I love industry trips! Who wouldn’t like a free trip, great food (typically), a chance to meet new people, and an opportunity to learn new things??
I’ve been to Wisconsin to see the Weather Shield manufacturing facility in Medford. While we were there, we also visited the Cardinal Glass Plant in Spring Green, and saw how float glass is made (super cool). Then we visited the Marvin Window facility in Warroad, Minnesota where I ate more walleye than necessary.
Most recently (last October), I actually got to leave the country and visit the Schluter Systems facility in Montreal, Canada designed by NEUF Architects.
The Canadian training and marketing facility is located about an hour from Montreal. We attended two full days of training there before taking a bus to one of their manufacturing facilities in Plattsburg, NY.
We’ve specified Schluter’s tile edge-protection (image 1) for several projects in the past, but we learned about their other innovative products including: linear shower drains (images 2 and 3) stair-noising, waterproofing systems for under tile, shower systems, and KERDI board (a styrofoam based product that you can actually build shower and tub surrounds with, image 4).
Schluter Strip is know for its special trapezoid-perforated anchoring leg (shown above) that secures the strip to the mortar bed. The Plattsburg plant is responsible for stamping these out (see below). They are saved for recycling.
In addition to learning about Schluter and getting to see some great historic architecture in Montreal, there was another thing that made the trip really great. We found out about the trip from our friend Stuart Smith (Architectural Coordinator at Earth Fare, center in photo) who was planning to go on the trip with his wife, Katlen (also a good friend), and celebrate her birthday while in Montreal. The idea was that Stuart would invite his architecture friends so they could come out for the Schluter training, AND surprise his wife for her birthday. So Joseph and I packed up our bags, and dragged our 13-year old daughter with us and met up with Stuart and Katlen and our friend Christopher Herr (Design Principal at HDR, left in photo) and his wife Tina.
The six of us (plus my daughter Carmen), took full advantage of the social events sponsored by Schluter, did a lot of sight seeing, and had a great time hanging out.
In addition to touring the Montreal Convention Center (Palais de congres de Montreal), and Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, we also got to tour HABITAT 67 (see below), an iconic and idealistic modernist utopia. . . which is unfortunately falling apart (sort of like me, as we are the same age).
Once we left Montreal, we traveled to Plattsburg, NY by bus and ferry for our return journey home. This photo of Tina and me was taken by Joseph. If we look like we we’re having fun in this picture, that’s because all of us had a blast!