Atlas Molded Products supports a synchronized structural infill 73-stories above Detroit
WESTMINSTER, Colo.- When Detroit’s Renaissance Center opened in 1977, the centerpiece was the world’s tallest hotel at the time. The 73-story tower was capped by a three-story restaurant space that featured a revolving floor offering 360-degree views. Both the building and the dining experience were iconic, indelibly hosting a generation of engagement, anniversary, and graduation dinners. In January of 2018, the space was redeveloped with the intention of completely upending the once-a-year destination model by dividing the three floors into four distinct dining concepts. Doing so meant renovating all three floors and removing the revolving-floor apparatus.
“The revolving floor was on rails, like a train, rotating around a gear assembly in the middle,” shares Chris Franks, Geofoam Product Manager with Atlas Molded Products. Stabilizing the floor and making best use of the space meant removing the gear assembly, filling the void and pouring a new concrete slab to make the floor flush. “The circumference of the hole for the gear assembly that had to be filled was 16 feet wide and 28 inches deep. The primary options were building a structural frame or filling it with lightweight, portable Geofoam from Atlas Molded Products.”
Made of incredibly strong cellular plastic, Atlas Geofoam blocks can be as large as 4’ x 16’ x 3’ and range in compressive strength from 2.2 pounds per square inch (psi) at one percent deformation up to 18.6 psi. The blocks are easy to maneuver in tight, hard to access spaces by manual labor and can be ordered custom cut to fit any building program. Both were essential at the Renaissance Center, where installers were required to transport all building materials via the freight elevator, significantly limiting the size and number of pieces of foam per load.
“The circular void was divided into 12 identical wedge-shaped sections,” says Franks. “Each section was filled with a precise configuration of foam pieces; 56 pieces per section and 15 different sizes of precut pieces in each set.”
Atlas Molded Products’ role in helping plan the exacting pre-cut material order saved the installation team tremendous time and effort. Once the Geofoam arrived on the 73rd floor, the first wedge was filled in a few hours and every subsequent section got faster with repetition.
“Atlas takes pride in being both a resource and a material provider to our customers and their customers,” finishes Franks confidently.