The Denver Art Museum includes 1200 square feet of polished concrete containing a special blend of concrete and rocks. The client chose the specialty mix design based on viewing previous work done by polishing contractor Colorado Hardscapes at the nearby Clyfford Still Museum. Despite the difficulty of matching the mix, Colorado Hardscapes was able to do so, a difficult task because the quarry pit was washed away in September 2013 by devastating floods.

To install 76 steps, two landing, and a 12000 square feet of interior and exterior floors, it took three crews. One crew worked offsite pouring and forming the steps, while the other two crews worked onsite with interior floors and polishing.

The concrete steps were challenging to install and polish for several reasons. First, to meet building codes, every step needed to be uniform in size. Next, they include a six-sided design measuring 4 feet x 18 inches and 10 feet x 18 inches, so each step required polishing on all six sides. There were also six different conditions (i.e., embed plates for railing posts, cables, etc. and precast tread positioning.) for the steps that required special organization to help with the onsite installation. Special templates were implemented to assure all steps laid flat while polishing.

To view photos of the project, click here.