Carolina Bomanite began working with Winston-Salem, N.C. Architects Dishner Moore more than a year in advance of the construction of this urban village of luxury condos, shops, and dining in Chapel Hill, N.C. The architect, Craig Dishner, “had a vision of creating a spectacular plaza design to be viewed and enjoyed at street level and above from the residential tenants”. After several mockups were completed and reviewed, a decision was made to use Bomanite’s Micro-Top as the topically applied coloration system over a custom “machine-swirl” integrally colored surface design for the plaza.

Negotiations began with the general contractor, Resolute Builders, to be the prime decorative flatwork contractor for this project. Carolina Bomanite had previously worked with the developer, East West Partners on other projects.

The initial phase began with the installation of the main entrance roundabout granite-textured curb, along with 8000 square feet of dry-shake color-hardened Bomanite fishscale granite sett pattern paving. The curb was poured with an integral color at a low slump, hand shaped, then textured and barcut to resemble hand-placed granite.

The ADA warning strip that followed the outer contour of the roundabout posed several problems. First, the original design called for a stamped pattern using geometric shapes. We soon realized that this would be both an installation, and aesthetic issue when installed. Carolina Bomanite quickly suggested a hand-tooled, grooved pattern that followed the radius of the contour. After several calls and letters to the town of Chapel Hill, an approval was given to install the grooved pattern. All parties agreed, this was an excellent solution to a difficult problem.

The plaza, a 25,000-square-foot parking and mixed use space, was designed not only to be parking, but also become an entertainment venue on weekends and evenings. The decorative topping slab was designed to be a 4- to 7-foot integrally colored slab with the special swirl finish. High summer temperatures made working on this sub-slab almost unbearable. The decision was made to convert the 10-man crew to night work with forming beginning at 11 pm and the first of two pours at 2–3 am each morning. A cast-in-place stage with cascading steps was the first pour of this phase of the project, followed with several hundred feet of ADA warning bands. Because the deck was previously waterproofed, all forms were set using sandbags for support. Only two finishers were allowed to complete the custom machine-swirl pattern in order to keep consistency throughout the project. After the plaza was installed, the four-man finish crew came in to begin the layout and sawcut of the plaza design. A template was used to layout the geometric shapes. Precise layouts from the GC’s site superintendent Chris Hardee allowed the design to go in precisely to plan.

After a thorough cleaning, the Bomanite Micro-Top product was installed in a reddish color to compliment the decorative brick design used on the buildings exterior. Surtec water-based sealers were then applied to protect the colored areas.