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Husted Hall Exterior Rehabilitation
Albany, New York
University at Albany, Downtown Campus

Husted Hall is one of six academic buildings constructed in the early 1900s on the Downtown Campus. architecture+ completed several renovation projects on this campus, all of which were performed in consultation with the staff of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Office (OPRHP).

The Campus’ academic buildings have extensive classical detailing that is integral to the image and character of the University. Preservation and restoration of historic architectural features are critical components of long term campus stewardship. An evaluation of the exterior envelope of Husted Hall identified areas of distress and deterioration of many of its trim components, especially the terracotta components at the roof cornice level and architrave and pediment of the primary entry temple front. These terracotta elements had been subject to significant amounts of moisture related degradation primarily attributable to the detailing and component assembly that allowed for significant amounts of water to penetrate these systems and damage the terracotta through freeze/thaw action.

This deterioration was leading to failures that threatened the safety of pedestrians below. This project was undertaken to remove and replace these deteriorating terracotta elements while protecting and stabilizing adjacent terracotta components.

The project team worked together to develop potential solutions and experimented with replacement materials. Ultimately, glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) was selected. The selection of GFRC and the use of molds made directly from original terracotta elements was creative and appropriate for the project and was supported by New York State OPRHP. The design and construction of the GFRC elements was performed in a manner that enhances the appearance, accuracy of detail, longevity, and safety of new components and adjacent original elements. The end result matches color, texture, details, profiles, and layout of the original building elements.

Award
Merit Award, Historic Preservation, AIA, Eastern New York Chapter, 2013

"The restoration of the existing historical trim was structured in a seamless manner merging the existing cast terracotta with the new GFRC. The use of a more modern material to create a classic detail along with a longer life span proves the dedication taken in research and technology."

Eastern New York AIA 2013 Design Awards Jury

The human side of architecture