Stone World

Meritz: Canadian granite adds high-quality look to office design

February 7, 2006
The Meritz Tower, in the bustling center of Gangnam, Seoul, Korea, has an exterior consisting of Cambrian Black granite and glass. The granite was supplied by Polycor Inc. of Quebec, Canada.


In total, approximately 160,000 square feet of Cambrian Black granite was employed for the project.
The structure, hovering above subway line No. 2, Gangnam Station, was not destined to be the tallest building in the city. Instead, it was designed to add a visual presence to Gangnam, situated in a forest of skyscrapers in the southeastern corner of the city.

Seoul, Korea, like most major cities, is best navigated by subway, and Gangnam Station, the heart of this relatively new urban epicenter, has become the center of business and commerce in one of Seoul's most modern and active districts. Teheran-Ro (recently nicknamed Venture Valley), the major road that runs through Gangnam, is lined with sleek new skyscrapers and state-of-the-art buildings, and is now dominated by the majestic Meritz Tower.

This dynamic visual presence was accomplished mostly through the pallet of materials that was selected by Keating | Khang: clear glass, stainless steel and dark, black stone, which was provided by Polycor, Inc., from its own quarry in St. Nazaire, Quebec. The selection of Polycor's Cambrian Black granite allows the Meritz Tower to stand out among its peers, and adds a dramatic sense of character to the building. When exiting Gangnam Station, the view is now centered around the building.

According to the architect, the black granite was very consistent, which further enhanced the design of the structure.
“We were very pleased with the quality of the stone provided,” said Richard Keating, co-founder of Keating | Khang. “With black granite, often the consistency of the stone is not very good; there can be pockets of light and dark that takes away from the visual. But that was not the case with this stone. This stone was very consistent.”

An outdoor terrace area provides a place for top-level executives to take a break from a busy day.
In addition to the presence of Cambrian Black granite, which totaled approximately 160,000 square feet, the Meritz Tower features state-of-the-art urban landscaping - culminating in the rear of the main lobby, where a major water feature flutters down to an awe-inspiring garden. By selecting clear glass for the main lobby, this magnificent sight is visible to pedestrians on all sides of the building, including the main entrance. In addition, designed as a corporate headquarters, top-level executives are treated to plush office spaces on the third level, which center around a terrace, complete with its own garden and a panoramic view of the entire city of Seoul. This terrace, with its powerful view, provided the perfect backdrop to host the party for the grand opening of the Meritz Tower, which was completed in October 2005.

The Meritz Tower also features a state-of-the-art urban landscape - culminating in the rear of the main lobby.
Stone was also specified for interior spaces. To beautify the 60 restrooms of the Meritz Tower. Every restroom of this 30-story building was graced with Laurentian Green granite from Polycor's own quarry, located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River. This material lends a strong, dramatic presence to the walls, floors and fixture stands, giving them a rich and sophisticated look.