Phoenix Building sidewalk after restoration

The Phoenix Companies Headquarters

Location Hartford, CT

Category Commercial

Plaza, Garage, and Pedestrian Bridge Investigations and Rehabilitation

Known in Hartford as the “Boat Building,” the Phoenix Companies headquarters is the world’s first two-sided building. Designed by Harrison and Abramovitz, the landmark building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, opened in 1963. The building was a key component in the renewal of Hartford’s central business district and in the creation of the adjacent Constitution Plaza. The 13-story glass tower rests on a multi-level parking garage and plaza, which is connected via a system of pedestrian bridges to Constitution Plaza, Riverfront Plaza, and Travelers Plaza to form Hartford’s signature terraced corporate center.

Phoenix Life Insurance Company retained Hoffmann Architects + Engineers to conduct an investigation into the condition of the plaza, where excessive movement of the paving system had caused the pavement to heave and perimeter railings and bollard lighting to become damaged. Hoffmann concluded that poor subsurface drainage, insufficient expansion control provisions, and age-related deterioration necessitated complete rehabilitation of the existing plaza.

Following the investigation, Hoffmann provided conceptual design for renovation of the upper plaza. Once the design was finalized, Hoffmann provided architectural and engineering services for the plaza renovation, including construction documents and contract administration. The scope of work included subsurface drainage and waterproofing rehabilitation, planter and site furniture redesign, lighting and irrigation system reconfiguration, glass guard rail restoration, and paving system replacement. The rehabilitated upper plaza provides a stable, attractive, and functional backdrop for the Modern landmark building.

In addition to the plaza reconstruction, Hoffmann also provided professional services for investigation and rehabilitation of the bi-level garage and State Street pedestrian bridge. Designed by Edwards & Hjorth Structural Engineers and built in 1962, the State Street Bridge is as integral to the aesthetic of the Hartford corporate center as are the adjacent plazas and offices. To restore the aging bridge, Hoffmann designed and administered reconstruction of the paving and drainage systems. At the garage, our architects and engineers conducted an extensive evaluation, including concrete sampling and analysis, then developed and oversaw a program of rehabilitation to improve drainage and waterproofing, address deteriorated sealant joints, and restore and protect concrete decks.