Size: 515,000 SF
Type: Colleges & University
Definition: New
Date Completed: 08/27/2010


Owner - Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT
Architect/Desinger - Centerbrook Architects, Centerbrook, CT
Structural Engineer - Gilsanz, Murray, Steficek, LLP, New York, NY
General Contractor - O & G Industries, Torrington, CT
Masonry Contractor - B.W. Dexter II, Inc., Danielson, CT
Masonry Consultant - International Masonry Institute (IMI), Glastonbury, CT
Masonry Supplier - O & G Industries, Waterbury, CT
Masonry Supplier - Mack Brick Co., Enfield, CT
Masonry Supplier - Redland Brick Inc., South Windsor, CT
Masonry Supplier - Connecticut Valley Block, West Springfiled, MA
Masonry Supplier - Cheney Flashing Co., Trenton, NJ
Landscape Architect - Richter & Cegan Inc., Avon, CT
Precast Supplier - Rex Precast Systems, Cheshire, CT
Precast Arches - B.P.D.L., Canada
Masonry Accessories - American Mason Building Supply, Hartford, CT
Masonry Washdown Sub - Armani Restoration, Hartford, CT

The multi-story Crescent Residence Hall on Quinnipiac University's new York Hill Campus in Hamden, CT is a fascinating masonry project. The 1,200 bed 515,000 sq/ft dormitory is the largest single masonry subcontract awarded in Connecticut with a value in excess of $17 million. The project consists of a nine-story crescent building and five separate two- and three-story residential buildings with CMU walls, face brick and precast exterior together with a central Student Center building with CMU walls, cultured stone and face brick.

The Crescent Residence Hall was by no means a simple brick veneer CMU bearing wall project. The building, as its name suggests, is crescent shaped with a radius of 305'-6". The 5 to 9 story building has over 1 million face brick and more than 1/2 million structural reinforced load-bearing radial CMU walls with exterior radial precast panels, copings, sills, and lintels.

Over twenty different special brick shapes were detailed by the architect and refined by the mason during the shop drawing process producing clean crisp corners of varying angles and sharp shadow lines from projected courses. Special window jamb details, creating a shadow box effect, were detailed and refined by the mason and the architect during several field meetings and mock-ups. A brick garden wall, varying in height from 10' to 20', follows the curve of the building for almost ¼ mile.

Creating a rhythm along this wall are a series of double soldier course arches sprung from granite plinths. The bricks below the arches are inset ¾" creating interesting shadow lines. Constructing these brick arches presented a challenge as there are curves in two different planes. Working with the mason, the architect provided full size CAD drawings so a steel angle could be fabricated for use as a template to construct the arches. Perhaps the greatest challenge facing the team was the 52' wide open section of the building called the Pass-Thru. This open space is spanned by an arch, complicated by the building's radius, comprised of five soldier courses detailed using a concealed lintel system.

After a series of meetings between the architect and the mason reviewing shop drawings revealing a complicated set of details, the mason suggested six sections of precast concrete, three sections with front and back pieces, with thin brick cast into the concrete. To keep the vertical mortar joints aligned, special tapered shapes were created by the mason from full size CAD drawings provided by the architect. The casting of the arch was supervised by the mason, rejecting any thin pieces of brick that were out of tolerance. This simple solution was craned into place and bolted to the cast-in-place concrete structure, blending perfectly with the field brick of the building above. Constant collaboration between the mason and the architect over two years of construction resulted in attention given to every masonry detail and a building we are all proud to have a hand in.