When you think about a public bus stop or local area transportation hub, what comes to mind? I imagine rainbows and butterflies aren’t the first images that pop in your head. Usually not thought of as the most inviting or well-kept areas, community transit stops and centers across the country are starting to change. With the need to provide clean, safe and friendly environments, city leaders and designers are looking for creative ways to enhance these high-traffic areas that are aesthetically pleasing, sustainable and cost-effective. So, what is one of the easiest ways to spruce up a dull area? The answer is just under your feet!
With a variety of innovative techniques and products, the world of concrete has changed. Say good-bye to boring, gray surfaces and hello to imagination, color and creativity. With help from local Bomanite Franchise Partner, Carolina Bomanite Corp., the city of Charlotte, NC did just that by incorporating a variety of colorful decorative concrete elements into the design of their new Eastland Community Transit Center. Carolina Bomanite used Micro-Top XT by Bomanite to bring a local artist’s vision to life by adding creative colors and an intricate curvilinear design to the open-air plaza of the facility that links nearby travel destinations.
Micro-Top XT, part of the Bomanite Toppings Systems collection, is a cementitious topping that tenaciously bonds to virtually any substrate, including concrete, wood, metal, plastic or asphalt. Not confined to the standard color palette or color limitations of chemical stains, Micro-Top XT succeeds where other coloring methods have failed. The use of this paper-thin concrete medium, allows for a total hardscape transformation by taking new, existing, or damaged concrete and turning it into unique works of art. Micro-Top can be installed as flooring, troweled up a wall, or used as accent areas for custom graphics or logos. It provides a cost-effective way to achieve multiple colors and complex designs without elaborate form work or multiple pours, saving both time and money. A flexible, creative and time-saving decorative concrete alternative; what more can you ask for?
Carolina Bomanite worked closely with Bomanite to produce custom color samples for approval by the project designers. Once the custom colors were finalized, the team was then ready to embark on the arduous 2,528 sq. ft. Micro-Top XT installation. “The project was difficult to execute in terms of installation,” says John Fletcher of Carolina Bomanite. “The architect provided a drawing with tangents, however most of the points were outside the work zone and had to be laid out by hand all under the intense 90° + July heat,” he continued. The graphic design took two days to layout by hand on the concrete base, taking great skill and precision by John Fletcher himself. It then took two days to hand-cut with grinders and a few days following to colorize the walkway.
With Carolina Bomanite’s contribution of the colorful and inviting plaza in 2006, the Eastland Community Transit Center is now a welcoming, bustling public hub for travelers and visitors alike. It truly has become a bus stop where rainbows and butterflies come to mind when asked to describe it. The project was awarded “Best Micro-Top Project Worldwide” at the Bomanite International Conference held in Las Vegas, NV in January 2007.