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April 13, 2017
The Connecticut Building Congress recently recognized the Turner team that managed the redevelopment of Westport’s Bedford Square with a Project Team Award.
“The project included updating and expanding the historic Bedford Mansion and Firehouse—both built in the early 1920s” explained Mike DiNallo, project executive. “Together, the buildings serve as a gateway to the downtown area and we are excited that they’re now home to a variety of mixed-use facilities for the community, from private homes to much-needed public parking.”
In addition to developing open-plan retail space, high-end residences, restaurants—and of course underground parking—the Turner-led team restored sections of historic façade, expanded sidewalks and adjacent landscaping, and worked on the multiple passageways and paths from each prominent street to Bedford Square’s central public courtyard – a wonderful amenity for people looking to meet and gather downtown.
“The project was 10 years in the making, in part due to external factors like the economy, but also due to a range of unique challenges presented by the project itself,” added Mike Farrell, project manager describing a variety of circumstances and needs not often seen all together. He cited working within a tight footprint and a busy downtown location, underpinning, dewatering, rock anchors, hydrostatic slab installation, and bathtub construction for foundations as proud moments of teamwork and problem-solving. “In addition to safely tying in to adjacent structures both new and old, and maximizing efficiency to work within such a tight site, one of our most important tasks was waterproofing,” said Mike. “Hurricane Sandy caused massive flooding of the nearby Saugatuck River, destroying the basements of these historic structures. So as we brought the foundations down below the water table, we also started a continuous dewatering process, and installed flood control barriers and rock anchors to hold down the mat slab foundation.”
The project also boasts a number of green features, particularly in public areas. “Though we built to the lot lines and the project included quite a bit of hardscape, we were also able to create tree-lined sidewalks,” said Mike. “We also put in raised planting beds, green roofs, and terraces, particularly where people walk and gather. And the buildings themselves feature high-performance fixtures, systems, and materials such as high-R value insulation and updated glazing that was carefully designed to match the original.”
Reflecting broadly on the job, and on the team’s recognition, Mark Herter, AIA, senior associate with Centerbrook Architects + Planners was effusive in praising the collaboration and coordination that made it possible. “If not for the strength of the team, the challenges of municipal approvals, economic downturns and the site itself, could have sunk the project. Instead, it’s destined to become the gateway and epicenter of Downtown Westport. I’m incredibly proud to have been a part of this project, and I believe our success speaks for itself."