Marquette Park Columbus Terrace
The Grand Champion Award went to Baltz & Sons Concrete and Memphis Ready Mix and Michael Hatcher & Associates for their Marquette Park
Columbus Terrace Project.
This unique project, designed by Michael Hatcher and Associates, involved developing a new terrace within Marquette Park, an inner city green space in East Memphis. The park features a newly refurbished and relocated Christopher Columbus statue. Having collaborated in the past, Hatcher tapped Baltz & Sons Concrete to build the complex design. The terrace was to be a 35' diameter scale map of the Mediterranean countries, featuring Italy at its center, with a large concrete pededstal protruding from the middle to support the newly refurbished sculpture. To further delineate it as the central focal point of the map, Italy would actually "rise" out of the map by 18", which would in turn allow it to serve as a bench seat. Sardinia and Sicily would each rise 12" while the other adjacent countries would be represented on the surface of the terrace.
Baltz started construction of the complex forms in their shop months before actually breaking ground on-site. They decided to use large foam blocks to form the undulating coastline of the raised countries-- using overhead lighting projectors to cast the image, the perimeter coastlines were traced onto ten foam blocks, creating a massive 16'x26' "puzzle" of forms. Unable to find a large enough hot wire cutter to slice through the 24" thick slabs, Baltz constructed one specifically for this job. Each block was carefully sliced using an electrified hot wire cutting table, and then transported and reassembled on site around the concrete pedestal that they had cast previously.
Baltz consulted with Memphis Ready-Mix, as well as resources at the TCA, for insight on what design-mix would be best suited for this application, ultimately using a flowable, high strength mix, reinforced with Solomon UF-500. Once the elevated countries were poured and cured, the foam forms were then removed and then the surrounding terrace was poured. Baltz applied a subtle slate texture to the terrace, and used a London pavestone pattern for the entry as well as a perimeter band. Each of the surrounding countries were then hand-drawn and scored into the surface, creating the huge scale map of the region. Each country was pigmented different colors, and the names of each were engraved into the surface. Baltz also included the larger cities of Italy, a nautical compass rose, a banner flag of Italy, and a distressed concrete finish to the pedestal base that evokes the old world plaster finishes for which Italy is known.
The end result is a stunning scale map of the region, where park-goers are encouraged to climb on and around the interactive concrete sculpture.
A modified #5500 psi, as well as #4000 psi limestone concrete mixes, reinforced with Soloman UF-500, were supplied by Memphis Ready Mix.