MIA announces 2009 Pinnacle Awards

December 1, 2009
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‘W’ Hotel, Miami, FL


The Marble Institute of America’s (MIA) prestigious Pinnacle Awards, which honor stone companies around the world for projects that clearly stand out above the rest, drew a record number of entries in 2009 and at the same time presented the largest number of awards in its many-year history. Judging the numerous entries was a challenging task. The four-judge panel had many spirited discussions as they judged entries and determined the winners of the various categories - residential, commercial and renovation. The final selection was for the “Best in Show” to receive the coveted Grande Pinnacle Award, sponsored by Marmomacc, the world’s most important stone show, held in Verona, Italy.

Awards are presented to projects whose beauty, creativity, ingenuity and craftsmanship exemplify professional mastery in the use of natural stone. The Pinnacle Awards are open to all MIA member companies. Projects submitted must comply with MIA standards as defined in the MIA Dimension Stone Design Manual. The 2009 Pinnacle Awards were judged in Las Vegas, NV.

The judges included:

| Christian R. Pongratz, Pongratz, Perbellini Architects, Verona, Italy |

| James Hogan, Immediate Past President, MIA, Carrara Marble Company, City of Industry, CA |

| Peter A. Follett, AIA, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, New Haven, CT |

| David Meyer, Meyer + Silberberg Architects, Berkeley, CA |

Commercial Interior: Award of Excellence and Grande Pinnacle Award

‘W’ Hotel, Miami, FL


Project Description: Italbec U.S. supplied and installed over 400,000 square feet and $14.5 million worth of granite, marble, quartzite, ceramic tile and semi-precious stone at this new luxury hotel on Miami’s South Beach. The goal of the project was simple - provide the best of everything for a very discerning clientele.

The work encompassed all guestroom flooring, walls, bathrooms, kitchens, restaurant, ballroom, nightclub, bars and lounges, public bathrooms, terraces and lobby areas. Especially challenging was the book-matching and installation of numerous 30- to 35-square-foot, highly polished panels of Grigio Orobico on walls over 20 feet tall in the interior of the lobby. Various other marbles, including Zalto Nero, Bianco Pana, Marron Fantassime and Misty Carrara were used in this project. This immense undertaking was completed in less than 18 months by a crew of over 200 stone and ceramic craftsmen. The overall impression of the hotel is one of obvious quality of materials assembled with the greatest care by top-notch craftsmen.

MIA Member Company:

Italbec U.S., Dania Beach, FL, Stone Fabricator and Installer


Other Project Team Members:

NBWW Architects, Project Architect

KM-Plaza Construction Services, General Contractor

Ciot Tecnica of Montreal, MIA Member, Stone Supplier


Stones Used: Grigio Orobico, White quartzite, Cipollino marble, Zalto Nero marble, Bianco Pana marble, Marron Fantassime marble, Misty Carrara marble, Absolute Black granite


Judges Comments:

“Tried it all, textures, mixes of materials, finishes and created the mood.”


“It’s a showroom of the use of stone and its varied patterns, colorations and textures.”


“Brave ‘Baroque’ presentation of materials, texture and style. The composition of light, metalwork and stone brings richness to the space that enriches this project above and beyond the rest.”


“The Grande Pinnacle award this year underlines the current trend that natural stone can play an important role in shaping the interior atmosphere through ornament in its texture, tactility and color.”

Residential Interior/Exterior: Award of Excellence

Bryant Residence

Austin, TX


Project Description: The challenge for this project was to find materials that fit into the owners’ architectural style, self-entitled “Texas Hill Country Contemporary” - warm and inviting, but also clean and contemporary. The architect and the owners were determined not to copy the typical “Tuscan” style so popular for upscale homes in the Austin area. The main feature of the house is the use of both indoor and outdoor spaces and is designed so that everyday life flows through all of the spaces. The material selections had to be compatible to color schemes inside and out, blending with the local cut stone used on the exterior of the house, but also functional in their application. AG&M furnished honed finish Selina Gold limestone tile from Egypt for the majority of ground floor paving. Since this material has a wide range of color, the selection was made from a particular quarry and a particular layer within that quarry. For the exterior paving, pool coping and fireplace facing, Goldstone granite was chosen because it performs well in exterior applications and has the soft coloring of limestone. The paving and coping is chisel finished, and the outdoor fireplace is clad with split-face Goldstone to match. The kitchen countertops utilize Apollo Storm granite in a polished finish with a matching full-height, end-matched backsplash.

MIA Member Company:

Architectural Granite & Marble, Austin, TX, Stone Supplier


Other Project Team Members:

Hill Country Granite, MIA Member, Countertop Fabricator/Installer

Cornerstone Group, Architect


Stones Used: Selina Gold limestone, Goldstone granite, Apollo Storm granite, Calacatta Gold Premium marble

Los Angeles

County Museum of Art

Los Angeles, CA

Project Description: Eight walls and 400 panels totaling 56,000 square feet of dually finished travertine combine to create the iconic first phase of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) transformation, designed by renowned Architect Renzo Piano. The soft color of the travertine is in direct contrast to the rough texture created by the bushhammered and waterjet finishes. Ultimately, it is this weathered and timeless stone finish that helped seamlessly blend the two new buildings into the well-established downtown Los Angeles neighborhood. The hand-set stone with a saw-tooth roof profile provides the building with an art element in its own right. While being artistic, they also serve a vital purpose: in conjunction with the sun shades, they invite in the strong California sun without allowing direct sunlight to disturb the art below. From the dramatic roofline to the purposely set fire engine red exterior I-beams, to the art embracing scrim curtains, they all accent the prominent Italian travertine while never taking away the undeniable beauty. True to his reputation, Piano utilized the subtle color of the stone, while the vibrant labyrinth of red I-beams and exterior escalator help to define LACMA as the prominent art institution that will surely be treasured for years to come.

MIA Member Company:

Columbia Stone, Inc., Tualatin, OR, Stone Installer


Other Project Team Members:

LACMA/BCAM, Client

Renzo Piano, Design Architect

Gensler, Working Architect

Matt Construction, General Contractor

Freda Marmi, Stone Supplier and Fabricator


Stone Used: Coliseum travertine

Residential Interior/Exterior: Award of Merit

Private Residence, Washington, DC


Project Description: This project is very unique, as it is a 13,000-square-foot, two-story condominium located in the Four Seasons Hotel in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC.

The project consists of over 9,000 square feet of highly detailed limestone, marble and onyx. The project required seven months to fabricate and six months to install. The designer is from New York City, and he is very acclaimed for his modernist detailing and very precise alignments. Nothing about this project was random.

The entire home is paved in 2-cm limestone, marble and onyx. All of the base, door surrounds and portals are cased with custom profiled Gohare Beige limestone moldings. There are no wood baseboards or wood door cases, as the entire casement is detailed in custom-profiled limestone and marble. The project has an internal elliptical spiral stair, which features stone treads and risers, as well as a ramp and twisted stone stringer and rail caps.

The bathrooms are all paved and clad in white onyx mosaic, and the counters and tub decks in the baths are all Thassos White Extra marble. The kitchen is paved in a custom three-color epoxy terrazzo, and the counters are all first-choice Calacatta Sponda 3-cm marble. The powder room is very unique in that it has a solid dome of Gohare Beige limestone to create the ceiling. The project required very custom detailed shop drawings, exhaustive field measuring and a combination of local and Italian fabrication.

MIA Member Company:

Rugo Stone LLC, Lorton, VA, Stone Supplier, Fabricator and Installer


Other Project Team Members:

David Kleinberg Design Associates, Architect

Gibson Builders, General Contractor


Stones Used: Gohare Beige limestone, Thassos White Extra marble, Bianco Rhino onyx, Calacatta Sponda marble, Beige Turkish limestone

Residential Interior/Exterior: Award of Merit

Private Residence,

Newport Beach, CA


Project Description: This 6,000-square-foot residence in Newport Beach, CA, exemplifies classic elegance through a combination of glass, wood and split-face Roman travertine.

The Roman travertine was purchased directly from an Italian supplier by the general contractor. Accurate shop drawings and cut lists developed by SMG Stone Co. allowed the material to be ordered effectively and ensured a smooth transfer and installation of the stone to the job.

Approximately 3,300 square feet of split-face Roman travertine dressed interior and exterior walls using a mechanical attachment system with stainless steel clips and ungrouted joints. Some onsite work included chiseling face edges to match the split-face finish of each piece. Shop drawings allowed planning for slightly oversized pieces to accommodate the field finishing of 4-inch-thick pieces with a height of 24 inches and varying lengths of 12 to 60 inches. From an installation standpoint, the lintels proved to be the biggest challenge of the project because the size of the doors were 6 to 8 feet and longer. Due to this, each piece had to be handled by hand due to the small space of the jobsite. After five years of stone selection and detailed drawings, this dream home was completed in 2007.


MIA Member Company:

SMG Stone Co., Sun Valley, CA, Stone Installer


Other Project Team Members:

EBTA Architects, Architect

Mark Falone Construction, General Contractor

Walker Zanger, Sun Valley, CA, MIA Member, Stone Supplier


Stone Used: Roman travertine

Commercial Exterior: Award of Merit

Sun Valley Music Pavilion,

Sun Valley, ID


Project Description: Nestled against the mountains of one of the world’s premiere resort locations, the new Sun Valley Music Pavilion achieves a perfect fusion of art and nature.

To blend with its mountainous environment, split-faced Roman Travertine was selected for the majority of the stonework, while an unfilled honed finish was used on the stone caps and ends of site walls. The joints between the stones were left open to enhance the pavilion’s rugged aesthetics while also facilitating the escape of any moisture from behind the stone. The structure only incorporates one straight wall, while the rest of the walls are radial, and each one has a different radius, presenting unique fabrication challenges. All of the travertine was cross-cut, and a typical cleft stone weighs approximately 160 pounds and is 14 5/8 x 29 5/8 inches in size. A total of 12,002 individual travertine pieces were installed, with stone thicknesses varying from 4 to 11 cm.

A striking blend of beauty and function, this state-of-the-art facility was completed in July of 2008 and incorporates nearly 33,000 square feet of travertine.


MIA Member Company:

KEPCO+, Salt Lake City, UT, Stone Installer


Other Project Team Members:

Sun Valley Co., Client and Owner

Ruscitto/Latham/Blanton Architectura, P.A., Architect

Intermountain Construction, Inc., General Contractor

Mariotti Carlo & Figli, S.p.A., Stone Supplier and Fabricator


Stone Used: Este Light Roman travertine

Commercial Exterior: Award of Merit

Bailey Plaza, Cornell University,

Ithaca, NY


Project Description: Connecticut Stone won a prestigious Tucker Award for this $4.5 million dollar project, which converted a 1-acre parking lot into a stunning pedestrian plaza connecting Bailey Hall Auditorium to Cornell’s historic Arts and Agriculture quadrangles. The pedestrian pathways are lined with natural cleft and thermal-finish Bluestone, a resilient type of the legendary Llrenroc, the locally quarried shale-dense stone.

Bailey Plaza’s heavily trafficked location in the heart of campus - along with Ithaca’s rugged Northeast weather - meant that the construction and design needed to be durable as well as beautiful. The pivotal architectural element of the plaza is a majestic Hamilton Bluestone fountain. The 50-foot-long outcropping of layered stone slabs slopes from the ground upward at nearly a 45-degree angle - a feature that includes gently seeping waters to mimic the nearby gorges.

The award credited Connecticut Stone with creating richness and warmth with choice paving materials, as well as movement and structure with the design. Natural stone works in harmony with water, plants and wood, allowing the space to serve as both an architectural achievement and a practical pedestrian walkway.


MIA Member Company:

Connecticut Stone Supplies, Milford, CT, Stone Supplier


Other Project Team Members:

Michael Van Valkenburg Associates, Architect

Syrstone Ithaca Stone Setting, Stone Installers

Lechase, General Contractor


Stones Used: Hamilton Bluestone, Portage Bluestone

Commercial Exterior: Award of Merit

Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple,

South Jordan, UT


Project Description: The new Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple is built on a bluff on the edge of the “Daybreak” development in South Jordan, UT. The edifice features a single stone-clad spire soaring to a height of 193 feet, topped by a 9-foot statue of the angel Moroni. The temple sits at the foot of the Oquirrh Mountains that form a western edge of the Salt Lake Valley and face east towards a panoramic view of the Wasatch Mountains. The temple features stone highlights that are found throughout, typical of the great details that accompany an LDS Temple, including: architectural woodwork, marble, stained glass windows, high-quality carpets and furniture and works of art (statues and paintings). The project is clad in Uinta Gold granite in honed and river-washed finishes. It is the first LDS Temple project to incorporate a darker-colored stone.

The stone work began in November 2007 and was completed May 2009. More than 11,300 cubic feet of stone was used. There are 18 sets of intricately carved flank columns at the windows. The project used 73,000 man-hours, with 65 men on the project at peak production. There are two Tulip-shaped carved planters at the entrance, weighing over 7,000 pounds each. In addition, the project also includes Wyndam Grey and Classic Grey for the paving.


MIA Member Companies:

Bestview International, Wood Dale, IL, Stone Supplier; Caffall Tile and Stone Co., Inc., Salt Lake City, UT, Stone Installer


Other Project Team Members:

Naylor Wentworth Lund Architects, Architect

Okland Construction Co., Inc., General Contractor


Stones Used: Uinta Gold granite, Wyndam Grey granite, Grey Classic granite

Commercial Interior: Award of Merit

One Bryant Park, New York, NY

Project Description: Bank of America’s One Bryant Park was the first skyscraper designed to achieve a U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environment Design (LEED) “Platinum” Rating. The key component in the interior design is the 9,000-square-foot feature walls of the Main Lobby, which consist of varying-sized pieces of Jerusalem Gray limestone. The slabs were shipped from Israel and fabricated in the Wilkstone shop in Paterson, NJ. Digital photos were marked up by the architect, indicating the acceptable/useable areas for each slab. Varying thicknesses of the stone and the perimeter shadow lighting further dramatize this unique and signatory appearance. Each stone is individually supported with stainless steel clips.

Another key component of the interior of the building was the more than 40,000 square feet of Kashmir White granite paving, which was quarried and fabricated in India. For interior public spaces, the floor paving piece sizes primarily consist of 60- x 30-inch tiles, with a 1 ¼-inch thickness. All of the granite paving pieces were dry-laid at Wilkstone’s fabrication facility prior to installation so that they could be viewed and approved by the architect and owner.


MIA Member Company:

Wilkstone, LLC, Paterson, NJ, Stone Fabricator and Installer


Other Project Team Members:

Cook + Fox Architects, Architect

The Durst Organization, Bank of America, Developers

Tishman Construction Corp.,

Construction Manager


Stones Used: Jerusalem Gray limestone, Kashmir White granite

Commercial Interior: Award of Merit

Maguire Lobby, Los Angeles, CA


Project Description: A remodel of the entry and elevator lobby of the 45-story KPMG office in Los Angeles, this project consists of 20-foot-high walls, columns and ceilings, with the upper portion being 7,500 feet of White Neoparies (having panels as large as 5 feet long by 3 ½ feet tall) and the lower portion being 5,800 feet of Piana Carrara marble (some panels as large as 6 feet long by 3 ½ feet tall) with stainless steel fin insets, installed on a special frame allowing it to “float” 8 inches away from the White Neoparies upper wall and base course below. The project also has 3,800 feet of Mt. Airy granite flooring with White Neoparies borders.

The Piana Carrara marble used on the project was hand selected for color and character at the quarry in Italy by the architect, building owner and Carnevale and Lohr, Inc. Every panel was inspected and photographed in Italy by Carnevale and Lohr, Inc. to insure it was consistent with the criteria set out in the selection visit. Any change in shading in the marble panels was blended to create a seamless look.


MIA Member Company:

Carnevale & Lohr, Inc., Bell Gardens, CA, Stone Contractor and Supplier


Other Project Team Members:

Maguire Properties, Owner

Aref and Associates, Architect

Trade International, Inc., MIA Member, Consultant

Corporate Contractors, General Contractor


Stones Used: Piana Carrara marble, Thassos marble, Neoparies, Mt. Airy granite


Commercial Interior: Award of Merit

Morrison & Foerster, LLP, Washington, DC


Project Description: This project consists of a four-story open glass stairwell with side walls clad in 2-inch-thick Ramon Grey Gold limestone with a hand-chiseled finish. This unique rustic material is quarried outside of Jerusalem. The paving stone at the various levels is a honed black quartzite material quarried in China, known as Concordia.

The limestone support system required a cantilevered support system at each floor level, which allowed for incremental floor deflection. Rugo installed each floor up to the last course height, then waited for the floor above to deflect with the new imposed load of limestone from above. Once this deflection had occurred, and the bottom course of the above floor reached its deepest settlement point, the top course of limestone could be installed on the floor below. This approach allowed for minimal deflection joints, which were concealed by using a sand dust sealant joint, which looks like a true pointed Portland cement joint.

Rugo Stone was tasked with installing these 1,200 heavy pieces in a very confined space, working two shifts per day, six days per week. The original installation schedule was eight weeks, and Rugo condensed this to three weeks with a highly coordinated installation crew and masterful shop drawings. The result is a combination of old work stone finishes and modern stainless steel and glass detailing, which creates a stunning open space for a law firm occupying four floors.


MIA Member Company:

Rugo Stone LLC, Lorton, VA, Stone Supplier and Installer


Other Project Team Members:

Morrison & Foerster LLP, Client

Mancini Duffy Architects, Architect

Hitt Contracting Inc., Hitt Law Division, General Contractor

A. Grebelsky & Son, Stone Source Inc., MIA Member, Stone Fabricators


Stones used: Ramon Grey Gold limestone, Concordia quartzite

Renovation/Restoration: Award of Merit

Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME


Project Description: Designed and built in the late 1800s, the Museum of Art at Bowdoin College has served for decades as the cultural center of the campus and surrounding community. In conjunction with a complete restoration of the building’s foundation, granite plinth blocks surrounding the main entrance were removed, cut down to 4-inch veneer and reinstalled over a waterproof and insulated substructure. Additional blocks, cap stones and curbing were fabricated from Sterling Grey granite to accommodate minute changes to the facade’s design. Each component demanded extensive bushhammering to accurately match the color and texture of the existing stonework. Sterling Grey was also chosen for many interior applications, including key elements of the newly constructed 12,600-square-foot pavilion. Hundreds of large trapezoidal tiles line the floor and support columns in the pavilion’s lower level, while Zimbabwe Black stair treads create a perceptible contrast. Combining modern design and technology with sensitivity toward architectural tradition, the Museum of Art at Bowdoin College will remain a world-class facility.

MIA Member Company:

J.C. Stone, Inc., Jefferson, ME, Stone Fabricator and Installer


Other Project Team Members:

McKim, Mead & White, Original Architects

Machado and Silvetti Associates, Renovation Architects

Consigli Construction Co., Inc., Construction Manager

Indiana Limestone Co., MIA Member; Fletcher Granite Co., Stone Suppliers

Granite Importers, Stone Fabricator

Consigli Construction Co., SD Szetela, Inc., Stonescape, Stone Installers


Stones Used: Light Buff Indiana limestone, Sterling Grey granite, Zimbabwe Black granite

Residential Interior/Exterior, Special Award of Merit for Use of Stone

Fifth Avenue Apartment, New York, NY


Project Description: The project was done in a residence on Fifth Avenue in New York City. There were three separate rooms involved in the job: “his” bath, “hers” bath and a powder room. All the stone was 2 cm thick. Green and White onyx were used in “his” bath, while Yellow and White onyx were selected for “hers” bathroom. The powder room was done in Calacatta Vagli. Everything except the shower floors was polished. The shower walls were flat panels.

The rest of the walls in both baths were done as a wainscot. This wainscot was designed in a stile rail, with beveled center panel all set on top of a profiled base and topped off with a profiled chair rail. The door casings were built up to 3-inch-thick material. This build-up was done in such a way that no lamination is visible. Projects of this nature pose challenges of many different types.

The most difficult challenge comes from the fragile nature of the material and working it into such a wide variety of different elements. Of course, the stile and rail design require a great degree of fabricating accuracy.


MIA Member Company:

Fordham Marble Company, Inc., Bronx, NY, Shop Drawings, Fabricator and Installer


Other Project Team Members:

Juan Pablo Molyneux, Designer

Clark Construction Co., General Contractor

ABC Worldwide Marble and Granite, Reliance Marble and Granite, Saymar Stone, Stone Suppliers


Stones Used: Green onyx, White onyx, Yellow onyx, Calacatta Vagli marble

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