Argon Plaza
Case Study

Argon Plaza

Built in 1988 and located in the Fair Lakes Office Park in Fairfax, Virginia, Argon Plaza is a 10-floor office building totaling more than 273,000 square feet.

The building has an on-site café, a tenant-only fitness center and is within walking distance to Fair Lakes Office Park amenities such as Starbucks and Whole Foods. Adjacent to the Fair Lakes Hyatt, Argon Plaza is owned by Shorenstein and managed by Peterson Companies.

The Challenge

Building owners were unhappy with the look and finish of the bronze at the main and rear entrances, which included the revolving doors and their housing, sidelights and herculite doors. The owners saw an aesthetic disconnect between the existing look and upgrades that had been made to other finishes in the building (light sconces, wall reveals and paint). At the outset, the owner of the building considered a number of options. One was to look at restoring and refinishing the bronze surfaces. Another was to consider replacing the bronze surfaces with stainless steel.

The Solution

Stuart Dean developed and applied a customized Monel “nickel” bronze finish to the bronze surfaces to beautify and protect them for years to come. To minimize interruptions to the building’s daily activities, Stuart Dean technicians initially conducted the restoration work at night, but they encountered a challenge. They realized that they were not able to discern whether the bronze surfaces were drying evenly in minimal light. Technicians instead adjusted their schedules and completed all work during daylight hours on the weekend. Throughout the restoration project, Stuart Dean technicians also noticed that not all of the bronze was effectively accepting the oxidation process, leaving an uneven finish in several areas. Based on their knowledge of metal restoration techniques, Stuart Dean specialists were able to adjust and change, ensuring an even finish throughout.

The Benefits

  • Day-to-day business activities were not affected.
  • Building owners were able to avoid fabricating and installing stainless steel, which would have been five times more expensive.
  • All door handles were matched to the new finish and did not need to be replaced.
  • Building owners were so pleased with the Monel bronze finish that they requested a proposal to complete all remaining bronze in the lobby to include elevator entrances and cabs as well as tenant entrances. This enabled the owners to save the time and money that would have been required to replace all of the cabs.
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