Annual Decorative Concrete Competition Lauds Projects Based on Skill and Creativity

gorgeous three tone pool deck with large pool
Photos courtesy of L. M. Scofield Co.

In February, L. M. Scofield Co. held its eighth annual Decorative Concrete Awards ceremony at World of Concrete 2016. Scofield’s contest is focused on honoring outstanding concrete work that uses Scofield Systems. Contractors, construction companies, architects and designers are eligible to submit, and projects are judged on skill of installation, creativity, artistic expression and integration with the overall design intent.

Here are summaries of the projects of the Grand Prize winners in six categories, as well as the names of the runners-up.

slate pool deck with natural looking architectural concrete
Ozark Pattern Concrete
Lowell, Arkansas

Stamped Concrete

Grand Prize winner
Ozark Pattern Concrete,
Lowell, Arkansas

Slate pavers are highly prized for hardscaping, but they come with a high price tag as well. With the real thing not suitable for the budget, a homeowner in Fayetteville, Arkansas, opted to go with concrete to create the most authentic-looking slate pool deck possible.

Ozark Pattern Concrete Inc. specializes in realistic, natural-looking architectural concrete and it was up for the challenge to create an authentic one-off look. The OPC crew started the 2,174-square-foot project with a classic random-slate stamped pattern. The concrete was colored with Scofield Lithochrome color hardener in Platinum Gray, using Deep Charcoal antiquing release.

OPC also poured and textured a curb to create a raised bed on the house side of the project. Then OPC highlighted individual stones with different dyes. Varying the color creates the impression of natural stone in all its variety of color.

First Runner-up
Pro-Line, Oregon, Ohio | Tawil project

Second Runner-up
Architectural Concrete, Louisville, Kentucky | Fire Pit

Integral Color GRAND PRIZE WINNER PGAdesign, Oakland, California
Oakland, California

Integral Color

Grand Prize winner
PGAdesign, Oakland, California

The Guadalupe River Park and Gardens, “a three-mile ribbon of park land” that runs along the riverbank in the heart of downtown San Jose, California, has many distinct features, with the newest its Rotary PlayGarden.
The Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, which was created in the 1960s to beautify the city and, more importantly, protect it from flooding, has implemented master plans for land use compatible with that mission that include a series of parks, trails and gardens.

The Rotary Club of San Jose wanted to make the PlayGarden its centennial gift to the community, which asked the club for a play area that could give children of varying abilities a choice of activities including spinning, rotating, swinging, sliding and tactile play.

General contractor Hensel Phelps teamed up with landscape architect PGAdesign to build a unique place with equipment for climbing, spinning and bouncing, along with areas of sand, water and even a wheelchair-accessible carousel. The creative layout allows children with special needs to play alongside their siblings and friends.

river landscape with fish

To echo the river landscape, PGAdesign landscape architect Karen Krolewski specified concrete integrally colored with Scofield’s Chromix admixtures for color-conditioned concrete and stained with Lithochrome color hardener. Scofield even developed a custom blue color, Rotary II, to complement the blue rubber under the play equipment.

Achieving consistent color under variable conditions proved a challenge, but in the end, the color was consistent — and brilliant — even with two different pours.

First Runner-up
Macedos Construction, Flemington, New Jersey
Port Liberty Cruise Lines

Second Runner-up
Storybook Gardens, Ilderton, Ontario, Canada
Frank Van Bussel & Sons

green and brown floor with water like feature
Capitol Decorative Concrete
Piedmont, South Carolina

Artistic Concrete

Grand Prize winner
Capitol Decorative Concrete,
Piedmont, South Carolina

Why limit art to walls when floors make such wonderful canvases? The owners of Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina in South Carolina wanted a retail floor that was both unique and evocative of their place on the historic harbor, so they asked Victoria M. Simpson, concrete artist and owner of Capitol Decorative Concrete, to fashion one. She suggested recreating an old map of the harbor and they loved the idea.

“The project is truly the most creative project I have done to date,” Simpson says. She started by dividing an 8 1/2-by-11-inch navigational map into a small grid, enlarging each square to 3-by-3 feet on the floor and drawing the pattern in pencil and marker. Then she scored each detail — islands, beaches, marshes, bridges and shipwrecks — with a diamond four-inch grinder blade to allow for a color break.

To create the appearance of water, Simpson carefully sprayed Copper Patina and Fern Green Scofield Lithochrome Chemstain in different strengths and allowed them to run together to create a marbleized effect that looks like movement from shallow to deep. Antique Amber was used for sandy beaches and Dark Walnut and Padre Brown for the landmasses. Shipwrecks were marked in primary colors with acrylic paint and sealed.

“The owners fell in love with the floor and decided that the shipwrecks could be a game for kids shopping with their parents,” Simpson says. “They are given a prize if they locate all the shipwrecks in the store. The search keeps them busy while their parents are shopping.”

First Runner-up
Nu-Crete Surgeons
Pompano Beach, Florida

Second Runner-up
Philadelphia Polished Concrete,
Manahawkin, New Jersey
Organic Logo for Manavi Gourmet Market

earthy brown washed out floor
Hyde Concrete
Pasadena, Maryland

Stained Concrete

Grand Prize winner
Hyde Concrete, Pasadena, Maryland

Animals and carpets have a problematic relationship, but how else could two veterinarians with lots of pets get the look of comfortable luxury in their new home? Try going with a stained cementitious overlay.

The architect wanted an earthy floor that complemented wood accents in the home, particularly the wood beams in the ceiling. A product vendor had seen other finished floors created by Hyde Concrete and recommended she bring them in. Together they came up with the idea of a colored concrete floor that included a wood inlay to mirror the ceiling beams. It took several samples to come up with the right combination of color, pattern and texture in the otherwise smooth self-leveling overlay.

Three-quarter-inch walnut inlays were placed and then Hyde Concrete got to work. First, it took extra care to protect the wood inlays. Then it primed the substrate and stapled in a metal lath.

The next step was to place a half-inch self-leveling underlayment. After prepping this surface, the crew placed a quarter-inch self-leveling cementitious overlay and strategically broadcast a dry shake color hardener to achieve a colored void in the surface for a final effect. After cleaning and prepping again, Hyde stained the floor with Scofield Lithochrome in Padre Brown and sealed it with a clear epoxy primer and a urethane topcoat.

Now animals and humans are at home on this stunning and durable floor.

First Runner-up
Maverick Specialty Contracting
Seattle, Washington
Kids ’N Us Learning Academy

Second Runner-up
Turner Construction
Seattle, Washington
Amazon Block

view of Washington Bridge
Beta Group Inc.
Lincoln, Rhode Island


Grand Prize winner
Beta Group Inc., Lincoln, Rhode Island

From 18-wheelers to two-wheelers, the type of traffic has changed significantly since the Washington Bridge was constructed in 1930, replacing the original circa 1875 bridge. Once a city street connector that linked East Providence with the city of Providence, Rhode Island, and a former interstate highway carrier, the bridge still runs alongside one of the state’s busiest freeways, Interstate 195.

But now a new bridge to the north carries the interstate travelers and the south side of the old Washington Bridge has been transformed into the beautiful George Redman Linear Park. Instead of semis, it’s now crossed by walkers, strollers, runners and cyclists, including thousands of bike commuters. And stamped and textured concrete is a big part of its transformation.

Beta Group Inc. project manager Kelly Carr was tasked with keeping the park harmonious with the surrounding Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor preserving the region’s Industrial Revolution mill history. Stone pavers were originally planned for the median and pedestrian way, but the weight, cost and constructability were prohibitive.

Instead Beta colored the concrete decking with Scofield’s Lithochrome Color Hardener in Brick Red and Stone Gray. The crew textured different areas with Lithotex Pavecrafters concrete imprinting tools in traditional patterns of New Brick Basketweave, Limestone Double Rectangle Stacked and Used Brick Running Bond and applied Lithochrome Antiquing Release in Deep Charcoal.

The challenge came with the conditions under which the texturing had to be completed. The wind blows at a constant 5 to 15 miles per hour and direct sun hits the bridge surface 90 percent of the day. The team placed multiple 10-by-10-foot test panels in real life conditions so members could verify results and modify techniques until they got the desired results — a beautiful park with its own unique character.

First Runner-up
Ramsey Constructors Inc., Lakeville, New York
Ontario roadwork

Second Runner-up
Streb Construction, Iowa City, Iowa | I-80 wall

new polished concrete floor at AMC Theatre in St. Charles, Missouri
Missouri Terrazzo Co.
St. Louis, Missouri

Polished Concrete

Grand Prize winner
Missouri Terrazzo Co., St. Louis, Missouri

Movies inhabit the world of make-believe, where special effects can seem more real than true life. And that is a perfect description of the new polished concrete floor at the AMC Theater in St. Charles, Missouri. Although it really looks like terrazzo, it is in fact polished concrete, with the concrete mix and the choice of aggregates conceived and executed as carefully as any big-screen spectacle.

The owners wanted all the color and energy of terrazzo, as well as its look of quality and permanence, but the cost made it impractical for this application. That didn’t stop them, though, from calling local experts Missouri Terrazzo Co. for help.

The project manager for the company’s resinous and polished concrete division, Rick Chalcraft, had the solution: Install a specially formulated concrete floor, color it with the Scofield Formula One system of liquid dye, distribute marble chips to mimic terrazzo, and grind and polish to a high gloss.

Missouri Terrazzo oversaw every aspect of the floor, from designing the mix to choosing the aggregate. Vee-Jay Cement Contracting Co. out of St. Louis poured the floor with the colored aggregate and broadcast more chips before finishing it. Then Chalcraft’s team dyed the concrete using three dye colors, Leather, Driftwood and Black, and finished by grinding and polishing the floor.

“A lot of care went into the final look,” says Chalcraft. “This is the closest we’ve ever come to actual terrazzo.” It’s an illusion that would make any special effects artist proud.

First Runner-up
Philadelphia Polished Concrete, Manahawkin, New Jersey
Manavi Gourmet Market

Second Runner-up
Premier Concrete Construction, Wilton, New Hampshire
Weare Residence

Got more questions about your project?

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpeg, jpg, gif, png, pdf, Max. file size: 50 MB.
      Allowed formats: jpeg, jpg, gif, png, pdf
    • How would you like us to respond?

    • Note: Some questions will be published anonymously with their answers at the end of this story to share with other readers.