The Pierce Project in Downtown San JoseJul 20 2016 · 0 comments · Mixed-Use, NISHKIAN MENNINGER, Residential, Wood Frame ·0
The Pierce is a new landmark structure bringing 232 luxury apartment and 8,730 square feet of retail space to San Jose’s South of First Area (SoFA) district. Project owner, Sares Regis, together with Steinberg Architects envision that this project will help to revitalize the area and become the gateway to downtown San Jose. In 2014, The Silicon Valley Business Journal awarded The Pierce “Best Mixed-Use Project.”
Standing seven stories tall – five stories of wood framing over a two-story concrete podium – The Pierce is an exceptional project from an engineering standpoint, as well. In order to maximize exterior window openings and allow for offset exterior walls, the wood frame portion of the building was designed using rigid diaphragm analysis. Traditional wood frame design uses flexible diaphragm analysis where lateral forces are distributed evenly between the short exterior shear walls and the long interior corridor walls. Using a rigid diaphragm approach, however, Nishkian Menninger was able to eliminate the need for exterior shear walls, instead distributing the lateral forces to the longer and more effective corridor and unit separation walls. Having been approved by the San Jose building department, the Nishkian offices are now applying this technique to other multi-unit residential buildings throughout the Bay Area.
Five levels of wood framing also bumped the superstructure into construction type IIIA, requiring all exterior walls to be noncombustible. To achieve this, exterior assemblies were constructed with fire-retardant treated lumber. Extensive coordination and a thorough review of materials and treatment products were required to ensure that fire-rating and pressure-treatment requirements were appropriately met.
The Pierce will also be home to a large art installation, sponsored by San Jose’s Office of Cultural Affairs’ Public Art department. In addition to roof davits for window washing and equipment maintenance that are typically provided for these types of structures, Nishkian Menninger worked with artist Brian Brush to design additional roof davit supports for the art installation which will feature thousands of color-changing LED lights forming a cloud-like shape over the south end of the roof. Click on the link to check out Brian Brush’s Voxel Cloud illuminated art form.
The Pierce pushed the limits of how we usually define and design a wood-over-concrete podium project. However, with innovative structural engineering and close collaboration with the owner, architect, the rest of the design team, and Clark Construction, The Pierce is set to open in September 2016 as a landmark building in an up-and-coming area of downtown San Jose and has paved the way for similarly creative design of other structures throughout the Bay Area.