rainscreen manufactured by Boston Valley. The window surrounds for FDNY Fire Rescue 2 act as a striking visual element, clearly communicating the building’s purpose to the community. The terra cotta panels are set around openings in the building and feature glazes in three distinct shades of red. The design of FDNY is comprised of many extruded panels that have been engineered to come together into a signature interlocking diagonal pattern.