Located in the vibrant heart of the central business district between 16th and 17th Streets in downtown Denver, Republic Plaza is a 56-story iconic high-rise building. Built in 1984, Republic Plaza includes 1.2 million SF of office space and three retail levels and rising 717 feet currently holds the title of tallest building in the entire Rocky Mountain region.
Republic Plaza recently underwent renovations to the main lobby, lower-level concourse, and exterior plaza that leads to the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall. Bomanite Licensee Colorado Hardscapes was selected to create decorative concrete elements in the exterior plaza area. Originally, the plans called for precast benches and planter walls. Colorado Hardscapes asked general contractor The Weitz Company if they would consider a cast-in-place option instead. After looking at the numbers, Weitz was interested in seeing other cast-in-place benches installed by Colorado Hardscapes and following their portfolio review, approved moving forward with a mock-up of cast-in-place benches utilizing Bomanite Exposed Aggregate Systems and featuring Bomanite Sandscape Refined.
Bomanite Sandscape Refined Showcases Product Consistency
One of the most difficult aspects of this project was the shape of the wall. Not only did it include a reverse batter, 2” bull nose, and channel for lighting, but it was also on a curve. Colorado Hardscapes knew that a mock-up was the best option for this project to establish expectations and to address any issues they might encounter. By utilizing custom CNC contoured foam, they were able to cast the desired shape at their design center. Colorado Hardscapes typically uses this method for their water feature basins, but it also worked out perfectly for the specialty benches.
Once everyone approved the mock-up, the Colorado Hardscapes crew started on site. In total, they installed 156 linear feet of Sandscape Refined curved benches and 189 linear feet of Sandscape Refined planter walls with a more conventional shape. The biggest challenges of this project were the difficult access and hot summer temperatures. Working right off 16th street, they were limited to only using Tremont Street for access in addition to the complications of downtown in general. This required them to place the benches in smaller loads. Despite placing multiple batches, the Sandscape Refined showcases a consistent finish and color from one side of a pour joint to the next.
Award Winning Decorative Concrete
With its superior structural capacities, faster production time, and cost-effectiveness, cast-in-place concrete offers an outstanding solution for various construction projects. Colorado Hardscapes discussed with the client how this method could benefit them in terms of visual appeal and utility features, and they were able to gain the client’s trust with their successful installation using cast-in place methods.
Colorado Hardscapes showcased confidence in their ability as a Bomanite Licensed Contractor and utilized previous successes by taking potential clients to past projects, proving their ability to create amazing results. The mock-ups they created were an invaluable resource, and moreover, by speaking up about cast-in-place concrete, they saved the owner a significant amount of money on the project while creating an end-product even more beautiful than the original precast option. The 2022 Silver Award for Best Bomanite Exposed Aggregate Systems Project was awarded to Colorado Hardscapes for their superior effort on this project – not only did they go the extra mile to provide the client with resources that would gain their trust, but they also provided an exceptional product that will stand out and be a feature at Republic Plaza.