Defining a flagship building in stone

January 6, 2010
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The Bayside Tower in downtown San Diego, CA, features an exterior facade of Sunflower limestone - quarried in India and supplied by Southland Stone USA, Inc. of North Hollywood, CA - and accented by Mesabi Black granite from Cold Spring Granite Co. of Cold Spring, MN.


A mix of limestone and granite creates a signature look for a 36-story residential high-rise in the heart of San Diego’s downtown district. The Bayside Tower, as it is called, was designed by Amanat Architect of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - with the intention of being a flagship building among a series of revitalization projects led by Bosa Development.

According to Hossein Amanat of Amanat Architect, the area where the tower was built had stood vacant for many years. As a result, the Center City Development Corp. (CCDC), which is a branch of the Municipality of San Diego, CA, set a mandate to revitalize the area. Bosa Development, which has developed many buildings in the San Diego area, decided that the Bayside Tower would symbolize luxury living, and an extensive exterior palette of stone would set it apart from the surrounding architecture.

A total of 15,000 square feet of limestone was employed for the project. All of the stone pieces were mechanically secured to the building with anchors that have stainless steel tips by an installation team from American Marble of Vista, CA.

“The developer wanted this building to be a flagship,” said Amanat. “They wanted the best amenities like swimming pools, spas, fitness rooms and media rooms. They wanted the exterior to be quite significant. The CCDC [also] wanted it to be a very high-quality building.”

As a result, it was decided to use a significant amount of stone for the building’s exterior facade. A total of 15,000 square feet of Sunflower limestone - quarried in India and supplied by Southland Stone USA, Inc. of North Hollywood, CA - and 5,110 square feet of Mesabi Black - quarried in Babbitt, MN, by Cold Spring Granite Co. of Cold Spring, MN - was employed for the design.


Contrasting colors and textures were a large part of the exterior design, explained architect Hossein Amanat of Amanat Architect in Vancouver, British Columbia. “We decided to use two types of stone,” he said. “The Mesabi Black has a very rough texture that contrasts nicely with the light-colored limestone.”

Contrasting colors and textures were a key component of the exterior design, explained Amanat. “We decided to use two types of stone,” he said. “The Mesabi Black has a very rough texture that contrasts nicely with the light-colored limestone.”

Additionally, two types of finishes - bushhammered and honed - were applied to the limestone pieces. “The honed finish provided some highlight,” said the architect. “If you come close to the building, you notice further articulation and detail.”

The exterior stonework was installed by American Marble of Vista, CA, which specializes in single-family and residential high-rises as well as commercial work. “We did all the installation, which took about six to eight months to complete,” said Bill Kammerer, company president, adding that the install crew was comprised of approximately 20 workers.

Additionally, two types of finishes - bushhammered and honed - were applied to the limestone pieces. “The honed finish provided some highlight,” said the architect. “If you come close to the building, you notice further articulation and detail.”

According to Kammerer, no mock-ups of the stonework were necessary prior to installation. “It was typical sample submittals,” he said. The stone pieces were mechanically secured to the building with anchors made of stainless steel.

All of the anchoring calculations were performed by CDC in Texas. “They were extremely instrumental in this project,” said Kammerer.

Overall, those involved with the project deem it a success. As a residential waterside community with a chic stone exterior, the Bayside Tower accomplished the goal of being a landmark structure in downtown San Diego.

Sidebar: Bayside Tower

San Diego, CA

Developer: Bosa Development

Architect: Amanat Architect, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Stone Suppliers: Southland Stone USA, Inc., North Hollywood, CA (Sunflower limestone); Cold Spring Granite Co., Cold Spring, MN (Mesabi Black granite)

Stone Installer: American Marble, Vista, CA

Anchoring Calculations: CDC, Texas

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