Highfield House Plaza Restoration
- Self-performed, three-phase strategy
- Extensive research, mock-ups, and a collaborative approach for the desired end-result
- Preservation and conservation were key in ensuring long-term durability
- Value engineering utilized for additional cost savings
- Completed without any major safety incidents
Engineer of Record:Moseley Architects
Situated in the Tuscany-Canterbury neighborhood of Baltimore, MD, Highfield House was originally constructed as an apartment building that was converted to a high-rise condominium. The building was designed in 1964 and is the second of two buildings designed by German Architect Ludwig Mies van der Roh. In 2007, the National Park Service listed Highfield House on the National Register of Historic Places, recognized for its significance to the history of modernism in Baltimore City. The property features a 46,000 sf pedestrian plaza with planting beds, concrete benches, aluminum and glass screen walls, and small brick-clad planters surrounded by privacy concrete walls. Below the plaza is a sunken pool.
The plaza went through major repairs to serve as the roof for the building’s parking structure. Additionally, the pool deck was restored due to water penetrating the roof of the garage. This caused deterioration to occur with the concrete and steel reinforcement of the columns that supported the garage roof, plaza, and building.
To address ongoing deteriorating conditions and maintenance concerns, the owners engaged the Engineer of Record Moseley Architects to prepare a repair solution and STRUCTURAL was integral in keeping the historical integrity of the building’s original design intact. The team operated on a three-phased approach with an appropriate budget in place and contingencies to fully rehabilitate the plaza. Over 50,000 sf of exposed aggregate topping slab and 47,000 sf of hot-applied waterproofing membrane were removed and replaced, flashing and drain covers were installed, and existing steel railings were repaired. Additional repairs were made to the waffle slab that served as the main structural element along with concrete benches that had visible signs of wear due to the structure’s age.
As the team began to work on the project, they experienced many challenges. Some of these challenges included material delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, inclement weather, and unknown existing site conditions. By utilizing key subcontracting partners and material suppliers, the team addressed these issues and achieved the desired finish.
The Highfield House Plaza Restoration was completed over the span of 18-months. The team facilitated 46 different concrete placement days that involved placing over 853 cubic yards of integrally colored concrete with an exposed aggregate finish. The project was completed without any safety incidents.