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Architectural wood-grain pattern

Messer Construction Co.

The new Otto M. Budig Theater had demanding requirements for the surface finish, requiring a wood-grain pattern that needed precise planning.


The Goal

To create a new theater with an old-style feel
Owned by the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, the new Otto M. Budig Theater is located in Cincinnati’s Over-The-Rhine district. The interior was modeled after Shakespeare’s Globe theater in the UK, which meant it required unusual surface patterns in the concrete to achieve a similar look.  


The Project

Summary:
Careful attention to detail meant that the demanding surface finish requirements on this project could be met for a stunning result. 

Challenge:
To achieve the desired look, the architect specified a concrete surface with no visible pour breaks or seams. In addition, the interior of the theater needed to have a wood-grain appearance while still avoiding any breaks in the pattern. The surface finish requirements also meant that the location of building services – such as electrical outlets – needed to be carefully planned.


The Solution

  1. Large and robust panels for fewer seams and quick construction
    The 40,000-square-foot theater expanded the seating capacity from 150 to 233 seats and the layout meant that no audience member would be more than 20 feet from the stage. However, the theater ceiling needed to be tall enough to allow for multi-level seats and scenery. To ensure the balcony seating and large stage sets could be erected and disassembled on-site, the plans required 40’ tall walls.

    Imperial wall panels were the chosen solution to achieve these requirements. With a best-in-class pour rating of 2,025psf, 16’ pours were completed quickly and efficiently. The large 12’x8’ Imperial panels reduced the number of required height extensions, saving labor and time. This also reduced the number of seams, in line with the architect’s requirements.
     

  2. Attention to detail for superior customer service
     
    a) Careful planning for the desired outcome
    To achieve the required architectural wood-grain finish on the inside of the theater required custom form liners. This required careful attention in the detailing of the formwork to ensure that the seams between panels and from pour breaks were hidden. It was also necessary to plan the formwork so that the form liners lined up perfectly to avoid any breaks in the wood-grain pattern.
     
    b) BIM for improved efficiency with less effort
    Recognizing that details such as electrical outlets would need to be meticulously planned to achieve the desired concrete finish, the MEVA engineers created the formwork design as a BIM model using Tekla and gave the model to the contractor. The 3D visualization that the model enabled was helpful for thoroughly planning the formwork design. It also allowed Messer to easily incorporate other elements of the building construction into the design, saving them time and effort.

The Outcome

The attention to detail for this project paid off, with the stunning new theater opening in September 2017.


If I had to do it again, I would still use MEVA. The Imperial panels stay truer than other formwork, and they go together quickly and so easily that you can teach anybody how to put them together. The drawings are nice, and the support has been good.

Jamey Arrasmith, Project Superintendent, Messer Construction Co.


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Client:
Cincinnati Shakespeare Co

Project:
The Otto M. Budig Theater

Location:
Cincinnati, Ohio

Engineering & Support:
MEVA Formwork Systems, Inc.


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