Natural stone was selected as a cladding for the Cole Eye Institute, a component of the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH, for the sake of continuity, said architect Sam Kirby of Cesar Pelli Architects. "We had already introduced stone to a few other building in the clinic campus," he said. "Using the same stone again would give the campus some consistency in its look and feel."

Prior to the Cole Eye Institute, Cesar Pelli was involved in the construction of two other buildings on the Cleveland Campus -- the Lerner Research Institute and the Crile Building. "The Cleveland Clinic Foundation approached us with a proposal for the Eye Institute because we have been working with them on the clinic since 1980," Kirby said.

The Crile Building, which houses many outpatient clinics, was first opened in 1985, and has become a flagship building of the Cleveland Clinic, according to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. And the Lerner Research Center, which is comprised of three wings surrounding a courtyard, houses research offices, labs and seminar rooms. Both of these buildings, as well as the Cole Eye Institute, are finished in Stony Creek granite. This same stone was later used for the cancer center as well.

"Stony Creek is one of Cesar Pelli?s more preferred stones," said Kirby. "Since we have used this stone over and over again, the stone itself wasn?t a difficult choice. It was chosen for its color, which shows a fairly consistent field with some dark figuration. We used a well-shuffled palette of this stone to avoid bookmatching or repetitious figuration. Overall it gives a nice pink and gray hue."

The stone is quarried in Stony Creek, CT, which is located just 15 minutes outside of Cesar Pelli?s Connecticut offices. The quarry owners are now Granicor of Canada.

Unlike some of the other buildings on the campus, the Cole Eye Institute features natural stone on the interior as well. The 70-foot-diameter lobby was completed using Crema Marfil, Dark Emperador, Light Emperador and Perlato Suevo, according to Mike Redenshek of International Granite & Marble (IGM), a stone supplier for the project. Approximately 4,000 square feet or 1,400 pieces of 2-cm-thick stone were specified.

"More than 100 marble slabs were purchased for use on the floor in the Atrium of the Cole Eye Institute," said Senior Project Manager Kevin Macko of Acme Arsena, which fabricated and installed the stone. "This included a 15% waste factor and backup slab stock. The calculations were performed to determine the exact size of each piece in order to fit into the space as the site conditions allowed. Mylar templates were then manufactured to the exact dimension of each piece, allowing for 1⁄32-inch spacing."

The fabrication of the stone pieces went quite smoothly, according to Macko. "The templates were plotted onto each slab to maximize slab usage and minimize cutting time and waste," he said. "The pieces were then trimmed to a final dimension on a smaller rail saw. The final fabrication process was the easing of each saw cut edge."

The installation method chosen by Acme Arsena was a full mudset over anti-fracture membrane. "An elasto-meric membrane was placed over the depressed slab, and a polymer modified bond coat was placed under a 11⁄4-inch-thick portland cement and sand mixture," said Macko. "A secondary modified bond coat was then applied as the stones were fresh-set into the mortar bed. A modified portland cement grout was used to fill the joints."

The installation provided a challenge in the geometric, interlocking design, according to Macko. "It was difficult to put it all together with a great degree of speed while maintaining the quality they wanted," he said.

Yet, the project?s successful completion earned the installers from Acme Arsena a Build Ohio award. They were recognized in the specialty division of this statewide competition, which judges craftsmanship. "This award honors the workers that put the whole thing together, which is nice," he said.


Cole Eye Institute

Cleveland, OH

Architect: Cesar Pelli & Associates, New Haven, CT

Developer: Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH

Stone Quarry Owner: Granicor, St. Augstin, Quebec, Canada


Stone Supplier: IGM-International Granite & Marble,

Windsor, CT (interior stone)

Stone Fabricator and Installer: Acme Arsena, Macedonia, OH