In recent years, China has gained a great deal of attention as an emerging supplier of stone products to all areas of the world. With this in mind, it was a bit of a surprise that a non-Chinese stone was chosen for a public building in the capital city of Beijing. The exterior of the Wu Jing Building -- prominently located at the crossroads of Hui Xing Road and An Yuan Road -- is clad in Nordic Black from Carrieres Polycor of Canada.

The granite was specified as 3.5- x 2.3-foot panels in a thickness of 1 inch, and a total of 6,500 square feet of material was supplied in all. “We are very excited to be chosen for a project in China,” said Jean St. Onge, vice president of sales at Polycor, which is based in the province of Quebec. “It illustrates how good a stone Nordic Black is and how Polycor can supply stone to anywhere in the world.” This project is of particular interest, as only 10% of China's total imports come from North America.

Polycor supplied the rough blocks of Nordic Black from its quarries in Canada to Universal Marble & Granite Group (UMGG) in Beijing, which fabricated the material into exterior panels. “Universal Marble & Granite Group is the largest stone factory in China,” said Christine Lee, Polycor's sales representative in China. “They did an excellent job of arranging the panels.”

Lee worked with the company's offices in Canada to assure that the blocks arrived on time and as ordered. “The whole process worked very smoothly,” said Yina Wang, who worked to coordinate everything in Carrieres Polycor, the company's granite block division.

The China Construction Design Institute served as architects on the project, and the design took advantage of the material's large crystals, utilizing polished granite panels in areas where building visitors could appreciate the stone's unique aesthetics. Nordic Black has been compared to a marble in appearance, but with the technical characteristics of granite. “We call this marble-type black granite,” said Wang. “The stone can be used for both construction and decoration.”

Adding to the overall look of the building, wide joints and recesses add depth and shadowing, and the exterior stonework is complemented by elements such as decorative metalwork and glass.

After UMGG received and fabricated the granite, it was installed by Oriental Taiyang Installation and Engineering Co., Ltd. over a tight timeframe of one month. “The owners of the project are satisfied and happy with the outcome,” said Lee. “The owner mentioned that if they have any new projects, they would like to use this material again. We view that as the highest possible compliment we can receive. We are using our best efforts to promote this stone in China. This project is a very good first step for us.”

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Wu Jing Building
Beijing, China

Architect: China Construction Design Institute
Stone Supplier: Carrieres Polycor, Quebec, Canada
Stone Fabricator: Universal Marble & Granite Group, Beijing, China
Installer: Oriental Taiyang Installation and Engineering Co., Ltd.