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Office & Mixed-Use

Metal wall panels convey motion

Jim and Anne Davis, owners of New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., requested a design for their company's headquarters building in Boston that communicated speed, motion and high performance. The 130-foot-tall, 500-foot-long, 100-footwide building has 15-foot stories. It is clad with a variety of metal wall panels.

Mark Sardegna, AIA, LEED AP, is vice president at Elkus Manfredi Architects. "It's open, it has no walls and very high ceilings," Sardegna says. "It was inspired by the company's shoe factory [in Lawrence, Mass.]. Jim Davis says he wanted a building shaped like a mill and that's what he got."

Sardegna says the building is near the Massachusetts Turnpike. "About a quarter-million people drive by it daily, about 100 feet away and then there are all the trains coming in from New York," he says. "There's a lot of motion going on outside and a lot of motion going on inside."

Karas and Karas Glass Co. Inc. installed 13,547 square feet of Morin Corp.'s O-24 exposed fastener metal wall panels on the exterior, and, on a two-story podium, 6,426 square feet of Morin's MX 1.0 concealed fastener metal wall panels and 662 square feet of Morin's X-12 concealed fastener metal wall panels. Additionally, Karas and Karas Glass installed 3,107 square feet Morin's O-24 crimp-curved panels on a penthouse.

Steve Gorski, project manager at Karas and Karas Glass, says the installation went well. "The biggest challenge was waiting for the snow to melt," Gorski says. "It took a long time for the 6 or 7 feet of snow to melt on the roof."

The 300,000-square-foot project is designed to attain LEED Platinum certification. It was completed in November 2015.

Architect: Elkus Manfredi Architects, Boston
Installer: Karas and Karas Glass Co. Inc., Boston
Metal wall panels: Morin Corp., a Kingspan Group company, Bristol, Conn.,