Stunning hardscape display in the Rockies

PROSOCO oil and water repellent selected to protect 42,000 square feet of hardscapes of this jaw-dropping design.

A spectacle that would stop visitors in their tracks was the objective when architects at Diller Scofidio + Renfro conceptualized the $91 million U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs, Colo., and did they ever deliver.

Their design accounted for the breathtaking scenes of nearby Pike’s Peak rising in the West by splitting the functional spaces into two – the museum on the south side of the land, and an earth-covered building for the café on the north. In effect, the buildings “frame” Pike’s Peak for an even grander vision of architecture and nature in concert for visitors as they approach the destination from the east.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Sitting on a 1.7-acre piece of land, the 60,000-square-foot museum pays homage to Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and the design’s intent matches the tribute.

According to Benjamin Gilmartin, partner in charge at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the signature steel-frame swoop of the structure mimics the movement of athletes. “The way they seem to shake off the bonds of gravity that hold the rest of us to Earth,” he said. “It’s almost like an Olympic costume that’s stretched over the bones of the building.”

The “bones” of this property stretch far beyond the occupiable space. The building is surrounded by roughly 42,000 square feet of horizontal granite and concrete surfaces that needed protection against weather and significant foot traffic.

Crews at Brightview applied SLX100 at a rate of 8,000 square feet per hour.

To keep the exterior hard surfaces looking good under the demand of high traffic, landscape design and installation firm Brightview applied 450 gallons of a PROSOCO protective treatment. The treatment prevents staining by waterborne and oily substances on most substrates and reduces surface erosion and corrosion of rebar in reinforced concrete caused by water and water-carried salts.

Ed Nagel, owner of Nagel & Associates in Parker, Colo., was on-hand to conduct mockup samples for color and stain resistance and to train crews on how to put the product down. The training wasn’t a difficult task because the product is so easy to apply. The crews used backpack sprayers to apply the liquid protection, and then micro-fibered it out to prevent any puddling, Nagel said.

They finished the job at a rate of about 8,000 square feet treated an hour.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The museum opened in late July 2020 to hundreds of guests and glowing reviews. The signature design is expected to become a trademark building in the Colorado Springs community.

As the owner of Rocket Supply, the company that supplied the protective treatment, Mike Devlin said this is the project of a lifetime as a supplier.

“I’ve been selling PROSOCO since 1997, and this is the most unique design I’ve encountered. In a few years, everybody’s going to know this building.”