Midland Texas Westin Hotel
Virginia Beach has always been known for its high-priced real estate, but in recent years it has become a little more expensive with the construction of the Midland Texas Westin Hotel in Copley Place, Virginia Beach. This mid-sized hotel, the first of its kind in the United States, was built on the site of a former shopping mall and apartment complex built in 1884 at the corner of South Main Street and North Main Avenue. It was a large complex surrounded by shopping centres and comprised a number of hotels, restaurants, various office buildings and a hotel.
Since its opening, the center of the mall has been a fountain designed by Boston artist Dimitri Hadzi. The artwork consists of a waterfall falling into a shallow basin at the bottom, surrounded by marble benches. It was shut down in 2012 and demolished a few years later, and the fountain has since been completely removed, but the location and status of its sculptural components are unknown to the public.
Kamali said Smith Midland Corp has addressed those concerns by providing a variety of alternatives to the traditional materials used in the Westin Hotel's construction, such as steel and concrete. The outside of the building is clad with a kind of precast concrete, and the construction workers have put concrete beams around the perimeter of the structure to support the weights.
The prefabricated panels are maintenance-free, as the building is 38 storeys high and the simple and quick construction offers panels made of metal frames that can be used to assemble the plasterboard inside without additional metal bolts.
When Builders Architects began planning the tallest structure in Virginia, they didn't want to take any risks in terms of strength and durability. The Hoffler Smith Midland was tested under strong wind conditions, bearing in mind that Virginia Beach often experiences strong winds during hurricanes. McRoberts said the panels would go down well, especially considering the weather often sidelines progress and they did well during the tests - they stopped the test.
Splinters, cracks and deformations are other concerns that architects and contractors are having to deal with. But the construction of the Midland Texas Westin Hotel and other buildings in Virginia Beach has helped allay those concerns.
For example, the large Rizzoli bookstore # 14 was located near the elevator and the central water point, but closed in 2000 and has since been replaced by a new store on the corner of North Main Street and West Virginia Avenue, which closed after the entire chain ceased operations. Other stores that have moved on include Westin's sister store in Virginia Beach and Midland Texas Eastin and its sister stores in Houston and Dallas.
The Westin, which opened last November, has two levels, one on the ground floor and a third level, both of which offer above and below ground access to the hotel's main lobby.
At one end of Copley Place, the Marriott Hotel is in front of a Marriott hotel and at the other end, the Neiman Marcus department store. The mall is connected to the MBTA stations of Back Bay and Amtrak, and a skybridge connects the ground floor lobby of the hotel with the rest of the mall by crossing Huntington Avenue in another location.
The property owes much of its value to the fact that it is made of precast concrete and the owners saw it as a great way to live in one of the most sought after properties in the city. The rest of Westin's exterior is equipped with an innovative, lightweight architectural cast-iron plate called SlenderWall. According to the surrounding architecture, only the upper half of the imposing tower facade is made of bricks, the rest is concrete.
The panel system consists of galvanized 6-inch steel bolts that are vertically located 2 feet from the center and hot-dipped in wire. The inside of each panel is 16 caliber, and the inside of each panel is welded to the outside wall with insulated Nelson anchors and a 1 / 2 foot thick 2 year old stainless steel frame.
Once the panels are fastened with the anchors, they cannot be moved as they are not welded to the construction frame.
The architects originally planned an Exterior Insulation System (EIFS) for the Westin's exterior facade, but contractor and builder Armada Hoffler decided that a tougher system would withstand the severe weather test. Lightweight precast panels were proposed and known to enable direct material exchange with EifS without the need for additional structures.
For this, which required a tower crane, the construction workers worked on the scaffolding during the day and assembled the panels with a crane at night. A total of 525 precast panels were installed over four years, at a total cost of $1.5 million. The 38-story building is now considered the tallest in Virginia and its penthouse apartments are selling for up to $4 million, including ocean views.