8. Frederick Meijer Gardens-1

Frederik Meijer Gardens New Welcome Center

Location: 1000 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
Contractor: Burgess Concrete Construction
Supplier: Grand Rapids Gravel
Engineer/Architect: Progressive A/E
Owner: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

The stunning new 69,000 square foot Welcome Center at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park features an expanded and relocated entryway with portico, expanded and relocated garden, new ticketing center, expanded coat room and restrooms, mobility center, theater, and garden pavilion that features horticultural displays and a new sculpture entitled “Utopia” by the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa.

Beneath, throughout, and supporting all of that is one thing: Concrete. Over 9,000 cubic yards of concrete. This complex project with a tight schedule started off with the placement of concrete foundations in three locations (Welcome Center, Picnic Pavilion, and Concessions) at once. The Welcome Center foundation placements carried on throughout the winter season, with temporary shelters built to maintain heat and allow the walls to cure in a timely manner. Burgess crews used both a 55-ton and a 35-ton crane for most of the project to allow the temporary entrance to be open year-round, and to keep the project progressing safely.

Multiple formwork systems were used to form and shape concrete for the 65-foot-tall structural walls as well as suspended, cantilevered, and architectural walls, suspended steps with a polished finish, 10,000 square feet of 12-inch suspended floor, polished concrete floors, colored and water-washed exterior flatwork, and even colored and sandblasted custom parking bumpers.