A timeless recollection in stone

April 1, 2002
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The design of this private residence in Southern California utilizes a broad range of Durango StoneTM to recall the feel of a classic villa in the Italian countryside.

The exterior of the home utilizes 3,000 square feet of Durango Ancient Viejo¿ in a San Lorenzo pattern.
For the design of a private residence in Southern California, the homeowners wanted a look that portrayed the feel of provincial Europe. This objective was achieved with the help of natural stone from Mexico, which was fabricated with an aged appearance.

"The client's specific request was to create a house that looked like it was in the Italian countryside," explained architect Martha Picciotti of Ventura, CA, who added that the homeowners personally selected the stone for the residence along with designer/builder, Park-Sherbo & Ramsey, Inc.

The exterior of the home utilizes 3,000 square feet of Durango Ancient ViejoTM in a San Lorenzo pattern. The stone, which was quarried in Mexico by World Wide Stone Corp. and supplied through Park-Sherbo & Ramsey, Inc., was specified in tile sizes of 8 x 8, 8 x 16 and 16 x 16 inches. "The look is very much like an Italian villa," said Picciotti. "Limestone is very much part of Italian old houses, so it was a very appropriate material to use. It really works well in terms of the architectural style of the home. If you go to Italy, a lot of the old buildings have limestone on them." The ancient stone paving is used throughout the exterior of the home, including patio areas, steps and entryways.

At first, the stone was only going to be used for the interior of the home, with man-made materials for the exterior, according to Archie Park-Sherbo of Park-Sherbo & Ramsey, Inc. "Tom Koch [the homeowner] looked at different stones, and he chose Durango," he said. "It grew as we went. We weren't using it outside originally. We had planned on using stamped concrete. But then I showed him a photo of a pool that had used the Durango, and this led him to want to use it outside." The tiles for the pool area measured 16 x 14 and 16 x 24 inches, and they were 1 1¿inches thick. In addition to the Durango Stone, the pool design utilizes deco strips and accents of Noce travertine.

The layout of the pool, which was built by Rogo Pools of Oxnard, CA, was a challenge, according to Park-Sherbo. "We started with a piece of raw land, and the owner was hands-on with the placement and everything," he said. "He was very particular with the way he wanted things, and he accomplished it. The pool was actually raised out of the ground, and the limestone was built up with the stairs around it. On a clear day, it looks as if the pool drops into the ocean. You would think it was right there."

The stone, which was quarried in Mexico by World Wide Stone Corp., was specified in tile sizes of 8 x 8, 8 x 16 and 16 x16 inches.

Interior stonework

The interior of the home also makes extensive use of Durango Stone, including 1,000 square feet of Durango Ancient Viejo in the San Lorenzo pattern as well as 2,800 square feet of Durango Especial, with tile sizes of 16 x 16 inches.

The use of interior stonework begins at the entryway, where the 16- x 16-inch tiles of Durango Especial were set on the diagonal with Noce travertine used for the accent pieces and border. In the bathrooms, Durango Stone was used extensively for the design, including the floors, tub surround, walls and showers. Patterns in the bathrooms included Durango Ancient Colcha? and Durango Ancient Labyrinth?, both of which were preassembled and mesh-mounted at the factory in Mexico.

In addition to the tile and mosaic patterns that were produced in Mexico, the design also called for Durango slabwork, which was fabricated locally in California. "We brought in some of the Durango slabs for the fireplace hearths and the stairs, which were double bullnosed," said Park-Sherbo, who added that the slabs were fabricated by Granite Plus of Ventura, CA.

Overall, the project took just over a year to complete, from design to construction. And in the end, the owners achieved the effect they were looking for. "They love it. They're just in heaven," Picciotti said.

The pool area makes extensive use of Durango Stone as coping. In addition, the design includes deco strips and accents of Noce travertine.


Tom Koch Residence

Southern California

Architect: Martha Picciotti, Ventura, CA

Stone Quarrier/Fabricator: World Wide Stone Corp., Phoenix, AZ

Designer/Builder/Stone Distributor: Park-Sherbo & Ramsey, Inc., Ventura, CA

Swimming Pool Builder: Rogo Pools, Oxnard, CA

Slab Fabricator: Granite Plus, Ventura, CA

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