Stone in Architecture

Penthouse suite refined with natural stone

Through the usage of various natural stones, a former bachelor pad was transformed into a high-class living space

July 2, 2013

Overlooking the Willamette River, a Portland, OR, penthouse suite started its design process off as a typical bachelor pad. At 3,500 square feet, the potential for this space was exceptional. Quickly, the residence began to evolve into a livable space that reflected the personality and sensibility of a young, successful entrepreneur. The main goal of the transforming design was presenting a home environment that was distinctive and approachable for visitors. Utilized in the kitchen, bar, fireplace surround and the master bath, natural stone serves as the driving force for the design statement.

“I am in love with natural stone,” said Project Designer Faith Cosgrove. “I use it as an indicator of my client’s personality and style. Stone is where I start.

“When designing with natural stone, I like to use other elements that capture and contrast the intrinsic value in color, texture, movement and pattern in the predominate material,” the designer went on to say. “It is like when we dress — we choose a composition of elements that complement each other.”

Penthouse Suite

Portland, Oregon

Designer: The Studio Resource Group Inc., Portland, OR

Kitchen and Bath Designer: William Roy Designer Kitchens, Portland, OR

Stone Supplier: Pratt and Larson Tile and Stone, Portland, OR

Stone Installer: Carranza Marble and Granite, Portland, OR

The kitchen area features a Wild Irish Green marble countertop as well as a polished Sea Green Terragon limestone to add a more modern feel within the apartment. Additionally, Verde Aquamarina polished marble was used in the bar area, creating an elegant flow between the bar top and backsplash.

For the master bathroom, 24- x 24-inch Thassos marble tiles were employed for the shower walls. Contrasting the white marble wall tiles, polished Paonazzo marble — with varying shades of movement — was chosen for the tub surround and vanity top. The tub surround was formed with slabs of the material that were carefully bookmatched. Further enhancing the look of the space are 12- x 24-inch Fucina Bronzo metallic floor tiles from Tagina.

The project’s main challenge stood to be the fabrication of the master bathroom’s counter and tub surround, according to the designer. “As you can see, the veining has a flow as if it were molded or cut out of a huge block,” she said. “Paonazzo marble is a very soft material, and the design required mitered angles to be crisp.” Carranza Marble and Granite were the stone artisans that were able to overcome this challenge.

The client’s eager participation in the project and learning about the stone material played an integral role in the final product. “He candidly inspired the project with his enthusiasm,” said Cosgrove. “The more he saw, the further we went. My job was developing the big picture.”

The project was the collaboration of professionals who are considered artisans in their field of expertise. “As a matter of detail and tile placement, I prefer to be on site daily,” Cosgrove said. “I and Carranza Marble and Granite work together to raise the bar in all areas of performance. Every person seeks to make it the best it can be.”

Construction on the penthouse suite took two years to complete. “It is a project that was defined as ‘bold, masculine, approachable, smart, refined, artistic, unique and amazing,’” said Cosgrove. “I would definitely love to do another.”          

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