Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate Lord Norman Foster, founder and executive chairman of Foster + Partners, claims many distinctions. One that’s no doubt among them: Never settle for ‘good enough.’

So when the renowned architect was selected to lead the $100 million expansion and renovation of the famed Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Fla., no one on the construction team led by general contractor Gilbane Building Company had any illusions about the quality expected.

Especially Kenny Moore.


Moore leads Kemiko Concrete System of Hollywood, Fla., the firm hired by Gilbane to seamlessly knit together old and new concrete flooring across 60,000 square feet of new and renovated space in the 78-year-old south Florida architectural icon.

“They wanted the highest level of concrete seamless flooring possible. That’s just how Foster + Partners builds. There’s no room for humps, bumps, or errors,” reflects Moore on the demanding 11-month project.

Adding to the challenge: the existing floor “… was in horrible condition” according to Moore. “Holes. Delamination. It was in terrible shape from years and years of different flooring that had to be removed, including terrazzo flooring,” reports Moore. The new floor had to achieve near-perfection. No roller marks. No lint. No dirt. And no pinholing, a particular difficult task for any concrete flooring contractor.

The Gilbane senior project manager summed it up nicely to Moore, “How are you going to fix this mess?” No pressure, right?

Quite the contrary. “Gilbane and the architect weren’t difficult at all because we nailed it,” smiles Moore.


Moore’s confidence was well-placed by years of nailing tough retail and residential flooring projects, including a series of ultra-high-end homes in the Bahamas, a market he turned to during the recession. “We recently finished a $90 million home on the island. We’ve worked on homes for Sean Connery and his family, the Bacardi family, and other wealthy island residents,” says Moore.

Moore’s confidence was further strengthened by his close relationship with CTS Cement, a leader in concrete restoration and polishing. The contractor knew the local CTS rep would be at his side throughout every phase of the mammoth project, and there were many. “Once it’s polished, you’re cleaning, and then tack ragging and wiping. Then doing your first spray coat. To minimize pinholing, we ended up doing a wet slurry grind,” recounts Moore. “The architect didn’t want any control joints, either.”

CTS products proved instrumental in Kemiko Concrete System’s successful treatments. “Rapid Set TXP Fast is the primer. Rapid Set LevelFlor was used for pre-leveling, and Rapid Set TRU SP for the architectural topping,” Moore says. “If I build a spec, I always spec CTS products. Their products are consistent and very high performing.”


Even up to Lord Foster’s fierce standards? Perhaps well beyond them. Moore and his team of five flooring professionals received an award of excellence from the Museum owner and all smiles from the legendary architect. Even the public is cheering. The reimagined Museum has shattered all attendance records since its early 2019 re-opening.

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