M-2000 Series Column Covers
SAF Plays Key Role in Reviving the Harrison PATH Train Station in Harrison, NJ
Customized Column Covers Provide Resolution for Complex Architectural Design
The Harrison PATH train station’s history dates back to 1911 when the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad stopped in Harrison just three blocks from its current location, which was originally built in 1936.
Today, the town of Harrison is on a significant growth path, and what was once a hub for industrial manufacturing is transforming into a modern, 21st century New Jersey suburb with a significant wave of residential and retail development. Further demonstrating its growth, Harrison is home to Red Bull Arena, the home stadium of the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer and Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League.
This boom in growth means more travelers coming in and out of the suburb via public transportation, which necessitated a complete overhaul of the area’s existing main transit facility.
Southern Aluminum Finishing (SAF) answered the challenge when it came to a sleek, customized signature look for the station’s entrance.
A Necessary Fix
The original station featured a lackluster, cramped design and lacked accessibility for those with disabilities. The goal was to revive the train station to provide greater, easier access for all travelers by delivering a bright and modern architectural design.
Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) teamed up with WSP and Dattner Architects. Together, they developed all-new access points and revamped the existing train station interior and exterior, including weather-protected entrances, a countdown clock for train arrival times, new elevators, widened stairs, and the implementation of escalators to access the train platforms that now accommodate longer, 10-car trains.
Selecting the Right Fabricator
The defining architectural characteristic of the new Harrison PATH station comes from the large-scale, curving glass curtainwalls secured via a series of vertical, horizontal, and diagonal columns and beams. For the main vertical columns, the team at BAMCO Inc. – the contractor on the job – selected SAF to fabricate a series of intricate column covers that required them to manufacture a litany of components with complex geometries.
The project included 8,900 square feet of more than 600 individual metal panels and column cover components. The main, oversized vertical columns at the front of the structure are encased in SAF’s M-2000 1/8” aluminum column covers.
“At the time of the project, BAMCO had limited capabilities of roll forming panels that exceeded 10-foot lengths, so we needed to rely on a company that was capable of fabricating the oversized columns for the project,” said Ryan Kusmick, project manager at BAMCO Inc. “We have worked with SAF in the past, and given the complex geometries of the design, we wanted to go with a competent fabricator that we were comfortable with. We didn’t want to give a project with this level of difficulty to an unknown, first-time vendor.”
“We were proud to serve as a partner on a project of this size and scope, and we know that our work enabled the architectural team to bring their vision to life so that Harrison PATH can continue to serve train passengers for decades to come,” added John McClatchey, vice president of sales and marketing at SAF.
Complex Design, Careful Execution
SAF had to carefully engineer the column covers for the train station so they could accommodate various penetrations and cutouts that serve as connection points for the intersecting beam structure. In addition, the ground-floor portions of the column covers feature rails for vertical sliding doors. This was yet another complexity to take into consideration during 3D modeling and fabrication, one that needed to be executed flawlessly to allow for the doors’ operation. The SAF column covers are painted in a Fluropon Special White PVDF finish. Fluropon coatings are long-lasting and maintain their color consistency, making them ideal for exterior applications such as those for Harrison PATH.
“The Harrison PATH station was a difficult project in terms of engineering and design. We scanned the as-built steel structure with the help of Kennon Surveying Services, Inc., who laid out the point cloud data. Microdesk then took this data and created the BIM model,” Kusmick added. “That information was all unfolded and relayed to SAF, who delivered on the design. We are very pleased with the outcome.”
The town of Harrison’s growth trajectory demanded that its central transportation hub be transformed into a high-performance, aesthetic asset that the suburb can rely on for decades to come.
With the help of SAF, the Port Authority New York & New Jersey was able to realize their design vision for Harrison PATH: Delivering an airy, inviting, and daylit train station that provides access to all travelers as well as eliminating the concern for overcrowding during busy travel times.
The northeast and southeast station houses were completed and officially opened at the end of 2019. Construction of the southwest and northwest station houses is scheduled to commence in 2022.
In addition to SAF, the project team included contractor BAMCO Inc.; land surveyor Kennon Surveying Services, Inc.; BIM modeling company Microdesk; glazing contractor County Glass & Metal; engineering professional services firm WSP; architects Dattner Architects; and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ).