Recognized for excellence in manufacturing and craftsmanship in architectural precast, Gate Precast recently received the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship Award for two projects - the Faena Park Parking Garage in Miami and a private residence in Baton Rouge (Honorable Mention).

The prestigious awards program recognizes PCI certified plants for excellence in manufacturing and craftsmanship, focusing on such issues as forming, overcoming obstacles, finishing and quality of individual architectural precast/prestressed units and GFRC. "This award means the world to us," says Gate President/COO Dean Gwin. "We respect Sid for all that he has done for the industry and consider him a great friend."

The 28,283-square-foot, state-of-the-art Faena Park parking garage, situated in Miami's art district, is a welcome change to the typical parking garage. The six-story structure emulates Brazilian architecture, with the architectural precast panels resembling Swiss cheese more than concrete - the garage's precast facade features hundreds of angled perforations allowing for ventilation and controlled views.

This project bridges a gap between design and fabrication. The design was challenging in multiple areas, especially at the leaning elevations and roof, which required that Gate innovate a sophisticated work flow in the overall process of producing the precast panels. The holes were circular on the face and interior, yet crossed through the panel at an angle, thereby making them elliptical as they pass through the panel. Designing a mold to make the holes was the biggest pre-production hurdle and required multiple research and development exercises.

The single-family residence in Baton Rouge has structural framing with precast concrete panels, wood clad rain screen façade and aluminum curtain wall. The properties of concrete and contemporary fabrication techniques were exploited by the design team to create a sculptural, performative building enclosure. With Gate's assistance, the design team developed a method of aggregating and casting nine CNC milled primitives to create sculptural "waves" arranged in various ways so that each of the 15 Type B precast panels was unique.

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