Tag Archives: Cornice Design


2017 APA Design Craftsmanship Award - Sundance East - Palace BlockGFRC Keystone, Banding, Architectural Trim with Fish Pattern, Cornice with Denteel PatternRetail, Entertainment Building Design Accent using Cast Stone, GFRCIntricate Fish Pattern, Key Stone Matched Exactly with Architects Renderings | GFRC product materialHand Carving in Clay on Top of Custom Design Wooden Piece to Match Architects Rendering for KeystoneCreative Hand Design Touch in Clay to Develop Rubber Mold Exactly Matching with Original Design Renderings

The AAS team worked closely with the architect and contractor to realize elevation design for the Sundance Palace Theater  in Fort Worth, TX.

Preserving the original theme of the theater building while carrying out this renovation project was the key to success. The stone pieces for this are custom manufactured using cast stone and GFRC.

The stone panels for the fish design pattern on the jamb and arch used not only the AAS technology, but also the design craftsmanship and experience of the AAS team.

AAS developed the large protruding decorative keystone in architectural GFRC product material. The original design piece was hand carved. AAS artist developed the matching replica of the keystone using clay. Once it was approved by the architects, the team used that to develop rubber mold for the piece. This mold was used in turn to fabricate the keystone with intricate design details in GFRC.

The precise matching of stone pieces for the massive cornice and dentil design at the top of the theater elevation achieved monolithic stone look.


Project Name:
Sundance East – Palace Block

David M Schwarz Architects, Inc.

General Contractor:
Dennet Construction

Cast Stone, Architectural GFRC

Award: APA Design Craftsmanship Award

Cornice work and banding, particularly decorative and protruded banding, are a particular specialty for Architectural Products. The ability of Advanced Architectural Stone (AAS) to produce massively projecting elements with light weight shapes allows architects not only to achieve unattainable results in other materials, but also to achieve the form at a practical and economical cost.




SMU Commons is newly developed residential hall. The designers wanted the new buildings to blend will the overall campus, and yet give it a contemporary feeling for the buildings that are equipped with cutting edge technology. The AAS team worked closely with the customer to custom design and fabricate the stone panels used in the buildings for unifying design accent.

The building designs combined architectural stone cladding, as well monolithic stone veneer for the intended aesthetic vision.

Cladding Design

All the halls in SMU Commons have wall copings, architectural trim, stone panel entry way designs, wainscots that unified the design accent. With computerized batch plant to precisely control the admixture for the manufactured stone panels, the custom color and structural properties of the stone panels were consistently uniform.

The buildings have integrated cornice and banding designs with look of monolithic stone.

The cladding application design used both cast stone, as well as GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete).


PROJECT: SMU Commons | Architectural Stone CladdingFabricated Stone Panels Cladding: Cast Stone, GFRC PanelsFabricated Stone Panels Cladding: Cast Stone, GFRC Panels



Veneer Design

The stone veneer design in the project has effect of monolithic stone customized to maximize the views. It is designed to integrate with the glass. Close working relationship with the contractor and designer for the project was a key to confirm design feasibility. The AAS team developed custom molds to fabricate every stone piece to precise shape with stringent tolerance requirements. The stone panels color precisely with cladding panels used throughout the SMU Commons buildings.


Anita and Truman Arnolds Dining Commons, SMU | Cast stone, Architectural GFRC | Custom Molds, Customer Project Management Simplified Installation, Achieved Design with PrecisionProject: SMU Commons | Architectural Stone Cladding, Veneer Design | Custom Mold Making | Design and Technology



Pilaster Design


The exterior elevation design has seamlessly integrated pilasters using precisely developed custom molds that matched stringent tolerance requirements.

The ability of the AAS team to work closely assisting with the design feasibility early in the project mitigated risk in the project execution.


What does it take to design and manufacture Architectural GFRC products?

What makes Architecture GFRC ideal for higher elevation applications?


See the manufacturing process and technology used for cornices of the new sorority house building at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) in step-by-step sequence of videos in this blog post. These video clips are captured at the Mesa Precast plant of Advanced Architectural Stone; this plant is located in Tempe, AZ.


Step One: Custom Molds


AAS team used the in house custom mold making technology and craftsmanship to create the required molds of specific shape for each GFRC panel used on this project. For the exterior cornices of the building, these molds are big in size as well. See more on it in their video.




Step Two: Spray Mix for GFRC

The Architectural GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) products are manufactured by spraying specific mix. AAS has automated batch plant system to create the right mix with precise control over proportions and consistency.

See spray mix getting ready for the manufacturing in this video.




Step Three: Facing Mix

The first step in creating 3/4 ” thick GFRC panel is, applying the face mix. It doesn’t have any fibers in it. It helps create a smooth finish on the outside. In this project, the cornices are going to be acid etched, so the smooth surface is very helpful for creating that finish later on.

See facing mix being applied…



The face mix is brushed to make sure all surfaces are covered, and also there are no air bubbles…



Step Four: Applying Back up Mix

Next step in the manufacturing is applying back up mix that has fibers in it. This is applied over three layers typically with brushing and packing in every step to eliminate bubbles and gaps in the panels.

Material technology to create the right mix is one of core differentiators of the Advanced Architectural Stone.



Watch back up mix being compacted using brush and rollers in this video clip…



Step Five: GFRC Frame for Attaching Cornice to the Building During Installation


The idea with this GFRC cornice is to simplify installation with per-engineered steel installation frame attached to the GFRC skin, so that from outside it looks like a solid concrete piece…



While the frame is being integrated into the GFRC panel structure, edges are also thickened to make the product stronger and structurally more sound.





GFRC Cornice Ready for Surface Finishing and then for the Installation


The the manufactured Cornice piece realized with custom molds, right materials selection, and specific technology and expertise in creating an engineered piece precise in tolerance, ready to install.




While it looks like solid concrete from the outside, this Architectural GFRC cornice is so light in weight when compared to concrete or other cast products such as cast stone or architectural precast. This makes Architectural GFRC ideal for higher elevation applications.