Themed Concepts creates custom Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) play and nature features for playgrounds, water parks, zoos, museums, aquariums, restaurants, amusement centers, hotels, and religious centers. Based in Forest Lake, Minnesota, they believe that “If it can be imagined, it can be built.” 1
Themed Concepts was officially started in 2013 after a long history of working in various areas of concrete work. They began in 1971 with Peter Nasvik using Bomanite technology to stamp and color concrete in order to create simulated real stone and brick. Innovating with the process, they developed plastic imprinting tools to add texture features to the concrete. As a result of this innovation, Nasvik and his sons, Ole and Kaarl, hold several patents related to concrete technology. 2
Five years later the Minnesota Zoo south of Minneapolis was looking for realistic rocks and trees. At their request in 1976, the team developed, manufactured, and installed GFRC rock work for the zoo’s exhibits and environments. 3 With their new system they began installing GFRC artificial trees and rocks in other zoos as well as restaurants, resorts, amusement parks, and shopping malls.
In addition to their newly developed concrete process, the team utilized metal work from mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum in their designs. By the early 1980s they added net barriers and cargo nets designs and began creating custom water slides, waterfalls, and grotto work for hotels and resorts around the world. 4
With this experience, the team entered into the play industry in 2001 when they built a play site for the City of Edina, Minnesota. As they expanded into playgrounds, they also began using ThemeCRETE, their own proprietary GFRC formula for play features. 5
Being raised in the thematic concrete business, Ole and Kaarl Nasvik established Themed Concepts from the design, manufacture, and installation crews they had been working with for decades. In 2014 they published their first product catalog of GFRC play events and features for custom play designs or for placing adjacent to traditional play equipment. 6
- 1. “Our History in Theming.” Themed Concepts.< http://www.themedconcepts.com/themed_concepts_about.html > 13 March 2014.
- 2. Klooster, Lisa-Marie. Personal correspondence to Playground Professionals. 29 April 2014.
- 3. Op. cit., “Our History in Theming.”
- 4. Klooster, Lisa-Marie. Personal correspondence to Playground Professionals. 31 March 2014.
- 5. “What is GFRC?” Themed Concepts. < 2014 TC Theming Details Brochure_web.pdf. >
- 6. Op. cit., Klooster, Lisa-Marie.