Custom-cut porcelain tile creates nature-themed school design
February 17, 2010
When it came time to design the interior of the Stone Canyon Elementary School in Owasso, OK, the design team wanted to reflect the unique qualities of the city while also creating a fun learning environment for students. As a result, a natural setting was created indoors with porcelain floor tiles that were cut with a waterjet to resemble insects and other outdoor life.
"Owasso is a city of character," said Amanda Sanderson of The Stacy Group in Owasso, OK, which served as the architect and design firm for the project. "We used [that idea] with a 'bugs theme' to create a feeling of bringing the outside in. Each pod is a different bug and a different character word that teachers for that grade level can use to aid in their teaching."
Porcelain tiles from Crossville, Inc. of Crossville, TN, were selected for the project. The tiles, which were fabricated to look like ladybugs, dragonflies, butterflies, bees, centipedes, ants and leaves, can be found as flooring in the corridors, classrooms and restrooms. The intricate fabrication work was completed by Waterjet Works! of Dallas, TX.
"The Stacy Group is different," said Philip Einsohn of Waterjet Works! "The school is truly one of a kind. Upon entering the front door, you are pulled into an inviting warm atmosphere that speaks for itself: 'We are going to have fun in this building, and learning is just part of the experience.' "
Primarily, 18- x 18-inch tiles are featured throughout the core areas of the school, with 3- x 3- and 6- x 6-inch tiles employed in the restroom areas. "There are quite a few waterjet- cut patterns in this project," said Sanderson. "The contractor was very good about calling us when the patterns were installed to make sure we approved of all the joints, etc. before they finished."
Besides the art and beauty brought forth by the tile flooring, the selected materials also require little to no maintenance. "I think the Stacy Group's choice of using tile was important," said Einsohn. "Most people don't look at it as a 'green item' in school, but when you step away, you see they used a material that would last over time and does not need to be polished and waxed."
Additionally, Einsohn added that the design team opted for commercial carpet in many of the classrooms, which was waterjet cut into carpet tiles by his company.
Construction on the approximately 95,000-square-foot school began in April of 2008 and was completed in August of 2009. The end result has been fantastic, according to Sanderson. "All of the teachers and school personnel love the building," she said.