As usual, Coverings 2007, which was held in Chicago, IL, from April 17 to 20, hosted the annual Prism Stone in Architecture Awards. The competition, conducted by Coverings, along with the Marble Institute of America (MIA) and Architectural Record - recognizes creative and unique architectural projects in which stone was a fundamental part of the design.
The judges’ Grand Prize choice for the Prism Award for exceptional use of stone was The Getty Villa museum in Malibu, CA, and its tile contractor Carnevale & Lohr, Inc., who incorporated an astounding array of stone materials - travertine, porphyry stone, and black and white marble - into the architecture, interiors and landscaping with magnificent results.
The awards celebrate creativity and achievement in the use of stone in both commercial and residential projects. The program is sponsored by Coverings and coordinated by the show’s five sponsoring organizations, including ASCER (Spain’s Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association), Confindustria Ceramica (Italian Association of Ceramics), CTDA (Ceramic Tile Distributors Association), NTCA (National Tile Contractors Association) and TCNA (Tile Council of North America).
Serving this year as judges were Carolyn Weber, Home magazine building editor; Christine Abbate, representing Confindustria Ceramica; Bob Daniels, former TCNA executive director; Chris Walker, vice president, Port Morris Tile & Marble Corp.; and, Beth Berdofe White, representing ASCER.

This year’s winners included:

• Grand Prize: The Getty Villa museum, Malibu, CA
• Commercial First Prize: Oklahoma City Federal Building, Oklahoma City, OK
• Residential First Prize: Private Residence, Middleburg, VA
• Residential Award of Merit: Multi-planar vineyard residence, San Francisco, CA

Grand Prize
The Getty Villa museum |
Malibu, CA

Inside and out, The Getty Villa is an architectural splendor that required more than 30 containers of stone from around the world, plus, according to Carnevale & Lohr, numerous overseas trips to the quarries to select exact blocks and oversee the production of the finished materials. Specifically, the project included the installation of a white onyx wall cap rising two stories tall, a travertine staircase bordered by black granite trim leading to the museum’s main level and an amphitheater featuring heavily etched black and white marble paving in a random pattern. A highlight of the gallery installation is a series of custom-designed statue pedestals using marble cladding over an earthquake-resistant metal frame. Others credited on the project are Machado & Silvetti Associates, architect; Morley Construction Co., general contractor; and, Jeffrey Matthews of Trade International, Inc., stone sourcing consultant.

Commercial First Prize
Oklahoma City Federal Building
Oklahoma City, OK

Named winner and receiving $2,500 was Ross Barney Architects of Chicago, for the Oklahoma City Federal Building. In the aftermath of the Murrah Federal Building bombing in this city, the concept for stone to rebuild was a metaphor for strength, energy, fortitude and the geology of the state. But, in specifying handset stone, the architect had to address the government’s revised security guidelines affecting how the material is used, and it necessitated the development of a new technique for eliminating the cavities between the stone within the assembly. It was a mammoth challenge successfully met and with visually stunning results.

Residential First Prize
Private Residence
Middleburg, VA

R. Bratti Associates, in Alexandria, VA, a fourth generation stone contractor, earned the Prism First Prize in the residential category for a palatial home in Middleburg, VA. The judges were particularly impressed with the mix of limestone, rubble stone and granite on the exterior, but also found there was an equally savvy use of interior stone finishes yielding a classic and grand estate.

Award Merit
Fletcher Allen Health Care facility
University of Vermont, College of Medicine
Burlington, VT

Winning the Commercial Award of Merit was Tsoi/Kobus & Associates, a Cambridge architectural firm, for its expressive work with a variety of stone at the Fletcher Allen Health Care facility on the campus of the University of Vermont, College of Medicine in Burlington. Integrated into the rural character of Vermont, one modern structure features Canadian Adair limestone, chosen for its durability and compatibility to the local terrain and treated to a fleuri cut, along with a combination of medium dressed and split face finishes. On the Ambulatory Care Center, which enjoys a southern exposure, the composition is mostly a split-face finish to emphasize the natural beauty of the stone. The Central Utilities Plant features a limestone exterior along with granite, marble and Vermont red stone to match the existing wainscoting on the building.

Award Merit
Multi-planar vineyard residence
San Francisco, CA

Earning the $1,500 Award of Merit for Residential was Aidlin Darling Design of San Francisco, CA. The architectural firm designed a multi-planar vineyard residence in Sonoma County that was intended to capture a sense of serenity while embodying the solidity and permanence of the homeowner’s previous East Coast stone houses. A split-face sandstone facade comes alive in the sunlight throughout the passage of the day. Italian Scilla and Portuguese Val Verde limestones are used for flooring and paving, allowing continuous finishes to flow from inside to out. A variety of stone finishes and textures distinguish this project, including bushhammered step stones, honed stair threads and raked shower floors. Fireplaces were fashioned from reclaimed antique Ankar stone, while hearths are single-piece limestone. Hand-carved Chinese Yangtze limestone vanities feature a polished sink basin that contrasts with the tooled corduroy texture of the surrounding countertop.