Restoration – Façade & Plaza

Torpedo Factory Art Center Historic Facade


Features: Former Munitions Factory constructed in 1919. Façade comprised of exposed Concrete Frame with punched windows.

Description: The Torpedo Factory Art Center is located along the Potomac River waterfront in the Old Town Alexandria historic district. The building was originally constructed in 1919 and housed a Federal munitions plant until 1945. The building was purchased by the City of Alexandria in 1969 and started being used as a working artists’ studio in 1974.

The building exterior is an exposed concrete frame structure with columns and a combination of precast and cast-in-place spandrels beams. The exterior concrete frame is infilled with glass window walls in most bays with cement plaster panels infilling the remaining bays.

The City of Alexandria selected DESMAN to provide full scope engineering services for the assessment and restoration of the exterior façade. DESMAN’s condition survey identified exterior concrete cracking and spalling, deteriorated sealants, and failing parge coat. Bid documents were prepared that allowed the City to perform the needed repairs without impacting the ongoing operation of this tourist destination. The final aesthetic finish was achieved by sandblasting clean the façade and applying a protective coating. As Prime Consultant, DESMAN performed all aspects of this maintenance and restoration project including condition assessment and testing, recommendation for protection, maintenance and renovation, cost estimating, construction documents, bidding, and construction administration.

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