For over forty years Arlington County, VA, has prided itself in its commitment to public art which is now a distinctive aspect of the visual landscape. Sky Column Sculpture, an integrated work of public art, is a shining example of the county’s success. The sculpture, designed by renowned artist Douglas W. Hollis, was commissioned and approved by the Arlington County Board with a budget of over half-a-million-dollars. Sky Column is situated nearby to the new Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center, and close to Capital Bikeshare. Arlington County Board selected Coakley & Williams Construction as the Main Contractor for the 47 million dollar Aquatics & Fitness Center, and Bomanite licensee Beyond Concrete was chosen to implement the public art in decorative concrete using the vision of Project Designer, Douglas W. Hollis. The initial task for Beyond Concrete, the fabrication of the stainless-steel framework, proved to be one of the most difficult and challenging specs for Beyond Concrete’s portion of the project.
Installed at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Beyond Concrete completed the entire intricate project with a limited crew of 4, on time, and within budget. That alone is a testament to their expertise and resilience. Working with the artist, Bomanite Exposed Aggregate Systems was selected and Bomanite Revealed™ was chosen. The stainless-steel frame was fabricated and mounted over a structural concrete base. Four inches of infilled concrete was placed into the stainless-steel framework. Bomanite high performance epoxy and epoxy sand was installed for the Bomanite Revealed™ ½-inch bonded topping. The Bomanite Revealed™ topping was installed, as designed, with concentric bands of Bomanite Revealed™, starting from almost black in the center and continuing with lighter gray bands in the outer bands. Each Bomanite Revealed™ section had a custom mixture of aggregate that coordinated with the color of the band installed. After the aggregate was exposed all the exposed stainless steel had to be delicately hand ground on both edges to define the Bomanite Revealed™ infill.
Bomanite Revealed™ Creates Captivating Concrete
Bomanite Revealed™ is an architectural exposed concrete designed for outdoor applications with varying exposure depths using decorative aggregates that are bound in a unique binder and applied to primed concrete. The Bomanite Revealed™ System utilizes preblended binders, light fast pigments, specialized admixtures, topical treatments and advanced application procedures to produce a finished product that showcases the seeded aggregate. Unlike most surface seeded installations, Bomanite Revealed™ provides 100% exposure of the decorative aggregate with no native sands detracting from the finished appearance. The final product is unique alternate to other decorative concrete finishes while producing a monolithic concrete slab with a low life cycle cost due to the pre-aged nature of the surface. Bomanite Revealed™ is suited for exterior applications—anywhere that improved wear resistance for light to moderate-duty vehicular or foot traffic combined with an architectural finish is necessary. Due to the use of the Bomanite Revealed™ binder, these highly durable surfaces are available in a multitude of standard and custom options, including cost effective light-reflective formulations that reduce heat island effect, hard to achieve colors for concrete like white, blues and greens along with water resistant formulations for wet areas and other specialty applications.
Bomanite Licensees Define Decorative Concrete Craftsmanship
As a Bomanite licensee, licensed in all five Bomanite Systems, quality craftsmanship and a commitment to excellence in architectural decorative concrete have defined Beyond Concrete for more than 30 years. Established in 1984, Beyond Concrete serves a diverse range of clients across all of New Jersey, the five boroughs of New York, Long Island, eastern Pennsylvania and down to northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. It is a family-owned business now in its second generation of leadership. Owners, architects, landscape architects, interior designers, and general contractors have all come to appreciate Beyond Concrete’s commitment to being a creative solutions provider through in-depth project analysis. All those years of expertise helped Beyond Concrete achieve and exceed the expectations of this project’s stakeholders. Contractor selection is the most important aspect of ensuring the job is done right and choosing Bomanite licensees is the right choice.
Night Winds Make Sky Column Mesmerizing
At night, up-lights at the base of the artwork are programed to brighten and dim in response to real-time variations of the wind. Tapered masts of stainless-steel tubing in the formation of a column project fifty feet high from the ground, appear to become one with the sky, and quiver with the wind. Viewed from a distance, Sky Column acts as a beacon, drawing people to the park while creating a gathering place for visitors to the adjacent aquatic center. It can be seen as a reminder of the fragility and interconnectedness of life and our ability to support and nurture it when we work together as a community, especially when faced with challenges such as a pandemic or climate change.