For the recent design of the 400,000-square-foot Lowe’s Corporate Headquarters in Mooresville, NC, architects from the firm of Calloway, Johnson, Moore & West incorporated sandstone, Bluestone and fieldstone into the exterior design. The materials were selected to meet the client’s request that the character of the building be timeless and blend with its 157-acre wooded valley surroundings, as well as to achieve the goal of setting the building apart from competing work environments.
To meet the desired aesthetic, the architects selected a variety of natural stones to be used as exterior cladding on the building, as well as for columns and paving. Together, these materials create a welcoming, relaxing atmosphere for the large corporate office building.
Harvest Gold sandstone - from Luck Stone Corp. of Richmond, VA - was used on the exterior portion of the building to contrast the glass panels. The material was used in an ashlar pattern in varying sized pieces, including 5-inch, 10 ½-inch and 16-inch rises.
Next to the building are several walkways and terraces - used primarily for outdoor dining and social events - which feature Pennsylvania Bluestone. In addition, site walls clad in Eagle Ridge fieldstone are found though the property surrounding the building.
According to Scott Lahr, AIA, LEED AP, a principal architect at Calloway, Johnson, Moore & West of Winston-Salem, NC, exterior stone played an important role in the Lowe’s project because of the strong relationship between the building and its surroundings. “We were looking for ways to integrate between the building and the landscape, and the use of stone - both on the building and then emanating out into the landscape - allowed us to achieve the desired connection,” he said.â€¯ “In addition, the use of stone on both the interior and exterior fostered the goals for a more natural and relaxed work environment in contrast to typical office environments.”â€¯
Bob Koontz, RLA, of LandDesign in Southern Pines, NC, was responsible for integrating stone into the landscape design, and he said that the material was integral to the overall project. “We chose fieldstone for the site walls due to its rough characteristics and very natural characteristics,” he said. “We wanted the site walls to blend with the surrounding and to provide a contrast to the more refined stone used on the building.”
Additionally, Koontz said that Bluestone was selected for the pavers because of its durability, and because they wanted to use a natural material, rather than a manufactured material like brick.
“I think exterior stone is becoming more common because of the availability,” said Koontz. “The prices of manmade products such as brick and concrete have increased to a point where stone is more competitive now, and people are selecting it because it provides better quality.”
The project has been well received and greatly utilized by the corporation and its employees, according to Lahr.