When designing the new Natural Science and Engineering Research Building at the University of Texas at Dallas, the architects wanted to reflect the colors of the existing architecture on campus, but at the same time, they wanted to create a distinct natural-looking appearance for the structure. After some deliberation, it was determined that Texas limestone would be the most appropriate material for the project, and as a result, the local stone was used throughout the interior and exterior of the building. “Our first design goal was to design a state-of-the-art, functional laboratory that is responding to the users’ needs,” said Stuart Baur, Associate Partner at Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP in Los Angeles, CA.
Since 1969, StoneCrafters of St. Cloud, MN, has worked to develop a strong reputation for itself in the stone industry. The company was started as a floor covering business by Vern Salzl, and it has evolved into a state-of-the-art stone fabrication facility, primarily serving the Twin Cities metropolitan area. And in addition to countertop production, StoneCrafters has created a prosperous niche for itself as a tabletop manufacturer - distributing its products to retailers nationwide.
The year 1977 will always be a special year,” said Spiro Xenos, owner of Acropolis Custom Marble and Granite, Inc. in St. Louis, MO, with his wife Anna. “It’s the year that I came from my homeland, Greece, to the U.S. It’s also when I started to establish my name in the Midwest as a Master Marble Craftsman/Artist.”
The Marble Institute of America (MIA) once again hit the road to tour some of the well-known quarries of North America. This time, the organization headed to Minnesota and South Dakota with a group of industry professionals who were eager to see various aspects of the quarrying and fabrication business in the Midwest. The two-day event, which was held from Thursday, August 23 to Friday, August 24, 2007, provided an educational experience as well as an opportunity for industry veterans and newcomers to network.
As a tribute to the 20,000 veterans currently living in Yonkers, NY, as well as to pay homage to those who courageously lost their lives in battle, the Veteran’s Memorial at City Hall was recently commemorated after an expansion and restoration process. The project was coordinated by Stony Creek Quarry Corp. in conjunction with the Yonkers Veterans Service Agency and the Department of Engineering in Yonkers.
Approximately eight years in the making, the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is the largest building ever built in the University of California School System. The facility comprises 10 stories - eight of which are above ground - and includes 1 million square feet of space that sits on 4 acres at the southwest corner of Westwood Plaza and Charles E. Young Drive South in Los Angeles, CA. And despite the massive size of the new medical center, the unique design, which was developed by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei and his son, C.C. Pei of Pei Partnership Architects in New York, creates the illusion of several smaller hospitals instead of a single overwhelming structure. The exterior is built of more than 3 million pounds of Ambra Light travertine - imported from Tivoli, Italy - contributing to the high-quality look of the facility.
Marc Beaudet of Old World Marble & Granite, Inc. in Naples, FL, has taken a different approach than his local competitors to selling stone countertops in the area. While Naples is typically a 3-cm market, Beaudet’s company primarily works with 2-cm slabs. His previous experience in the industry allows him to explain to his upscale clients the benefits of using a slightly thinner material with a laminated edge. And in the nine years that Old World Marble & Granite has been in business, his efforts have proven successful.<
Pier 1 Imports first opened its doors in San Mateo, CA, in 1962. Initially, the company, which specializes in home furniture and accessories, was established as one store, but today it has expanded to include more than 1,100 locations throughout North America. The company is headquartered in Fort Worth, TX, and recently a new building was constructed on a premium site to house the 700 associates that work in the corporate office. And in keeping with the high-quality traditional design that was desired, a variety of Italian stone -- supplied by Henraux S.p.A. of Querceta, Italy -- was employed for exterior and interior applications throughout the 20-story, 450,000-square-foot structure.
The stone materials quarried in Bavaria -- particularly Jura stone -- have long been noted for their abundant fossilization, with many architectural works taking care to highlight this aspect of the stone. Taking this concept to the next level, the Jura-Museum in Eichstätt, Germany, houses a wealth of fossils that have been discovered in the region, and it has been visited by leading paleontologists from around the world.
A group of independent German stone producers joined forces to form JMS Jura Marble Suppliers GmbH -- making the group the largest supplier of Jura marble, specializing in architectural projects. The group is headquartered in Eichstätt, Germany, a medieval town that sits between Munich and Nuremberg. One of the companies within JMS is Neumeyer & Brigl, which owns three quarries and operates a complete stoneworking plant to produce tiles, slabs, cut-to-size and specialty pieces. The company works in cooperation with the other members of JMS to supply its Jura marble products to markets around the world.
In this issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design, we bring you our annual focus on Kitchen & Bath Design. From a beach-inspired bathroom design to a kitchen backsplash made of circular mosaic tile, the following are filled with illustrations of innovative and unique uses of stone and tile.