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  • This impressive circular concrete reception desk at the upscale Aloft Hotel in Milwaukee echos the sleek, contemporary look of the hotel while beautifully complementing the lobby's polished concrete floor.
  • A view behind the desk shows the built-in cabinetry as well as the lower counter and concrete backsplash.
  • All seams in the desk were filled with a grout specially color matched to the Rocky Mountain gray concrete.
  • To obtain a perfect circle, CustomCreteWerks relied on computer-aided design software to create the templates.
  • A CNC router precision cuts the forms.
  • Assembling the form sections for the main counter, backsplash, and work counter.

The challengeTo build a state-of-the-art concrete reception desk for the Aloft Hotel in downtown Milwaukee, a modern five-story, 160-room facility featuring loft-inspired design. In addition to the curvilinear shape, the desk had to be built to discretely accommodate storage cabinetry and computer systems and minimize their view to the public.

Materials used

  • Concrete mix: CustomCreteWerks N-viroCrete™, a lightweight environmentally friendly concrete, made from recycled materials
  • Sealer: CustomCreteWerks N-hansed™ StainProof sealer
  • Integral color: Rocky Mountain gray from the CustomCreteWerks Design Series line

Secrets to successTo achieve a precise radius, CustomCreteWerks used computer-aided design software (from SolidWorks) to draw the desk and a CNC router to cut all templates and forms. The top was made in four pieces, the lower counter in three pieces, and the backsplash in five pieces for easier assembly.

Green features

  • The N-hansed StainProof surface requires no resealing and only routine cleaning.
  • N-viroCrete concrete incorporates recycled pozzolans.
  • The desk was locally manufactured at the CustomCreteWerks shop in Racine, Wis. Materials and supplies were also purchased locally and in bulk when possible.

Lessons learned"The biggest challenge was working with the cabinetmaker," says Farrey. "Due to inconsistencies, we had to re-template the structure after it was installed and make more changes before casting. Next time, we will supply a CNC template to the cabinetmaker and one for the jobsite. This will allow us to manufacture everything earlier and accommodate tight deadlines."

ManufacturerDan Farrey, President
Racine, WI 53404

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