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Monoliths of Red Rock




The four faces of each wall batter at different angles and are matched by the 11 different sloping tops of each wall.


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Next time you're in Vegas, make an effort to see one of the area's natural wonders--Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Designated as Nevada's first national conservation area, Red Rock Canyon is a mammoth 65-million year old geological outcropping of sandstone just 17 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. It's a world apart. There's a visitor's center here and a 13-mile scenic drive through the area. People can hike on these massive rocks, wander along more than 30 miles of hiking trails, picnic, cycle or horseback.

With more than one million visitors a year, the Red Rock Visitor Center decided it needed an architectural centerpiece in keeping with Red Rock Canyon and hired Armada Construction, a concrete contractor, to produce something special for the center.

The result is 11 different architectural finished walls that intersect with each other, mimicking the Red Rock Canyon. The four faces of each wall batter at different angles and are matched by the 11 different sloping tops of each wall. Ten of the walls are arranged into two groups. The first group has three intersecting walls; the second group has seven interesting walls. The intersection points between the walls vary. The wall heights range from approximately nine feet to 19 feet.




The Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center just outside Vegas now sports 11 different architectural finished walls that intersect with each other, mimicking Red Rock Canyon.


The solution to meet this challenging architectural vision, which included reveal and specified tie locations in addition to the battered and intersecting walls, was Doka Top50 Formwork. The formwork engineering company design team included Gaudencio Herrera Jr., project manager and Alexander Garcia, technician. According to Herrera, one of the first tasks for Doka was to determine which walls had similar measurements and would allow grouping to minimize the amount of formwork gangs. A pour sequence also had to be determined to minimize the interactions between the walls and the number of necessary pours. The effective solution was to pour four walls at a time and minimized the number of concrete pours to only four.

The project began with a mock-up wall to ensure the reveal and tie patterns could be accomplished. This project used 2,200 square-feet of custom Top50 formwork, which was comprised of four groups of gangs, totaling 20 individual gangs that were pre-assembled at the Riverside, Calif. location and delivered to the site ready for immediate deployment. The custom forming equipment can be precision-assembled and is designed to provide easy and efficient forming sequences. The system can be configured for fast and safe stripping of the formwork, after which the interior forms can be immediately reconfigured and rapidly re-set into the next casting.

Herrera noted the formwork allowed the needed versatility for this project. Its durability allowed the contractor to achieve the variable tie pattern and finish the architect desired.

The initial design phase began in October 2008 and the formwork was delivered February 2009, allowing the walls to be completed in May 2009. The result seems an architecturally appropriate art piece that complements the surroundings.


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May 26, 2019, 3:04 pm PDT

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