One Lakeview Terrace, Burlington, VT

Seen from a distance, One Lakeview is an impressive structure floating above the tree line. It hovers over the ground on 50-foot angled steel columns. Nearly all of the apartment complex is elevated above grade, other than the lower edge of the structure that just touches the edge of the hillside.

When fully constructed, the building will have two stories of steel framing – a parking garage at the bottom and one floor of apartments – and two stories of wood framed apartments on top of that. The majority of apartments will have a view of the lake and those lakeside apartments will have balconies suspended from the wall framing. From the uppermost level, tenants will be as high up as 90 feet off the ground.

As one might imagine, this project was a challenge.

Engineering Ventures structural project manager, Matt Ernst, P.E. said One Lakeview Terrace required a team effort. In the beginning stages, there was much collaboration with the Geotechnical Engineering firm due to the challenging site location. The contractor and developer helped to come up with a scheme that was within budget. Engineering Ventures civil engineering team also assisted with the site design and zoning.

Given its visibility from Burlington’s popular waterfront, the developer and architect proposed a bold design of canted – or angled – steel columns to support the apartment building. The columns tested the limits of blending creativity with stability. Engineering Ventures was tasked with making this scheme a reality.

“It was fun to figure out how to make the columns look somewhat random, but still function structurally,” Matt said. He mentioned that the round columns could have more easily been straight up and down, but our team committed to delivering the desired aesthetic.

In addition to the canted columns, the project site posed unique challenges. The columns are situated on top of concrete footings that are themselves sitting on top of steel piles driven into the earth. These piles are the key to making One Lakeview stable on the hillside. Our team of engineers designed this foundation system to support the weight of the 43 unit, 4-story complex.

This unique building shows what can be accomplished by facing engineering challenges with a creative approach.