Nordstrom store in NYC honored by PCI for Excellence in Manufacturing and Craftsmanship

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute awarded the Nordstrom store at 1790 Broadway in New York City as the 2019 Sidney Freedman Craftsmanship award winner. The project required retrofitting of the first two floors of a 1950’s-era aluminum and glass storefront. Gate’s Ashland City, TN, precast fabrication facility produced a architectural precast facade that blends with the original white marble of the upper floors of the 1950’s era structure.

Matt Graff, executive vice president of sales at International Concrete Products, who served on the judging panel, noted the project’s many different flat and radiused forms. “Each one of these forms required high-end detailing to match the existing building’s marble façade,” Graff said. “Great attention to detail was needed with the forming, precast concrete handling, shipping, and replicating the marble veining in the concrete mix. The craftsmanship replicated that of the original 100-year-old building.”

The project required intense planning and coordination, research and development, and mold building.

“Every aspect of the job was a challenge. Our invaluable team of modelers, engineers and craftsmen eagerly embraced all of these challenges with passion and zeal. The result of their efforts was extraordinary,” Chris Cruze, Project Manager, Gate Precast, Ashland City, TN.

Building the molds took several weeks to complete, while it took two days to set them up. Molds consisted of multiple height steps and radii. The form buildup was built to the highest level of detail the carpenters could achieve, stacking several layers of wood of various shapes and sizes to within about one-eighth of an inch. Various mold-finishing techniques obtained the finished product’s desired details and crispness.

The award is named after retired PCI Director of Architectural Systems Sidney Freedman, who was a leading voice in precast architectural design for more than 43 years with the organization. This year’s award was presented at PCI Committee Days, Featuring the National Bridge Conference, in Rosemont, Illinois, on September 27, 2019.

View Ascent, Winter 2020