New England Studios
The state-of-the-art New England Studios Phase I project is the first of its kind in New England. It was designed by the same architectural firm behind the construction of world-class studios all around the globe. The barrel roof system was the first the architect had designed in this manner. The studios are similar to the television and film production studios found in Hollywood, Calif. This project was completed on a 15-acre site located in Devens, Mass., on what was previously Fort Devens Army Base. The site crew needed to be cautious about any remaining military devices that may have been left in the ground.
The project is made up of six major building components/pads called BP1- BP6. The four sound stages are 18,000 square feet each and are known as BP1. To the front of the sounds stages is what is known as BP2 and is 30,000 square feet and three floors of conference rooms, green room space, open space for cubicles and other office spaces.
Two mechanical rooms located behind the four sound stages are known as BP3. Directly behind the Main Building is the 20,000 square foot Mill Building or BP4, which was constructed at the same time as BP 1-3. The Mill Building is designed for set crews to create sets and once completed, they are easily transported from BP4 to BP1 through large, 12 inch thick elephant doors that move hydraulically.
The elephant doors are massive and designed to fit large equipment and sets through easily. BP5 is the main guard shack located as you enter the campus and BP6 is the last building constructed for the project which houses a large cafeteria and laundry facilities.
Construction of the Main Studio Building began with large concrete tilt-up walls, which made for a very challenging start to the project during the late fall through the winter months. The 120 concrete tilt-up walls each weigh 150,000-180,000 pounds, are 56 feet high, 20 feet wide and 10.5 inches thick. All of the concrete walls were poured in place on site using casting slabs.
The Main Studio’s roof bow trusses were full span 120’ long, 32,000 pound, Douglas Fir Glulam trusses that were fabricated, assembled and disassembled to be shipped from the State of Oregon. Once the truss pieces were on site, they were reassembled by the Hutter/Seppala Joint Venture carpenters and set into place using 250-ton cranes. There was a great deal of coordination needed for the sequencing of the deliveries and reassembling of the trusses, all while allowing enough space to continue work in other areas of the job site.