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St John Garabed

Summarize the project's program, features and achievements.

The primary achievement was a 15+ year journey for a local church in San Diego to build a traditional Armenian church with a similar look to how they were built in their home country 1,000 years ago. By combining concrete tilt technology we achieved the traditional look at a fraction of the cost. This is the tallest tilt-up buildings Hamann Construction has built. Many aspects of design, engineering and construction were unique for the participants as the building was unique. This made it challenging, fun, and also rewarding with the finished product.

What obstacles were overcome related to the schedule, budget, program, specification, site, etc. on this project?

The complexities of the shape, height, architectural features, and engineering added new dimensions to our pre-construction planning and estimating. The project also had to go through Coastal Commission planning and approval. Initially the design was a traditional build (which would have cost a tremendous amount of money). We were able to work with the client and coastal commission to approve the change and save the client at least half of what they would have spent. The second key obstacle was simulating the blocks and making sure ALL the reveals on each panel would line up when the building was titled. You will see in the pictures we were able to achieve a harmonious block effect on the building.

Communicate any engineering complexities or unique features of the panel design for this project.

Building a modern tilt-up building that looks like a 1000 year old church from Armenia created many challenges. Lifting over 44k sqft of panels into a footprint of only 8226 sqft made space tight. Panel heights reached 60' and in some cases stacked three panels high. To safely brace such tall panels in such a narrow footprint while maintaining workable space was a constant challenge. Building the entire upper roof section on the ground and installing it with a crane furthered the challenge. Having spandrel panels that rest on cantilevered edges of ground panels added to the complexity of the build. Finally the addition of four curved plant on panels at a height of 35' above finish floor finished the build.

What is the potential for this project's impact on the community and/or environment?

The church is near the coast on a wide plane in Del Mar and is visible in the distance from the 5 freeway. It offers an elegant feature to the landscape for the local community and ties in nicely with the surrounding area. It also provides a place of worship as well as a historical reminder for the local Armenian church. It will be a landmark for 100+ years due to the durability of the construction material used.

Main banner image for St John Garabed

Project Location

San Diego, CA 92130
United States


The Tilt-Up Achievement Awards were established to honor projects that use site-cast tilt-up concrete to introduce new building types, advance industry technology and provide unique solutions to building programs. Winning entries illustrate the variety, beauty, and flexibility of tilt-up construction.



The excellence designation is given to the highest scoring projects each year representing the top 10-12 projects. Learn more >

Project Images


Project Team (TCA Members)

General Contractor:
Concrete Contractor:

Project Specifics

Project Category:
Building Types:
Number of Floors:
Number of Panels:
77 panels
Tilt-Up Wall Area:
44,352 sq ft (4,120 sq m)
Total Floor Area:
8,532 sq ft (793 sq m)
Project Footprint:
8,532 sq ft (793 sq m)
Tallest Panel:
50 ft 9 in (15.47 m)
Largest Panel:
917 sq ft (85.2 sq m)
Heaviest Panel:
120,447 lbs (54,634 kg)
Tallest Cantilever:
59 ft 3 in (18.06 m)