As in years past, the Marble Institute of America, Inc. (MIA) announced the winners of its Pinnacle Awards during the joint MIA Convention/StonExpo exhibition, which was held from December 4 to 6, 2003 in Atlanta, GA. This prestigious award competition is designed to recognize excellence in commercial and residential natural stone projects worldwide.

The 2003 Pinnacle Awards honored nine projects among a record-breaking number of entries for demonstrating superior beauty, creativity, ingenuity and craftsmanship by MIA-member stone suppliers, fabricators and installers. The projects that were chosen ranged from upscale residential renovations to a luxurious hotel.

This recent award program also featured three new special awards for achievement in restoration. Included in these honorees were projects involving New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral, the National Shrine in Washington, DC, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Among the panel of judges for 2003 were Jacquelyn Suozzi, Materials Resource Coordinator at the architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; former MIA President Robert Stasswender, owner/president of Southwest Marble & Granite Works, Inc.; and Joe Kapcheck, president of Kapcheck & Co., and a past president of MIA.

“The tremendous caliber of the natural stone projects submitted for this year's competition confirms that natural stone remains the premier building material of choice of leading architects, designers and their clients,” stated MIA President Rich Booms, president of Booms Stone Co. in Redord, MI. “Each of the entries illustrates the unique ability of natural stone to add beauty, longevity and value to projects large and small, commercial and residential.”

The MIA presented the Pinnacle Awards to the winners during its annual meeting, which was held on December 5, 2003, in conjunction with the exhibition. The following is a showcase of those that were honored in Atlanta.

Residential Interior/Exterior Award of Excellence
Project: Rickenbach Residence, Thousand Oaks, CA
MIA Member Company: Malibu Art Tile & Stone, Cornell, CA

Architect/Designer: Daniel Witting, AIA
Interior Design & Stone Specification: Barbara Hallett Greene, IFDA
Stone Fabricator & Installer: Malibu Art Tile & Stone, Cornell, CA
Stone Suppliers: Clovis Collection; Marmol Export USA
General Contractor: Steve Armstrong Construction

The dramatic, semi-circular design of the residence presented unique challenges in stone fabrication and installation. The flooring is Versailles pattern honed Beaumanniere limestone, which was precision-cut to follow the room's radius. To fit the curved walls, each piece of limestone base molding was ground from the back. The kitchen counters, radius bar and fireplace of Celadon granite were book-matched to enhance their harmony within the stainless steel and lacquered Pearwood surround.

Judges' Comments: “An outstanding example of precision fabrication and installation of a complex project. The excellent installation of the floor and radius base further enhances Malibu Art's attention to detail. Design and execution appear to be flawless.”

Residential Interior/Exterior Award of Merit
Project: Residential Remodel, Minnetonka, MN
MIA Member Company: Northwestern Marble & Granite Co., Edina, MN

Architect/Designer: Aulik Design Group, Inc.
Stone Installer: Northwestern Marble & Granite Co.
General Contractor: Aulik & Associates, Inc.
Stone Suppliers: Stone Design

The artistic design for this renovated kitchen called for a custom-designed, five-sided Golden Oak granite kitchen sink with softened bump-out corners. A considerable amount of handwork was required on the part of Northwestern Marble & Granite to meet the requirements for the sink area and matching center island.

Judges' Comments: “An outstanding example of detailing and workmanship adding to the scope of work and ultimate beauty of the finished product.”

Commercial Interior Award of Excellence
Project: David Allen Corporate Headquarters
MIA Member Company: David Allen Co., Raleigh, NC

Architect/Designer: Chris Garris, Cannon Architects; Robert Roberson and Vicki Wilson, David Allen Co.
Stone Supplier/Fabricator/Installer: David Allen Co.
General Contractor: Jedco Construction

In planning its new corporate headquarters, the David Allen Co. wanted to showcase its marble, granite, terrazzo and tile in a manner that would inspire the imaginations of designers, architects and property owners. A total of 67 different stones from 27 countries were used. Highlights include museum-quality mosaics adorning floors and tabletops, many of them copied from or inspired by the works of European artists and each created by mosaic or water-jet designs. Marble and granite lavatory tops and toilet partitions and marble and porcelain tile floors add beauty to the building's restrooms, while Rojo Alicante graces numerous walls and floors throughout.

Judges' Comments: “Outstanding attention to detail with craftsmanship beyond belief. Extensive use of the earth's natural beauty. . .Wow.”

Commercial Interior Award of Merit
Project: Mayo Clinic, Leslie & Susan Gonda Building, Rochester, MN
MIA Member Company: Twin City Tile and Marble Company, St. Paul, MN

Architect/Designer: Ellerbe Becket & Cesar Pelli Associates
Stone Supplier/Installer: Twin City Tile and Marble Co., St. Paul, MN

The largest building project in the Mayo Clinic's history, the new Leslie & Susan Gonda Building purposely features several natural stones used in the Clinic's existing structures, including Roman travertine flooring, Crème Pearl wall panels and Breccia Aurora feature walls to physically and visually line the new with the old. The exterior is clad with white Brazilian granite in a framework of brilliant, linen-finished stainless steel and set on a base of white marble. Twin City Tile and Marble installed 17 different colors of stone for the interior finishes, with 90% of the stone being colored marble and limestone.

Judges' Comments: “The attention paid to the quality of this installation by the supplier, consultant and installer earned this award of merit. Well designed and executed.”

Commercial Exterior Award of Excellence
Project: Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City, UT
MIA Member Companies: Rock of Ages Corp., Barre, VT; Kepco+, Salt Lake City, UT

Architect/Designer: Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates
Stone Supplier: Rock of Ages Corp., Barre, VT
Stone Installer: KEPCO+, Salt Lake City, UT
General Contractor: Jacobsen-Oakland Joint Venture

The exterior of the luxurious Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, which was completed in time to serve as 2002 Winter Olympics headquarters, is clad with over 300,000 square feet of brilliant Bethel White granite. Some 5,000 tons of the granite were quarried in Bethel, VT, by Rock of Ages Corp., shipped to Spain for fabrication, then delivered to Salt Lake City, where pieces were preassembled and installed by KEPCO+DBI. Bethel White pavers also adorn the roof of the hotel wings, to enhance a guest's view from the hotel room window. In addition, over 50,000 square feet of granite and limestone were used in impressive site work, including fountains, planters and plaza paving.

Judges' Comments: “This grand gesture of architectural detailing recalls fine traditional European hotels. The quality of craftsmanship and overall stone sequencing is most evident.”

Commercial Exterior Award of Merit
Project: The Spirit of Baseball, Cincinnati, OH
MIA Member Company: Mees Distributors, Inc., Cincinnati, OH

Architect/Designer: Berberich Design
Stone Supplier: Mees Distributors, Inc., Cincinnati, OH
Stone Installer: Siemering Tile
General Contractor: Hunt Construction Group
Project Engineer: Facade Forensics

Visitors to American Ballpark, the new home of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team, are greeted by a massive 20- x 50-foot Indiana limestone bas-relief depicting baseball players, young and old. Mees Distributors used approx-imately 65 tons of limestone in 46 pieces to create the artwork - the larger panels measuring 4 to 6 feet x 6 feet. The relief had to be installed in a pre-existing brick opening, which along with uncooperative winter weather, presented challenges. Once assembled, Mees craftsmen went to work on the bas-relief with grinders, chisels, dremels and a hand rasp.

Judges' Comments: “Very impressive workmanship and detailing. Finished product is truly an inspiration to all.”

Special Award for Restoration
Project: Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
MIA Member Company: Scotstone, Cleveland, OH

Architect/Designer: Vitetta
Stone Installer: Scotstone, Cleveland, OH
Stone Supplier: George Marble/Polycor
General Contractor: Graciano Corp., Jance Construction

Restoration of the original 1916 terraces and balustrades at the Cleveland Museum of Art required Scotstone to completely disassemble the original historic materials, store and catalog each block of stone and its original position, and then reconstruct the terraces and balustrades to meet ADA requirements and visitor comfort concerns. A key project goal was to maintain the integrity of the original structures and target a 100+ year longevity. Elkbrook Bluestone was used as the fieldstone for the ramp paving and Georgia Cherokee marble for new retaining walls and paving border stones. Marble also graces 18 replacement banisters, ramp railings and bases, and visitor benches.

Judges' Comments: “The difficulties in matching, fabricating and installing new stone materials to blend with stone installed over 85 years ago are almost insurmountable. Scotstone did an excellent job in blending the new with the old.”

Special Award for Restoration
Project: Founder's Chapel & Pope Pius X Chapel, Washington, DC
MIA Member Company: Rugo & Carosi, LLC, Lorton, VA

Architect/Designer: Anthony J. Segreti, AIA
Stone Supplier/Installer/General Contractor: Rugo &
Carosi, LLC, Lorton, VA
Stone Fabricator: Viccentina Marmi

Restoring two chapels within the magnificent Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to their original stature required Rugo & Carosi to dismantle the chapels down to the terra-cotta block back-up walls. In the Founder's Chapel, the firm meticulously repaired the Botticino Classico tomb of the Shrine's founder, Bishop Thomas Shahan, replaced damaged marble flooring and repolished all exposed surfaces and carvings.

Judges' Comments: “Great Restoration . . . Classic 'Old World' beauty restored to better standards than the original project done decades before.”

Special Award for Restoration
Project: St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York, NY
MIA Member Company: Port Morris Tile and Marble Corp., Bronx, NY

Architect/Designer: Peter Marino & Associates
Stone Installer: Port Morris Tile and Marble
Corp., Bronx, NY
Stone Supplier: Santucci and Sons
General Contractor: F.J. Sciame Construction Co.

In the grand cathedral's Lady Chapel, Port Morris was charged with restoring the complex marble mosaic floor as closely as possible in both marble type and design to the 19th century original. The work required using 15 differently shaped units, each cut using a water-jet system. A new marble Tabernacle stand and Coat of Arms of Pope Leo XIII were also furnished and installed by Port Morris.

Judges' Comments: “Not often does one get an opportunity to be involved in a project of this magnitude, but when one is given the opportunity and succeeds, a special award is merited.”