Page N1.1 . 19 June 2002                     
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    Precast Concrete Awards 2002

    by ArchitectureWeek

    The Architectural Precast Association announced in April the recipients of the 2002 APA Awards for Design & Manufacturing Excellence. This competition honors both the architecture and the craft of projects that display outstanding applications of precast concrete.

    One of the top awards went to Torgersen Hall, whose arch forms the entrance to the campus at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. The building was designed by SFCS, Inc. of Roanoke, Virginia and Esocoff and Associates Architects of Washington, D.C. The precast manufacturer was Architectural Concrete Products, Inc. of Daleville, Virginia. The jury said: "Despite the intricacy and complexity of the individual elements, this design achieves a cohesive and calm dignity by limiting the number of materials to stone, precast, and windows."

    A commendation was given to the Midwest Express Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for its functional urban sculptures, like benches and canopies. The building was designed by the Atlanta firm of Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates with precast components by International Concrete Products, Inc. of Germantown, Wisconsin. The jury commented: "The apparent simplicity and lack of detail of these benches is exactly what makes them so hard to build. Self-supporting cantilevers and smooth, irregularly curving forms with all surfaces exposed leave no room for error."

    The Immaculate Heart of Mary Garden Crypt Complex at the All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois was another award winner. It was designed by Mekus Studios, Ltd. of Chicago and manufactured by International Concrete Products. The judges wrote: "The strength and solidity of the precast crypt elements create a dynamic contrast with the lightness of the glazed roofs. Simple, cleanly detailed pieces clearly express the joints as the only form of embellishment." The Jason Lee Middle School in Tacoma, Washington was cited for its use of precast concrete in matching the original stonework of an existing masonry building. The addition was designed by Merritt + Pardini of Seattle, in collaboration with precast manufacturer Architectural Cast Stone of Santa Ana, California. The jury commended the use of dry-tamped cast stone as a logical material of choice for the repair and restoration because of its capacity for color and texture matching.

    The 2002 jury included John Pears, RIBA, Michael S. Hass, AIA, Mark Boyes-Watson, and Brad Thompson. The Architectural Precast Association is a not-for-profit association founded in 1966 to advance the interests of architectural precast concrete in North America and to promote high standards of workmanship throughout the industry.

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    ArchWeek Image

    At the Midwest Express Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, functional urban sculptures show off the plasticity and sensuality of precast concrete.
    Photo: International Concrete Products, Inc.

    ArchWeek Image

    Torgersen Hall at Virginia Tech is an award-winning example of substituting precast concrete for cut stone in the trim work of a masonry building.
    Photo: Architectural Concrete Products, Inc.

    ArchWeek Image

    The natural beauty and durability of precast concrete, according to the awards jury, make it an ideal material for this indoor/ outdoor space at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Garden Crypt Complex at the All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois.
    Photo: International Concrete Products, Inc.


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