Stone World

Porcelain floor tile brings glam and durability

January 8, 2013
Pure lounge in dominican republic
With only about a month to renovate Pure, a 24-hour cocktail lounge adjoined to a casino, time was of the essence for architect Rafael Alvarez of Alvarez-Brock Design in New York, NY. Specializing in hospitality design, Alvarez completes projects both in the U.S. and around the world — and in particular, in his native land of the Dominican Republic, where the bar is located. With both form and function in mind, the architect chose a large-format porcelain floor tile to be used throughout the space.

“This is a very particular place,” explained Alvarez. “The bar is part of a casino, and it faces the sea. It is next to the hotel, and there are many different types of clientele. I wanted to reflect the clientele and play with a sense of humor. I picked art. You can present art and nobody can get offended.”

The most challenging aspect of the 6,000-square-foot renovation was the time crunch. “From demolition, it was 27 days,” said the architect. “When you start demo, you find a lot of stuff. I was there for 20 days — 9 a.m. to 3 a.m.”

With the bar being open 24 hours a day and up to 200 people coming in at 2 a.m., a durable floor material was essential to the design. “Porcelain has durability — especially with people dancing on it,” said Alvarez. “The tile is from China. I gave the color that I wanted. It is my experience that it is not what you want, but what you can find — especially when on a short timeframe.”

The gray shade of the 24- x 24-inch floor tile contributes to the overall chic ambience of the night club. Further enhancing the glamorous look, large rectangular holes were cut into the floor to allow “infinite chandeliers” to shine through. They are covered with clear glass — creating a shimmering effect in the room.

Complementing the porcelain floor tile is a bar featuring a marble top — further bringing a sense of elegance to the design. The materials — paired with contemporary furniture and fixtures — portray the cocktail lounge as an upscale establishment that reflects its clientele.