Hanover Pier 4 (100 Pier 4)

The Hanover Pier 4 luxury-apartment building along the South Boston waterfront will feature a variety of sophisticated amenities when it is ready for occupancy in the spring of 2015. Included are a fitness center, third-floor sundeck with outdoor pool, mini-theater, business center and underground parking. To project the appropriate image for the development while meeting the city’s strict design requirements, the architects chose architectural precast concrete panels to clad the building.

“We chose precast concrete panels for two reasons,” says James Gray, principal in charge of the project at ADD Inc. “It provided an attractive and economical approach and it also allowed us to close the skin of the building quickly in an efficient manner. It doesn’t require a multi-layered backup system as would be needed with metal panels or brick. We are also taking greater advantage of the onsite tower crane that is erecting the steel during the day and the precast concrete panels at night.”

The development, at 21-stories and 369 residential units, features an L-shaped tower on a three-story rectangular base. The upper level of the base includes a swimming pool and other amenities. Precast concrete slabs and structural walls also were specified to provide support for the pool. The precast concrete components were fabricated by Coreslab Structures (Conn) Inc.

The panels feature a ribbed pattern with a combination of light and medium sandblast to provide texture and shadow. The lower floor so of the base feature precast panels with embedded granite and marble veneer. “Our goal with the design was to balance between the owner’s goals and the city’s rigorous design-review process,” Gray explains. “The city wanted a contemporary look, while the owners wanted something more transitional. We’ve used precast concrete on a number of high-rise, multifamily projects, so we knew we could be successful in finding the right balance to meet everyone’s needs.”

Precast concrete slabs also were used for balconies on the units. “Metal balconies would need to be fireproofed and protected to be safe from corrosion,” he explains. “With precast concrete, we could install steel clips around the edges and put precast concrete balconies in place that would make the steel weathertight, with only the concrete exposed to weather. We took this approach on an earlier project, and it’s worked very well.”

The panels were erected through the winter of 2014, one of the coldest in recent history. In all, 79,400 square feet of precast concrete panels will clad the building, including 8,400 square feet of granite-embedded panels.

Project Details










The Hanover Company, Houston, TX


ADD Inc., Boston, MA


McNamara/Salvia Inc., Boston, MA


John Moriarty & Associates, Inc., Winchester, MA



Structural Precast Elements:

• Structural precast concrete pools walls
• 12-inch hollowcore pool deck
• 53 precast concrete balcony slabs.

Architectural Precast Elements:

• 79,400 square feet of precast concrete architectural panels, including 8,400 square feet embedded with granite veneers (490 pieces)


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