Stone World

Stone Creates Feng Shui Restaurant Setting

October 3, 2008
The design of Gi Fu Loh, an authentic Cantonese restaurant at Harrah’s Casino in South Lake Tahoe in Stateline, NV, involved the use of a variety of stone materials such as limestone, granite, quartzite and marble as well as complementary glass elements.


Designed by T. Murao Design, Inc. of New York, Gi Fu Loh, an authentic Cantonese restaurant at Harrah’s Casino in South Lake Tahoe in Stateline, NV, features a variety of stone materials throughout the space.

One design goal, according to Taki Murao, Owner/Co-Principal of T. Murao Design, Inc., was to take advantage of the limited space offered by using it in unique and interesting ways. “The space had many columns and duct risers, so to use them as an advantage, we created interesting paths or used them as lighting, for example,” Murao explained. “From the study of water behavior, we created narrow paths for the corridor and widened the areas for seating.”

Flooring throughout the entry corridor features large-format pieces of Palais Pierre Marron Etrusco limestone, while Palais Pierre Azur limestone was used as a border around the space. Both materials were supplied by Country Floors of New York, NY.

One main feature of the 5,000-square-foot restaurant, which can be found on the floor of the entryway, is a 60-square-foot, circle-shaped mosaic medallion featuring a large dragon design. The medallion, which features a variety of material, including marble, Murano glass and 24-karat White Gold, was handcrafted by Sicis’ mosaic artists in Italy.

On the floor in the main entryway is a 60-square-foot, mosaic medallion featuring a large dragon design. The reception desk top was fabricated from slabs of Azul Bahia granite supplied by Tutto Marmo Inc. of San Diego, CA. Furthermore, using Sicis’ transparent Glimmer and Waterglass mosaics with a hint of opaque Murano Smalto, the ceiling pendants were artistically produced to resemble the radiance of the sun.

The floor tile surrounding the mosaic medallion is honed Palais Pierre Azur limestone, which also continues into the entry corridor area. The material, supplied by Country Floors of New York, NY, was employed in 4- x 16-inch pieces, and a total of 100 square feet was used throughout the restaurant.

Furthermore, flooring throughout the waiting area and at the rotunda entrance features honed Palais Pierre Marron Etrusco limestone, also from Country Floors. “We needed a material that could withstand the heavy commercial traffic, while also presenting a one-of-a-kind art,” said Murao.

The medallion, which features a variety of material, including marble, Murano glass and 24-karat White Gold, was handcrafted by Sicis’ mosaic artists in Italy.

The entry wall of the restaurant’s private room features White Gold quartzite from Stone Source of New York, NY. Approximately 45 square feet of material was used, and the large-format pieces have a thickness of ½ inch.

Additionally, the reception desk tops and countertop at the bar lounge feature slabs of Azul Bahia granite supplied by Tutto Marmo Inc. of San Diego, CA. The noodle bar countertop was fabricated from slabs of polished Persian Red travertine/limestone from Stone Source.

Aside from supplying material for the dragon mosaic medallion, Sicis also supplied glass mosaics for ceiling lighting pendants and illuminated columns, ceiling panels and ceiling canopies.  Using Sicis’ transparent Glimmer and Waterglass mosaics with a hint of opaque Murano Smalto, the ceiling pendants were artistically produced to resemble the radiance of the sun.

The entry wall of the restaurant’s private room features White Gold quartzite from Stone Source of New York, NY. Approximately 45 square feet of material was used, and the large-format pieces have a thickness of ½ inch.

“All elements were placed based on Feng Shui, such as a large fish tank, water cascade, copper panels, stone flooring and backlit columns,” said the designer, adding that he traveled to various places in China to collect each artifact and had them air shipped to the jobsite.

Construction of the project began in January 2007 and finished in September of 2007, and according to the architect, the reaction to the project has been amazingly positive.


Gi Fu Loh restaurant
Stateline, NV

Designer: T. Murao Design, Inc., New York, NY
Medallion Manufacturer: Sicis, Italy
Stone Suppliers: Country Floors, New York, NY (Palais Pierre Marron Etrusco limestone, Palais Pierre Azur limestone); Stone Source, New York, NY (White Gold quartzite, Persian Red travertine/limestone); Tutto Marmo Inc., San Diego, CA (Azul Bahia granite)
Tile Supplier: Sicis, Italy