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Modern Art Takes Advantage of Modern Equipment


With the help of four state-of-the-art Putzmeister concrete boom pumps, a huge 1.5-acre “reflections” pool was placed next to the newly constructed Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.

The completed Modern Art Museum is shown with its new “reflections” pond. The pond was pumped by O’Brien Concrete Pumping using Putzmeister equipment. Photo property of Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Night View. Photography by David Woo.

Modern Art Takes Advantage of Modern Equipment

With the help of four state-of-the-art Putzmeister boom pumps, a huge 1.5-acre “reflections” pool was placed next to the newly constructed Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas.

Modern Art Takes Advantage of Modern Equipment
The unusual pond was designed to reflect the glass and steel galleries of the new building’s unique architecture created by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

With limited access to the site, the four Putzmeister boom pumps placed 1,400 cubic yards concrete within 12 hours. Extreme care had to be taken to avoid both roof overhangs and the 40-foot-high transparent walls of glass surrounding three sides of the L-shaped building where the pond was created. In addition, mixer trucks were prohibited from driving over the rebar.

Dean Norvell of O’Brien Concrete Pumping, Inc., of Keller, Texas, who supplied the pumping services, said, “This was the biggest pool I’d ever seen. And because of the limited site conditions, we needed a 90-meter pump. But since no such machine exists, we were forced to pump from one unit to the next to get the required reach and keep the mixers off the rebar.”

As a result, a 36-Meter and a 28Z-Meter were allowed to drive atop the rebar and set up only once. Then the 36-Meter pumped to another 36-Meter positioned inside the grade, and the 52Z-Meter pumped to a 28Z-Meter in the same manner.

As the pour progressed to the outer edges, the pumps were moved from inside the grade and the rebar reset. Then the two 36-Meter Putzmeister pumps finished the job.

The pour started on a Sunday night around 8 p.m. to avoid traffic congestion, ensure concrete availability and prevent cold joints. Beall Concrete of Fort Worth continuously dispatched the concrete from two nearby batch plants. Consequently, concrete was placed at a rate of over 100 yards an hour.

After the successful pour, the pond was flooded with water. As a result, the new Modern’s setting on 11 landscaped acres with the large reflecting pond at the building’s edge will provide a restful complement to the building’s architectural strength by day. By night, with the building walls bathed in an even glow of light, the transparent glass and steel galleries will appear as large lanterns floating on and reflected in the pond.

The construction of the new 153,000-square-foot Modern Art Museum in Texas began in September 1999 with the official opening of the $60 million project on December 14, 2002. The museum is noted for its vast collection of postwar art, featuring approximately 2,600 works of art. The facility boasts 53,000 square feet of gallery space, making it second in size only to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

JOB SPECS
Owner: MPA Foundation, a non-profit entity created to facilitate the redevelopment of the property
Architect: Tadao Ando Architect & Associates – Osaka, Japan
General contractor: Linbeck Construction Group – Fort Worth, Texas
Concrete contractor: Foundations by Rangel – San Antonio
Pumping contractor: O’Brien Concrete Pumping – Keller, Texas
Ready-mix supplier: Beall Concrete – Fort Worth, Texas
Equipment: Putzmeister 52Z-Meter, 36-Meter (2) and 28Z-Meter concrete boom pumps