Liberty Sky

Salt Lake City


Submitted By: Jacobsen Construction Co.

Owner: Cowboy Partners

Lead Design Firm: Smallwood

General Contractor: Jacobsen Construction Co.

This 21-story apartment tower is Salt Lake City’s first high-rise apartment community and includes 278 apartments and five parking decks. The tower and four-story parking structure were built on just over an acre of land on a busy downtown block.

The structure is made up of a network of shear walls, bearing columns and post-tensioned concrete slabs. This design intentionally showcases extensive amounts of exposed concrete, which required precise mechanical and plumbing design and execution as it left no room for adjustment in the field.

BIM modeling followed by robotics-controlled layout ensured each element hit its mark and that finishes were not compromised.

This type of all-concrete structural framework for a high-rise is a first ever for the Salt Lake City market. Concrete crews were able to place a full concrete floor and a full set of concrete walls every 11 days, which helped the project maintain a fast pace despite the added time requirements of an all-concrete structural frame.

Liberty Sky

Photo by Dana Sohm

The design meant that the structural and architecturally exposed concrete became a “forever” product. The concrete columns and shear planes make up both the exterior and interior. In many other structures, they are often covered once shear planes are standing, but the Liberty Sky project team was essentially starting with finished elements. As a result, craftworker skill is forever on display as an intentional and unique element.

Every apartment and corridor consists of exposed 10-ft-high concrete ceilings and shear walls. These high ceilings, combined with floor-to-ceiling glazed storefronts, allows unfettered access to expansive outside views minus any drywall or other elements acting as an intermediary between the exterior wall and the outdoors, maximizing the feeling of spacious living in even the most modest size studio apartment.

The project’s tight urban site and entirely rebar-reinforced concrete structure required adjustments to typical construction processes. Placement of thousands of cubic yards of concrete on each of its 21 levels was scheduled to begin around 1 a.m. each day so that most work could be completed before the city came to life at 8 a.m.