Stone World

Stone and tile create chic VIP suite

September 12, 2012
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When Terry Tampa, architectural representative for Daltile was approached by designer Joemy Vega of the Hard Rock International, the two were keenly aware that the renovation of the Delta Skybox 360 at Yankee Stadium was going to be fast paced. This was due to the fact that the VIP suite had to be finished for opening day at Yankee Stadium, April 15, 2012 -- only a few months from the start of the project.

"The Yankees came to us and said that they wanted to renovate the space," explained Vega. "We started the design in December, and it opened in April. Everything is custom designed. I was always very involved -- finding materials with lead times that would meet our deadline. It was a combination of a great architecture firm, Environetics [the New York-based architecture firm], Plaza Contractors and the Yankees trusting our vision. [Also], Daltile was amazing to work with."

Natural stone was employed extensively throughout the Delta VIP Suite, which expanded its amenities from one bar to include three. Daltile's Chenille White vein-cut limestone flows throughout the space, including the main area, restrooms and bar areas. A total of 90% of the floor pattern consists of 4- x 36-, 6- x 36- and 8- x 36-inch tiles with a honed finish, while the additional 10% is made up of 4- x 36- and 6- x 36-inch polished tiles. The same material was used as full-sized slabs on the walls.

"One of my biggest double thoughts was the limestone," explained Vega. "I think of limestone used typically in old buildings, not in a contemporary space. We wanted a different product [at first], but the vision was to use a natural material. We made sure it looked current and modern."

Moreover, much consideration was given to the durability of the material. After careful research by Tampa and Vega, they determined that it would meet the commercial requirements required for this type of application.

A variety of granite was selected for the countertops in the suite's various lounge areas. Among the stone types were Delicatos White, Sequoia, Verde Florence and Dal Keys granite with a metallica brushed finish. The bases of the bars are made of Absolute Black granite.

Adding to the glamour of the suite, a mix of tile was employed for the faces of the bars. The main bar features 12- x 24-inch pieces of "Metalux Platinum Flashing" from Voguebay with 2- x 2-inch waterjet accent dots of Daltile's "Urban Metal" in "Gunmetal." Additionally, Voguebay's Durastone Olive Mosaic Duraglass Airstrip in 6- x 24-inch tiles was used to face another bar, while "Urban Metal" and "Reflective Elements" in 4- x 24-inch silver pieces clad two other bars.

"Voguebay's Metalux Platinum was used for the main bar that opens up to the stadium," explained Vega. "It's a great product and amazing in the daylight."

According to Vega, she consulted with the Yankees to decide what materials would best meet the aesthetic and functional requirements for the approximate 15,000-square-foot space. "We worked together to decide what qualities we wanted the materials to have for the different areas, but for the most part, my clients trusted me with the vision and selections," she said.

"The New York Yankees and Joemy Vega transformed this space from a comfortable suite seating area into a state-of-the-art true luxury suite for viewing and entertaining," said Tampa. "The suite has a 'wow' factor that depicts the class and prestige that Joemy Vega wanted to convey for the Yankee organization and their fans."

When speaking on challenges, Tampa called to mind the installation. The installer's main concern was the floor layout. "He had to ensure the radius cuts all worked flawlessly without visible brakes and looked to the eye to be a seamless pattern, followed by the very difficult serpentine bar layout which spanned over 70 feet with not a straight edge over its length," he said.

Meanwhile, Vega stated that "the most challenging part of the project was dealing with lead times, ensuring that the products met performance requirements for each space, and working with products and application techniques that were foreign to me.  It was also difficult to overcome these challenges while maintaining the aesthetics of my vision."

All of the stone and tile for the project was supplied by Daltile, and the installation was completed by Port Morris Tile and Marble of Bronx, NY.

In the end, the suite continues to receive rave reviews and "over the top praise and awe for a transformation of this magnitude," said Tampa. Construction for the Delta Skybox 360 began on February 1, 2012 with a completion date of under 10 weeks, and it was ready for opening day, April 15, 2012.

"Everyone is very pleased with the outcome of the project," said Vega. "We wanted to create a cool, hip and chic lounge for the Delta Skybox 360 at Yankee Stadium. I was there with the Delta, Yankees and other representatives when it opened. To see their reaction to the space was great."