Facades of béton brut (raw concrete) were a signature element of Brutalism. Take for example Marcel Breuer & Associates’ buildings for Bronx Community College, including Colston Hall.
The downside of such distinctive envelopes is that their cast-in-place concrete is constantly under assault from the elements. To reverse the deterioration caused by New York’s climate (not to mention the manmade effects of the nearby Major Deegan Expressway), SUPERSTRUCTURES is conducting a restoration of Breuer’s 1961 dormitory.
An examination of the building’s exterior identified various deficiencies in its concrete, brick masonry, stucco, and aluminum-framed glazing. Restoration work for DASNY includes: removal and replacement of cracked, spalled, and displaced brick masonry; repair of spalled concrete; restoration of stucco soffits; window repairs; and sealant joint restoration.
The project also includes reinstallation of guardrails, stone and masonry repointing, repair of deteriorated reinforcement of exterior spandrel beams and balconies, and restoration of deteriorated retaining walls (essential to the terraced site).
Brutalism may not be universally loved, but at every step in this process our mission has been to restore the building to its midcentury glory and preserve it as a vital component of the BCC campus.
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