The new 33-foot-high sculpture in Atlanta, Georgia's Midtown Arts Center looks like a metal monolith with sharp edges and stunning curves, but it's not. At nearly 100 tons, Stealth is fashioned from 52 cubic yards of a concrete mixture developed especially for the project by the Thomas Concrete Group, a Swedish family-owned company with dealings in the U.S. The striking sculpture was unveiled in November.
The concrete contains black sand from a special limestone with iron oxide and carbon pigments, and a synthetic macro fiber reinforcement. After casting, the sculpture was diamond honed to remove imperfections and wet polished to achieve a reflective blue-black finish that gleams like steel. Besides the concrete's rich black color, it was formulated to be super strong, highly crack resistant and able to flow into the formwork's sharply angled shapes.
More than two years in the making, Stealth envelops 8 tons of steel reinforcing bars. Each one of these was cut by hand and individually placed in position with extreme precision.
Stealth was designed by artist and architect Tristan Al-Haddad, the owner of Formation Studios and an assistant professor at the School of Architecture at Georgia Tech. Jim Case of Uzun and Case was the structural engineer and Sinclair Construction Group was the concrete contractor.
Al-Haddad and his team of 11 at Formation Studios first made a 3-D parametric model before constructing a complex formwork. The sculpture was cast by using a hybrid of digital manufacturing technologies and some old-fashioned quality craftsmanship.
Thomas Concrete Group's headquarters and development center are in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Group manufactures concrete products in Sweden, Germany, Poland and the U.S.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This sculpture was an award winner in the eighth annual Decorative Concrete Awards competition sponsored by the Decorative Concrete Council, a specialty council of the American Society of Concrete Contractors. See the entire list of winners in the upcoming April issue of Concrete Decor.