Concrete

Apple Central & Wolfe Campus, Sunnyvale, Calif.

Buying Into a ‘Zero’ Vision

In September 2015, the 815,000-sq.-ft. Sunnyvale, Calif., office research and development campus known as Central & Wolfe[LW1], was leased to Apple in what turned out to be the largest, single new office lease in the United States that year.The complex consists of three connected four-story office buildings, each with an internal courtyard, and a two-story standalone amenity building featuring cafés, banking, athletic courts, retail and restaurants. The central quad features an open plaza, detailed landscaping, public art, a 500-person sunken amphitheater, a large dining terrace, outdoor pavilions and café chairs and tables.All employees will be within a 2.5-minute walk (or less) from th

More

World’s First Precast Products Manufactured with CO2-Cured Solidia Concrete

EP Henry, in collaboration with Solidia Technologies, a cement and concrete technology start-up, has introduced the world’s first products made with low-carbon Solidia Concrete. Using LafargeHolcim’s Solidia Cement as its base, which requires lower temperatures during production and thereby emits less carbon, Solidia Concrete products are cured with CO2 instead of water, reducing their overall carbon footprint up to 70% compared to traditional concrete.Through their combined research and development efforts, the firms demonstrated the many benefits of Solidia Concrete over traditional ordinary Portland cement-based products, including enhanced color vibrancy, the near elimination

More
Park Town Centre, Cliffside Park, N.J.

Getting Back on Track with Style

With a concentrated effort to revitalize the downtown of Cliffside Park, N.J., Park Town Centre—13 stories of rental apartments atop a two-story retail level—was eyed as a way to bring new energy into a tired business district. Find a more efficient and cost-effective structural façade system to complete a planned mixed-use development that ran into economic issues. Town officials in Cliffside Park, N.J., had big plans for revitalizing their downtown when they began assembling properties for a new, signature mixed-use development back in 2002.

More

Seat Walls Breathe Life into Campus

The University of Michigan’s Gerstacker Grove, located on the north side of campus, features seat walls that breathe new life into a previously underutilized area. A series of sleek, artistic seat walls at the University of Michigan—designed by Stoss to create a luxurious and lively quad that can accommodate performances, events and everyday activities— stand as an example of the endless possibilities with custom precast concrete. The stunning Gerstacker Grove, located on the university’s north campus, breathes new life into an underutilized area—where previously the most notable features were well-worn footpaths in the grass. After months of construction, the $6.9 million project has been r

More

Are you a Blockhead?

Precision-manufactured Comfort Block concrete masonry units fit together so tightly they can be assembled into walls using masonry adhesive, rather than mortar. When paired with matching EPS inserts, they also create a highly efficient wall system with an estimated effective R-value of up to 30 or higher.

More
Johnson Wax Company Headquarters, Racine, Wisc.

Indelible Drawings Carved in Concrete

Precast concrete is one of the most durable and economical building materials, can be expressed in unique and artful applications. The offices of Foster + Partners architects embraced an intriguing process innovation in a precast application in Fortaleza Hall at the newest addition to the Johnson Wax company headquarters in Racine, Wisc. The new building was built to commemorate the family’s journeys to Fortaleza, Brazil. Like a theater-in- the-round, it features a magnificent circular glass façade and roof rising two stories above a below-grade, conical reception hall with wooden mosaic floors and precast concrete walls. The precast walls feature a subtle grayscale mural of a Brazilian palm

More

An Argument Against Precast Preconceptions

Often specified for its more utilitarian advantages, precast concrete might not be the exterior material of choice that first comes to mind for a signature high rise or cutting-edge boutique. However, Washington, D.C., architect Barry Habib, AIA, says the material offers numerous advantages for more workaday assignments, along with opportunities for creative expression for those willing to see a beauty that’s more than skin deep. “It is tough, it lasts a long time, it doesn’t leak if it’s installed correctly—and we’re getting a very good price for it,” says this principal with D.C.-based Shalom Baranes Assocs. Plus, the speed with which precast exteriors can be assembled can be a boon for pr

More