HOSPITALITY DESIGN: Creating Class with Black and White Marble
March 13, 2006
The new Bloomingdale's department store in Manhattan was designed with a marble floor in a checkerboard pattern, establishing a sophisticated retail setting for customers
To help maintain the prestigious image generally associated with Bloomingdale's department stores, architects designed the most recent retail store location in the SoHo area of Manhattan with marble and granite flooring, in hopes to uphold its classy reputation.
According to Edward M. Calabrese, Retail Group Creative Director of ManciniÂ·Duffy, formerly of Tucci, Segrete and Rosen of New York, NY, the goal of the project was to â€œcreate a store that targeted Bloomingdale's Y.E.S. [women's clothing collection] and contemporary customer in a space that maintained the 'SoHo' building personality, and at the same time, had very contemporary nuances.â€
In order to meet the desired look, the architects selected black and white marble for the flooring. Innovative Marble and Tile, Inc. of Hauppauge, NY, supplied 23,000 square feet of marble for the 95,000-square-foot, six-story retail store. Calabrese felt that these materials â€œprovided the ultimate contrast and sparkle opportunities that was the desired effectâ€ for the project.
The polished floor was constructed in 18- x 18-inch squares of Galatia Black and Burbank White marble to create a checkerboard pattern. â€œThe black and white main floor area pattern is a stylized version of Bloomingdale's signature icon at 59th street,â€ said Calabrese. â€œThe pattern was rescaled and used more extensively here, along with a black and white stripe of the same materials.â€
In the Fine Jewelry department, architects used 12- x 18- and 6- x 18-inch tiles of Galatia Black. In addition, 4- x 4-inch tiles of Burbank White were also employed.
For the escalator landings, 1- x 1-inch black and white mosaic tiles were used. â€œThe mosaics around the escalator wall openings help create a transition from the escalator to the floor,â€ explained Reg Gregory from Innovative Tile and Marble. He added that three staircases in the store were constructed with 4-foot-long slabs of Galatia and Burbank marble in 1 1â„4-inch-thick pieces.
Calabrese said that the biggest challenge involved the weight and unevenness of the floors, which were originally constructed of 19th century wood joist construction. â€œA mud set installation and some 'engineering magic' solved the problems,â€ the architect said.
Dave Johnson from Port Morris Tile & Marble Corp. of Bronx, NY - the installer on the project - said that installation of the stonework took five tile teams three months to complete. Using setting materials from Laticrete International of Bethany, CT, a thinset method was applied. â€œAccording to our tile superintendent, Joseph Di Grande, the most difficult aspect of the job was getting enough area to work in for continuity and keeping the other trades out of the way,â€ said Johnson.
Construction began in August 2003 and concluded in April 2004.
â€œThe owners, and, more importantly, the public, have been extremely responsive,â€ said Calabrese. â€œThe flooring is wearing well and performing beautifully.â€
Bloomingdale's department storeNew York, NY
Architect: Tucci, Segrete and Rosen, New York, NY
Exterior Architect and Structural Consultant: Highland Associates, New York, NY
Stone Supplier: Innovative Marble and Tile, Inc., Hauppauge, NY
Stone Installer: Port Morris Tile & Marble Corp., Bronx, NY
Installation Materials: Laticrete International, Bethany, CT