Category: Municipal
Location: Bridgewater, NJ
Size: 60000 sq. ft.
Masonry Used:120,000 Brick, 500 Prairie Stone
Submitted by: USA Architects, Planners + Interior Designers

Project Description

In 500 words or less, explain the project and its unique use of masonry materials and techniques. : The new Bridgewater Municipal Complex began construction in the summer of 2007 and was completed in the Spring of 2010.

After extensive studies and many public meetings, the design professionals, the Township Administration, and the residents agreed unanimously to preserve the existing building, the original Green Knoll School, as part of the new complex. The existing building carried strong sentimental value to the residents and a traditional, aged appearance was favored as a basis for the new Municipal Complex design.

The existing building portion of the complex totals roughly 24,000 square feet. The original 1930's exterior construction remains, which is composed of 3 and 4 wythes of brick with intricate banding over a concrete base, cast stone details, wood roof trusses, and a slate roof. The brick is favored as it portrays stability and long lasting strength.The new addition, totaling roughly 36,000 square feet, located directly adjacent to the 'back' of the existing building, has been constructed similarly on the outside, so that the skin may appear a match to the existing building. The entire building perimeter is constructed of a 40”-48” base of high density pre-finished masonry units, also known as 'Prairie Stone'. This Prairie Stone resembles the concrete base on the existing building, which is evident where the two buildings join. The Prairie Stone also continues above the base, at piers around the building, and is also the sole material used at each of the 3 main entries to the building - The Police, The Administration, and the Court Rooms.

The Prairie Stone at each entry, used in conjunction with curtain walls, provide strong yet pleasant entrances. The remainder of the construction is composed of common brick, which matches the brick on the existing building. Many long hours were spent selecting the ideal brick for this application. Brick manufacturing has changed volumes in the nearly 75 years since the existing building was constructed, making it very challenging to find a brick that could appear seamless where new and old construction met. However, with diligence, we were successful, and many residents and building users have commented on this victory. Detailing of the brick façade takes its cues from the existing building, with intricate banding and quoins at the piers.

As the new addition is completed, the old 'back' of the building has now become the new entry for the public, opening up onto a large open plaza. The plaza is a constructed of concrete pavers, in two sizes and 3 colors. Newcomers will barely be able to recognize the old building from the Plaza, yet the deep rooted traditional presence of the Green Knoll School shall remain, due to the reliability and fusion of masonry from old and new.

Project Participants

Architect / Designer's Name: Mark A. Coan
Company: USA Architects, Planners + Interior Designers
Phone: (908) 722-2300

Structural Engineer' s Name: Mike Miller
Company: O'Donnell & Naccarato
Phone: (610) 807-9833

General Contractor's Name: J. Todd Maklary
Company: Patock Construction
Phone: (732) 747-1078

Masonry Contractor's Name: J. Todd Maklary
Company: Patock Construction
Phone: (732) 747-1078