Slate Contributes To Soothing Spa Environment

June 1, 2005
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A variety of rich textured materials -- including stone and tile -- created the hip yet soothing design of Elements Spa. As part of the new Minerals Resort & Spa -- set within the Kittatinny Mountains of Vernon, NJ -- this new center for renewing mind, body and soul is named to reflect the plentiful amount of mineral species found within its environment. And the design itself was intended to play off this aspect as well.

“Elements Spa is derived on elements found in the stone and tile that I picked,” said Chris Kofitsas of New World Design Studios in Clifton, NJ, the architect for the project. “Being a spa, we centralized on the water. We did an analysis of it and found that it had the highest content of minerals in the world.”

The architect explained how he chose materials that not only reflected contents found in the earth, but ones that also exuded warm tones. “I picked Indian Copper slate,” he said. “Copper elements are found inherently in the slate, and the water also has a high copper content. The copper is carried out throughout the entire project.”

While the flooring for all of the public spaces within the 5,000-square-foot spa consists of Indian Copper slate, additional materials such as marble, granite, porcelain, glass mosaics, rice paper and copper are also visible throughout the design. “We used four or five types of stone,” said Kofitsas. “I love the way stone looks, feels and makes people feel. It has a luxurious feel. I also can't overlook its therapeutic value.”

Rojo Crystal marble, which is used for the countertop of the reception desk, is a subtle complement to the structure's front copper panels and slate floor. As the slate travels down the welcoming area to a corridor, an accent wall formed by Lexan plastic panels with a rice paper finish creates an illuminating effect.

The relaxing motif continues into the Signature Tub Room, where 4- x 4-inch tumbled Giallo Reale marble tiles clad portions of the floor, walls and ceiling. Further contributing to the soft feel of the space are accent pieces, such as the coping around the “Signature Tub,” which is fabricated from polished Giallo Reale. Additionally, Rojo Crystal marble was used to form a shower bench in the room, and 1- x 1-inch Iridium glass mosaic pieces create a glistening wall behind the tub. These same tiles were also employed for the shower stall, while 4- x 4-inch tumbled pieces of Giallo Reale are used on the floor.

Overall, the process of building Elements Spa ran smoothly, according to Kofitsas. “There were some minor [challenges] that we seemed to overcome,” he said. “There was some deep veining in the marble, but we were able to have our stone contractor cut with the veining. We decided to circumvent it.”

According to the architect, several delicate stones were used in this project, so it was not unusual to come across something like this. But because of its beauty and that it is a natural material, Kofitsas will always use stone in his designs, he said. “I pretty much use it all over,” said the architect. “I've yet to come across a material that can compare to its durability, look and aesthetics.”

End box

Elements Spa at the Minerals Resort & Spa
Vernon, NJ

Architect: New World Design Studios, Clifton, NJ
Stone Suppliers: Tiles - A Refine Selection, New York, NY (Indian Copper slate); Ideal Tile, Parsippany, NJ (Giallo Reale, Rojo Crystal marble)
Stone Installer: Success Solutions (Indian Copper slate and Cafe Forest marble); New World Design Studios, Clifton, NJ (Giallo Reale marble)

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