HOSPITALITY DESIGN: Creating Class with Black and White Marble

March 13, 2006
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The floor of the new Bloomingdale's department store in the SoHo area of Manhattan is comprised of 18- x 18-inch squares of Galatia Black and Burbank White marble, which create a checkerboard pattern. Innovative Marble and Tile, Inc. of Hauppauge, NY, supplied the stone.


The new Bloomingdale's department store in Manhattan was designed with a marble floor in a checkerboard pattern, establishing a sophisticated retail setting for customers

To help maintain the prestigious image generally associated with Bloomingdale's department stores, architects designed the most recent retail store location in the SoHo area of Manhattan with marble and granite flooring, in hopes to uphold its classy reputation.

“The black and white main floor area pattern is a stylized version of Bloomingdale's signature icon at 59th street,” said Edward M. Calabrese, Retail Group Creative Director of Mancini·Duffy of New York, NY, formerly of Tucci, Segrete and Rosen. “The pattern was rescaled and used more extensively here, along with a black and white stripe of the same materials.”
According to Edward M. Calabrese, Retail Group Creative Director of Mancini·Duffy, formerly of Tucci, Segrete and Rosen of New York, NY, the goal of the project was to “create a store that targeted Bloomingdale's Y.E.S. [women's clothing collection] and contemporary customer in a space that maintained the 'SoHo' building personality, and at the same time, had very contemporary nuances.”

In order to meet the desired look, the architects selected black and white marble for the flooring. Innovative Marble and Tile, Inc. of Hauppauge, NY, supplied 23,000 square feet of marble for the 95,000-square-foot, six-story retail store. Calabrese felt that these materials “provided the ultimate contrast and sparkle opportunities that was the desired effect” for the project.

The architect felt that these materials provided the ultimate contrast and sparkle opportunities, which was the desired effect for the project. “The flooring is wearing well and performing beautifully,” said Calabrese.
The polished floor was constructed in 18- x 18-inch squares of Galatia Black and Burbank White marble to create a checkerboard pattern. “The black and white main floor area pattern is a stylized version of Bloomingdale's signature icon at 59th street,” said Calabrese. “The pattern was rescaled and used more extensively here, along with a black and white stripe of the same materials.”

In the Fine Jewelry department, architects used 12- x 18- and 6- x 18-inch tiles of Galatia Black. In addition, 4- x 4-inch tiles of Burbank White were also employed.

For the escalator landings, 1- x 1-inch black and white mosaic tiles were used. “The mosaics around the escalator wall openings help create a transition from the escalator to the floor,” explained Reg Gregory from Innovative Tile and Marble. He added that three staircases in the store were constructed with 4-foot-long slabs of Galatia and Burbank marble in 1 1⁄4-inch-thick pieces.

Using Laticrete setting materials, the installation of the stonework took a crew of five tiles teams - from Port Morris Tile & Marble Corp. of the Bronx, NY - three months to complete.
Calabrese said that the biggest challenge involved the weight and unevenness of the floors, which were originally constructed of 19th century wood joist construction. “A mud set installation and some 'engineering magic' solved the problems,” the architect said.

Dave Johnson from Port Morris Tile & Marble Corp. of Bronx, NY - the installer on the project - said that installation of the stonework took five tile teams three months to complete. Using setting materials from Laticrete International of Bethany, CT, a thinset method was applied. “According to our tile superintendent, Joseph Di Grande, the most difficult aspect of the job was getting enough area to work in for continuity and keeping the other trades out of the way,” said Johnson.

Construction began in August 2003 and concluded in April 2004.

“The owners, and, more importantly, the public, have been extremely responsive,” said Calabrese. “The flooring is wearing well and performing beautifully.”

Bloomingdale's department store

New York, NY

Architect: Tucci, Segrete and Rosen, New York, NY

Exterior Architect and Structural Consultant: Highland Associates, New York, NY

Stone Supplier: Innovative Marble and Tile, Inc., Hauppauge, NY

Stone Installer: Port Morris Tile & Marble Corp., Bronx, NY

Installation Materials: Laticrete International, Bethany, CT

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