Jul 15

U.C. Berkeley Leads To U.C. Davis… The Concretist Returns To School

by Mike Miller

Kelley and I had previously designed and installed a floor make-over at the food services area (cafeteria, etc…) at The University of California, Berkeley. This job was a challenge, as we endeavored to create a transparent make-over. The re-finished slab was a testament to it’s history, warts and all! There was no hiding of spalls or re-filled trenches… Rather, we chose to create a simple graphic solution that would make visual sense out of “the warts” , by including them as components of compositions. We thought the project was a success, and, The University of California must have thought so as well, as we were subsequently hired to perform a similar function at the food services area (coffee house, etc…) at The University of California, Davis. Here, there was to be both new AND existing concrete. The new concrete was natural gray, and reasonably pristine. The existing was a bit beat-up… Not so bad… But, it was pink! A sealed, over color-waxed, over originally red color-hardened, over originally kinda red integrally colored concrete, that had faded over the years. And whether you were to call it faded red or pink, either way, the color/s didn’t belong in the new scheme of things! Our task was to pull together these two disparate elements through a colorist and artful graphic solution.

UC Davis Food Services
Our stain, dye, tint solution at U.C. Davis, in The Marketplace, over new gray concrete.

UC Berkeley Food Services
And this is its predecessor, our project at U.C. Berkeley, for a little historical perspective.

Here’s another of Berkeley
Here’s another of Berkeley… Note the trauma on the floor. In another life, this slab was covered with tile.

And, one more…  Spalls, cracks, CHARACTER…  I love it!  Can’t get enough!!!
And, one more… Spalls, cracks, CHARACTER… I love it! Can’t get enough!!!

P.S. If you can’t get enough, too, and you’d like more complete information about the design and installation of applied finishes at Berkeley, check-out UNDERAPPRECIATED “STRUCTURAL SLABS CAN BE RECYCLED”, from my column in Concrete Décor magazine.

Back to Davis…  Again, here in The Marketplace
Back to Davis… Again, here in The Marketplace, primarily a field of green patina stained new gray concrete, with dyed and tinted graphic compositions

And this is stain/dye/tint over shot-blasted/ground/cracked pinkish red color-hardened/integrally colored existing slab.
And this is stain/dye/tint over shot-blasted/ground/cracked pinkish red color-hardened/integrally colored existing slab. This was the challenge to pull the new natural gray and old pinkish red together! Side Note: We should’ve charged per lineal foot of crack here… There weren’t so many cracks prior to shot-blasting, then, WHAMMO!!! A thousand, right in your face! I love it!!! And the client was (fortunately) OK with it.

Here’s old pinkish red concrete in the foreground, and, new natural gray in the back
Here’s old pinkish red concrete in the foreground, and, new natural gray in the back… How’d we do?

Here’s some of our design references and early progress…
Here’s some of our design references and early progress…

And this is our approved design…
And this is our approved design… Graphic concept is based on viewing agricultural fields (rice, etc…) while flying over Davis, after taking off from Sacramento International Airport (on way to Hawaii, Asia, wherever…).

This is applied colors over both pink and gray, at The Coffee House.
This is applied colors over both pink and gray, at The Coffee House.

Where students are, well…  studying, and, of course, drinking double cappuccinos.
Where students are, well… studying, and, of course, drinking double cappuccinos.

a cracked substrate (and this area is new!)
Finally, in parting, here are three things that I really like: a cracked substrate (and this area is new!), graphic patina stained applied finishes, and, young college girls in boots!!! I hope in this blog, you found at least three things that you really like, too!

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