The Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center at LaVilla is a transit-oriented development that offers travelers a variety of transit options. The project has revitalized the LaVilla district into a multi-modal urban core, building a successful transportation infrastructure and serving as a catalyst for the future downtown Jacksonville innovation corridor. Completed in two phases, the first phase includes the new LEED Silver certified 10,000-square-foot intercity bus terminal facility that hosts long-distance bus transportation service options. The adjacent phase two 67,000-square-foot Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center building connects to the first phase via an overhead pedestrian bridge. The center not only serves as the new administrative headquarters for the Jacksonville Transportation Center but it houses the First Coast Flyer bus rapid transit, Skyway system, JTA’s fixed-route bus service, regional shuttles, paratransit and the upcoming Ultimate Urban Circulator System. The building’s visual impact celebrates the union of the City’s historic cultural roots while highlighting the future of innovation in the city.
The Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center at LaVilla is a newly built multi-modal development project consisting of a 10,000-square-foot intercity bus terminal (IBT) linked to a five-story, 67,000-square-foot transportation hub via an overhead pedestrian bridge. The state-of-the-art transportation facility will act as the epicenter for the city’s transportation infrastructure, impacting the downtown Jacksonville business district and its surrounding communities to create a seamless network of enhanced mobility options to make transportation more accessible to Jacksonville’s growing population.
Customized Glasswork Solutions
Marrying history, form and function to symbolize the rebirth of the historic LaVilla district, the building’s iconic design exemplifies the economic opportunities increased mobility the project will bring to the local community. With a visually striking silhouette leaving a prominent mark on LaVilla’s skyline, the landmark’s most intricate feature became it’s most challenging to orchestrate. Envisioning a futuristic glass mosaic designed to emulate diamonds radiating in the glass, the JTA set their sights on an innovative aesthetic that saw light flowing out whimsically across a patterned sea of chromatic panels. The challenging nature of the structure’s distinctive curve meant the simple envelope system in the original design plan was not conducive to the client’s artistic vision of the project or its functionality. To bring JTA’s vision to life, Balfour Beatty worked closely with Guernsey Architectural Solutions, Inc., Crawford-Tracey Corp., Viracon, J.E. Abercrombie, Inc., and Michael Baker International on developing a system-wide execution plan. Utilizing existing building scans, the team used a stand-alone mockup to layout a unitized curtainwall system guiding the custom fabrication of each glass panel into precisely the right size and shape. Through weekly team coordination meetings and routine scans to quality control the installation process, the BIM model alerted the team of possible issues early and verified the curtainwall frame was properly aligned to the curvature of the building. The innovative printed glass system, custom made by Viracon in Minnesota, meant the fabricated pieces couldn’t wait to be measured in the field. To stay on schedule, the resourceful team had to rely on BIM models to quality control the pieces to the curtainwall frame before they were flown in. By using laser scans, BIM models and virtual mockups, the team was able to move forward, saving thousands in re-fabrication, material costs and potential delays to the project.
Innovative Insulation System
On the interior of the project, for the building to achieve the energy grade needed to pursue a LEED Gold certification, the glass facade required an innovative insulation system behind the curtainwall panels to maintain energy efficiency. To achieve this, the team worked diligently with Guernsey Architectural Solutions, Inc. and Crawford-Tracey Corp. to methodically engineer a sealed insulation system that would leave the intended transparent design pattern intact to allow for natural light whilst holding insulation. Unlike traditional spandrel insulation that blocks out large areas of glass, the custom-built insulating system was framed around the curtainwall’s geometric shapes using infilled metal plates spaced out behind select curtainwall panels, careful to not touch the glass - as indicated by Viracon and to not obstruct the intended design pattern the JTA envisioned. As a result of the team’s collaboration and ingenuity, the resulting insulation system achieved the futuristic look the JTA desired inside and out. The first of its kind, the custom insulation system enables the building to be energy efficient, saving the JTA on heating and cooling cost while mitigating noise from the busy station below and most importantly, fulfilling the visual uniqueness the authority intended.