Stone in Architecture / Residential

Stone palette achieves residential luxury

July 5, 2011
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Located just two blocks from “Old Pasadena,” Terra Bella luxury condominiums offer homeowners upscale living spaces with the convenience of shopping, transportation and restaurants nearby. The recently completed residences in Pasadena, CA, are smartly designed with a rich material palette, including an extensive variety of natural stone — supplied by Southland Stone USA, Inc. of North Hollywood, CA.

Featuring approximately 15,000 square feet of Kokomo Gold sandstone with a honed finish on its exterior facade, Terra Bella was designed in Old World style. “We wanted a high-end traditional European urban building evoking the sense that the building was built for the ages,” said Surjit Soni, Managing Member at Legendary Developments, LLC, the project owner. “The sandstone was chosen for its warmth of color, the ease of maintenance of the material and substantiality of the feel of the stone.”

The sandstone cladding is complemented by exterior paving comprised of Turkish travertine with a clear fill and Pueblo/Mexican travertine — both vein cut with a honed finish. The warm golden tone of the exterior stonework lends itself to the European feel that was desired.

Further contributing to the posh community environment is a 10,000-square-foot rooftop entertainment area — complete with a pool, spa, six cabanas, a large catering and bar area, three grilling areas, two fireplaces, a fire pit and a fountain. The pool deck consists of large-format Jerusalem Grey/Gold limestone tiles with a brushed finish for the Old World-inspired look. Adding a subtle accent to the floor tiles is Amber Gold flagstone that was employed around the fire pit.

“The owners were determined to make the project genuine, and that drove the decision to use natural stone,” explained Soni. “Prospective buyers are floored by the quality and the thoughtful design. When they arrive at the rooftop, they invariably say ‘Wow!’ What they see and experience is so unexpected — and so rich — that they are astounded.”

Moving inside

According to the developer, Terra Bella was designed “to provide the seclusion of a single-family home in a condo setting. The building was strategically planned so that residences are isolated from each other by area separation walls and floor-ceiling systems that are acoustically engineered for low sound transmission between floors. Three elevators enhance privacy by allowing access to only two homes at each elevator landing.”

Each residence is lavishly dressed in high-quality natural stone products. “These materials were selected based on color, consistency, ease of maintenance and perceived luxuriousness,” said Soni.

While the stone palette varies in each residence, the end result is ultimately the same — upscale elegance. One master bath design utilizes a tub deck and walls made of Imperial White marble, contrasted by a herringbone floor pattern made of Gris Pulpis marble. Another features Botticino marble shower walls with Gris Pulpis marble employed for the tub deck and vanity top as well as on the floors as a border to a field of Botticino tile.

Still another bathroom design features Botticino marble mosaics to clad the walls and floor, with Imperial White marble for the lower shower walls. And in yet another combination, the floor features Imperial White marble mosaics accented by dots of Gris Pulpis marble — with Botticino marble as shower walls and crown molding.

Kitchens are spacious and feature significant countertop space, including a large center island, as well as Italian-designed cabinets and Viking Professional Series appliances. Large-format travertine floor tiles — complemented by marble countertops and decorative stone backsplashes — finish the look.

In one kitchen design combination, the dark shade of the Gris Pulpis marble vanity top accents the lighter beige-colored marble backsplash. Meanwhile, for another kitchen scheme, contrast is achieved by pairing Imperial White marble countertops with dark cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

“The key to the success of any project with stone is for the supplier to be involved — from the very beginning — with the designers and owners to implement their design ideas most efficiently,” said Ravi Johar of Southland Stone. “This saves the builder a lot of time and money at a later stage, and they do not have to try to value engineer the project after the job is awarded to an installer. In this instance, we saved the owner tens of thousands of dollars by helping them select the right materials for their design concept from the very beginning. It appears that in most instances/projects, the experience and knowledge of the suppliers is not used in looking for the right materials. This is where some of the older companies in the business can provide a very valuable service to the builders.”

According to Soni, the owner was very involved in the selection process. “The client managed inspections and installation, and was very critical and demanding — insisting for the highest level of installation,” he said.

Construction on the 72,000-square-foot Terra Bella condominium project began in June of 2008, and work was completed in November of 2010. “The use of natural stone speaks to the value of this project and sets it apart from every other project in the marketplace,” said Soni. “While other developers have responded to the downturn in the economy by dumbing-down their projects, Terra Bella’s developer, Legendary Developments, went in the opposite direction — adding quality and amenities. Legendary’s belief is that quality sells first, and it sells for more.” 

Terra Bella

Pasadena, CA

Owner/Developer: Legendary Developments, LLC, Pasadena, CA

General Contractor: Forefront Builders Corp., Westlake Village, CA

Architectural Design Consultants: Suarez Architects, Pasadena, CA; G&L Design Consultants, Chino Hills, CA

Stone Supplier: Southland Stone USA, Inc., North Hollywood, CA

Stone Installer: Express Contractors

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