High-rise project reflects a “way of life”

November 1, 2007
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“Customized to meet the taste, income levels and lifestyle” of a diverse group of individuals, Maryland Walk in Clayton, MO, is a vertical neighborhood of 101 separate residences, “carefully crafted to accentuate the urban character,” of its surrounding area, according to lead architect Lou Saur, FAIA of Saur & Associates Architects in St. Louis, MO.

Located right at the Brentwood-Maryland intersection in Clayton, MO, the Maryland Walk high-rise intersects more than just two streets. “Customized to meet the taste, income levels and lifestyle,” of a diverse group of individuals, it is a vertical neighborhood of 101 separate residences, “carefully crafted to accentuate the urban character,” of its surrounding area, according to lead architect Lou Saur, FAIA of Saur & Associates Architects in St. Louis, MO. And to add elegance to the residential building, an assortment of natural stone was used to furnish the interior of each unit.

Beginning with the Old Town Clayton transformation, which took place 30 years ago, Saur and his brother Bob have taken on an architectural role of studying the people and environment throughout the project’s nearby areas in order to meet the various requirements that would be posed during the design of Maryland Walk Residences. Maryland Walk reflects their research, although the building still maintains its originality.

Saur explained, “It defies both past and current stylistic label, manifesting a locally incubated exploration through the timeless architectural principles of symmetry/asymmetry, craftsmanship, scale, proportion, line, materiality, color and figure.” In actuality, even each unit has a sense of its own novelty.

Don Lewis from Hallmark Stone of Fenton, MO, which served as the stone fabricator and installer for the upper levels of the project (Parkway Residences), noted that based on the look a homeowner wanted to achieve, he or she had the opportunity to select from a range of stones. Thirty different stones were used for the 30 units completed, each having a 3-cm-thick slab for countertops. Lewis pointed out that 90% of the homeowners wanted a standard polished finish, while others chose a honed finish.

Besides countertops, Hallmark Stone also provided stone for full-height backsplashes in the kitchens, as well as vanity tops for the bathrooms, in addition to some customized features such as wet bars and fireplace surrounds.

The total slab material fabricated by Hallmark ended up equaling approximately 3,400 square feet, in which, separately, units ranged from as little as 40 square feet of stone to a penthouse containing more than 200 square feet of stone. Lewis indicated that the stone installation itself did not pose much of a challenge.

“The main challenge was just the coordination of making sure that everyone was receiving the proper communication as jobs progressed,” he said. “Our Jot software was of great assistance in making sure everything stayed on track, was turned quickly and that jobs were successfully completed to the contractors’ and customers’ satisfaction.”

Lewis further explained that when cabinets were installed, Hallmark provided a turn around time of about a week-and-a-half. “The contractor appreciated the quick turnaround time for completing the fabrication and installation,” Lewis commented. “It allowed them additional time to complete final steps prior to closing.”

The entire project as a whole has already received a considerable amount of positive feedback, according to Lewis. “This is a unique project to the area,” he said. “The architecture itself has already become a landmark. It’s a high-end, sophisticated building, not your typical install. It was very interesting to be a part of this, to see the architecture involved and to see how the stone enhanced each residence.”

The project began in June of 2006, with the majority of work completed by March of 2007.

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