Stone World

Hand-cut limestone identifies California project

June 4, 2012
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When it was first constructed, the lobby of the 11-story Beverly Hills Gateway in California was separated by a storefront that created an indoor-outdoor area at a diagonal. The dated granite was dark and caused the entrance to feel uninviting. In renovating the space, project designer Christopher Grubb, President of Arch-Interiors design group, inc., aimed to create one enclosed space, while including a water element and to add a finish that would make the lobby as light and luxurious as possible.

From the beginning, the designer told the client that he envisioned using natural stone to create a feeling of luxury for the building. Fitting its high-end environment, the majority of hard surfaces were made of natural stone. To create an elegant feel in the lobby, Halila limestone was chosen for the flooring. The pieces, which were hand-cut from 24- x 48-inch tiles, radiate out in a circular pattern from the main water feature. Additionally, the vertical pieces of the water feature are also made of the same limestone.

As for the top of the columns and spillway, Honey onyx was used to create additional warmth in the space and to complement the wood paneling. The inside of the fountain consists of chiseled onyx pieces that measure 1¼  x 3/8 inches and are webbed on 12- x 12-inch sheets. “It was the perfect material to marry the limestone with the onyx and add some texture to the space,” Grubb said. After the presentation of these materials, the clients were involved in a meeting to view the limestone slabs for consistency and make sure the small sample translated to a larger slab.

The biggest challenge for this project was detailing the hand-cut stone flooring to accommodate the areas with sloped floors for handicap accessibility. “Kass Marble [the project installer], was meticulous in working with us to mitigate the amounts of cuts needed so the pieces looked as large as possible,” said the designer. “Their detail to floating the material to achieve the intended look was extraordinary.”

Grubb and his team were on site for about five weeks to supervise the installation of the flooring and the stone on the water feature. During this process, they were on site nearly every day to perfect the details of installation and make sure the stone had a consistent look.

Beverly Hills Gateway Building

Beverly Hills, CA

Designer: Arch-Interiors design group, inc.

Stone Installer: Kass Marble, Calabasas, CA

Stone Suppliers:  Marble and Tile USA, Los Angeles, CA (Halila limestone); Ann Sacks Tile & Stone, West Hollywood, CA (Honey onyx); Arizona Tile, Anaheim, CA (chiseled onyx)

The construction took roughly nine months due to the level of detail within the space. “The reaction has been overwhelming and beyond flattering,” Grubb said. “The tenants are thrilled with the beauty of the space.”