Curved Tilt-Up panels, the first known curved panels in Utah, highlight the modernistic Dixie Center conferencing and convention center located at St. George, a rapidly growing desert community in the southwest corner of Utah.
The curved panels were used to create a dramatic rotunda entry. The panels were cast on site in a curved casting bed.
St. George is in an area of warm year-round climate and spectacular red-rock land formations. A significant retirement and recreation-based population has moved there.
The convention center includes meeting rooms, conferencing suites, banquet hall and kitchen, and a large exhibition/multi-use space with back of house staging and support activities. Tilt-Up was chosen for economy and speed of construction.
General and Tilt-Up contractors were Hughes General Contractors, of North Salt Lake, Utah, with Brent Stuart serving as project manager.
The architect was Ross Wentworth of Naylor Wentworth Architects, and the engineer was Mark Harris of Reaveley Engineers & Associates, all of Salt Lake City.
The facility is owned by the Washington County—St. George Interlocal Agency.
The design incorporates the use of integrally colored, cast on site panels that are used as both exterior and interior finishes, both faces (cast up and cast down) being used as finished surfaces.
Multiple colors and sandblasted textures as well as both flat and curved panels were used, and all of the construction elements look like they were selected from the surrounding red earth of southern Utah. In addition, the play of the desert sun creates subtleties of color and shadow that enhance the beauty of the structure.
Both entrances are flanked with colored Tilt-Up decorative elements. These are topped by triangular-shaped, concave aluminum plates that provide a shining and stark contrast to the concrete. Above the doorways, lift points were covered with a ring of metal filled with iridescent glass, resulting in a striking detail comprised of triple banks of pinpoint windows. Light is admitted, but heat kept out.
The entire effect is one of natural terra cotta highlighted by sterling silver—very southwestern in feel.
Strict adherence to quality control checklists and consistency of mix design and proportions were used to achieve consistent color and texture on panels. The ready mix supplier was involved in developing the quality control checklists.
This beautiful 136,000 sq. ft. facility was completed November 1, 1998, at a cost of $103 per square foot.
St. George, UT
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