The MIA announced the winners of the 2014 Pinnacle Awards competition during its annual Awards Luncheon, held during StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2015 in Las Vegas, NV. The Pinnacle Awards recognize excellence in commercial, residential and renovation/restoration of natural stone projects worldwide. Projects selected as winners must demonstrate exceptional beauty, creativity, ingenuity and craftsmanship in the use of granite, marble, travertine, limestone and other natural stones. Sponsors of the Pinnacle Awards were: Mapei for the Commercial Awards; Blanco for the Residential Awards; and Coldspring for the Renovation/Restoration Awards. The competition is open to MIA members around the world. The following are the 2014 winners.

Award of Excellence - Residential Interior/Exterior

Grande Pinnacle Award

Residence Navathani; Bangkok, Thailand

Traditional Thai homes are usually built as a cluster of physically separated rooms arranged around a large central terrace. Interpreting the traditional typology of the Thai houses, the Residence Navathani consists in two parallel wings, separated by a large garden and a swimming pool. The objective of the stone architecture is to give a sense of unity and blend the building with trees, plants and other natural landscape. Trees are often allowed to grow in the central area of the traditional Thai house with plants always featured prominently to create a strong relationship with nature.

The choice of Thai travertine as the main stone for the building stems from the following objectives: first, the stone must display a strong natural character with contrasting color hues and crystalline veins, which contribute to blending the architecture into the landscape. Second, the design of the stone provides a sense of unity to the building. The facade of each wing displays an array of columns of various widths and spacings and there is an alignment of the columns between the two wings. The texture is rough on the outside face of the columns and honed on the sides as it continues through the window to the inside of the house. The two wings are connected by a long screen wall that separates the drop-off area from the private areas. This wall is pierced with square openings, which help to show a relationship between the two areas. The facade facing the entrance features stone in contrasting but related ways: the right hand wing is clad with honed stone on top of a large window, while the opposite wing displays a chiseled stone wall on the bottom with a large window on top. The architecture extends to the outside of the right-hand wing with a private theater of a modern contemporary design. The stone featured on the facade changes to a minimalist gray basalt, while continuing the column concept with the alternate textures grooved on the facing and honed on the sides.

MIA?Member Company

Stones and Roses International Co. Ltd. Samutprakarn, Thailand (Stone Supplier/Stone Fabricator/Installer)


Other Project Team Members

Architect: Architects49 House Design Limited

General Contractor: Teamvis Construction Co. Ltd.

Stones:Thai travertine, cream limestone, gray basalt

Award of Excellence: Commercial Interior

Antero Resources Corporation; Denver, CO

Antero Resources Corp. is an independent exploration and production company engaged in the exploration, development and acquisition of natural gas and oil properties located in the Appalachian Basin. The company relocated its offices to One Union Station, the new five-story 110,000-square-foot office building adjacent to historic Union Station. The offices, designed by McPherson Architecture anchor the south end of Union Station Plaza, the centerpiece in the Union Station Redevelopment Project.

To highlight the focus of the company, McPherson Architecture was tasked with creating a geological theme that spoke to the Earth, its strata and the valuable resources within. The design team created an atrium with spiral stairs to connect four levels of office space and facilitate communication between departments. 

McPherson Architecture specified Las Vegas Rock’s metaquartzite stone, quarried in the Nevada desert near Jean, NV. The metaquartzite stone is very durable. There is a geologic patent for it because it is a bit of a geological anomaly. It is pure silica bonded by quartz making it a “glass grade silica sand” that has confounded geologists, but in a good way. It is the only specific deposit of this type of stone known of on the planet. The material has a high threshold for resistance to wear and has an extraordinarily high-slip resistance in the polished finish. The stone was selected because it was dramatic and emotional, but not lavish. The organic feeling of the stone set the tone for the office design, and people connected to the stone’s rich, bold colors and natural characteristics. The stone is often mistaken for petrified wood.

MIA?Member Company

Las Vegas Rock Inc., Jean, NV (Stone Supplier)


Other Project Team Members

Client: Antero Resources Corp.

Architect/Designer: McPherson Architecture

General Contractor: MATT Construction

Stone Fabricator and Installer: YK Stone Center (MIA Member Company)


Award of Excellence: Commercial Exterior

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Headquarters; Agoura Hills, CA

Environmental stewardship, preserving the integrity of the surrounding environment and crafting a sustainable, peaceful workplace were among the primary goals in creating a new headquarters for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. A four-phased master plan was envisioned by ZGF Architects for the selected site in Agoura Hills, CA. Phase 1, a 22,240-square-foot, two-story office building which was recently completed, is net-zero energy and LEED-Platinum registered.

The split-face stone cladding manufactured by Las Vegas Rock enhances the synergy between nature and technology by echoing the texture and color of the surrounding local stone. The rectangular building clad in strips of auburn, burnt orange and deep-yellow metaquartzite, pay homage to the area’s vivid landscapes and tile roofs. The exterior facade and landscape are juxtaposed with a neutral interior color palette and materials. Las Vegas Rock metaquartzite is one of a kind. It is the only Silver Cradle to Cradle certified natural stone in the world. Cradle to Cradle Certification provides a means to tangibly and credibly measure achievement in environmentally-intelligent design and helps customers purchase and specify products that are pursuing a broader definition of quality. This means using environmentally safe and healthy materials; design for material reutilization, such as recycling; the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency; efficient use of water and maximum water quality associated with production; as well as instituting strategies for social responsibility.

Las Vegas Rock practices ecologically-conscious manufacturing. There is zero waste in production and 100% of the Las Vegas Rock by-product is repurposed. Due to the sustainability initiatives associated with the production of the metaquartzite stone Las Vegas Rock provided for this project, there were several points awarded towards the LEED Platinum registration with Regional Materials and Innovation in Design credits.

MIA?Member Company

Las Vegas Rock, Inc., Jean, NV (Stone Supplier/Stone Fabricator)


Other Project Team Members

Architect: ZGF Architects

General Contractor: MATT Construction

Stone Installer: Italian Marble & Tile Co.


Award of Excellence: Commercial Exterior

Massachusetts Maritime Academy; Bourne, MA

Among the many aspirations for the ABS Information Commons was to fill an existing surface parking area with a building that would knit the campus together in a thoughtful way. Massachusetts Maritime knew they wanted a building that would be special and different, but they also asked for a solution that would be contextually sensitive. This became a challenge for the building form given a series of site constraints that included an existing wind turbine. The proposed building needed to be directly in-line with the primary wind direction for the turbine. Early wind studies showed a significant efficiency loss when utilizing a flat roof.  A wind study determined that the roof should be asymmetrically tipped to create a more aerodynamic form, thereby increasing wind speed and reducing power loss. The combination of the tipped roof plane and a non-orthogonal plan resulted in a form unlike any other building on campus.

This atypical shape made choosing the exterior material a key component in blending old and new. The solution for the new building was to combine an iron spot brick and gray limestone panel. The iron spot brick complements the existing brown brick and the variegated gray limestone complements the existing precast concrete. The typical 2 -x 7- foot stone panel size is a nice counterpoint to the smaller brick unit and is far more sympathetic in scale to the existing concrete. The stone panels run vertically with each panel being supported on its own relieving angle — creating a solution that is specific to the building shape. The angle at the top of each panel is derived from the slope of the roof on that respective orientation. Seen as a whole, this detail helps make sense of an otherwise foreign geometry and provides a thoughtful solution to a difficult problem.

MIA Member Company

Kenneth Castellucci & Associates Inc., Lincoln, RI (Stone Installer)


Other Project Team Members

Client/Project Owner: Division of Capital Asset Management

Architect: Perry Dean Rogers Partners Architects

General Contractor: W.T. Rich Co., Inc.

Stone Supplier, Stone Fabricator: A. Grebelsky & Son (MIA Member Company)

Stone:Ramon Gray limestone

Award of Merit: Commercial Interior

Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Headquarters; Washington, DC

The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) is the new headquarters for one of the leading think tanks in Washington, DC. This project has achieved LEED Platinum certification.

The walls are clad in Tennessee Pink marble with a sand-blasted finish. The design allowed for the same appearance of the exterior stone finish to pass through into the interior space at all the curtain wall intersections. This helped create the appearance of a floating glass wall. The interior public space is open from the garden basement level, through the first floor and open to the ceiling of the third floor. This open space is completely clad with Tennessee Pink marble, fabricated by the Tennessee Marble Co., which created a very warm and uniform background. The Tennessee Pink marble is used on all nine levels of the interior.

The interior floor was fabricated in Statuario Venato honed marble in large-format parallelograms with accents of a soft warm gray Fior Di Bosco. The interior paving stone was fabricated in Carrara, Italy, by Santucci Armando. The lobby desk and numerous fireplaces utilize sawn small strips, laid with tight joints, to create a very unique modern appearance.

MIA Member Company

Rugo Stone, LLC

Lorton, VA (Stone Supplier, Fabricator and Installer)


Other Project Team Members

Architect: Hickok Cole Architects

General Contractor: Hitt Contracting Inc.

Stone Fabricator: Santucci Armando, Srl (MIA Member Company)

Stone Fabricator: Structural Stone LLC, (MIA Member Company)

Stone Supplier and Fabricator: Tennessee Marble Co.
(MIA Member Company)

Stones:Tennessee Pink Marble, Statuario Venato Marble, Fior Di Bosco Marble

Award of Merit: Commercial Interior

Petersburg Public Library Medallion; Petersburg, VA

The overall goal of the library medallion is to provide the city of Petersburg, VA, with a long-lasting decorative focal point that represents the city’s rich history and bright future. This project was designed by the architects at Enteros Design and handmade by mosaicists at Appomattox Tile Art. Both companies are located just a few blocks from the Petersburg library. The image incorporates 48 of the city’s landmark buildings, stylized books, trees and sky, railroad lines, the river and historic scenes. The design was produced using 100% Post-Industrial Bohemian Style marble, granite, limestone and onyx. All 138,000 pieces of organically shaped tesserae trimmings were sorted by color to provide a cost-effective product. The 21-foot-diameter medallion is located in the rotunda at the front entrance to the library, which opened in 2014.

MIA?Member Company

Appomattox Tile Art Co., Petersburg, VA (Stone Fabricator)


Other Project Team Members

Client: Petersburg Public Library

Architect: Enteros Design, PC

General Contractor: EDC

Stone Installer: Travis Cobb

Stones:marble, granite, limestone, onyx

Award of Merit: Commercial Interior

Celine; Beverly Hills, CA

Celine, a high-end fashion company, opened its new 3,100-square-foot luxury boutique in April 2013. It is a showcase of stonework on the world-famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, CA.

The materials for the project were chosen by lead Celine designer, Phoebe Philo. Samples were reviewed prior to selection by the design team in France and purchased by the owner.

Mechanically attached 5- x 6- foot panels of Turquoise Blue quartzite were chosen for the store’s exterior cladding, which wrap into the interior entryway. The store interior has 3-inch-thick cross-cut Roman travertine walls and matching display shelves. Fire Red onyx is used as an accent material on the shelves, while Brown Wood onyx is used for the honeycomb door panels. The store’s feature wall is beautifully book-matched Jade onyx, which continues around to clad the changing room door panels in a honeycomb system. The wall is 14 feet tall, with piece sizes measuring 4 feet, 2 inches x 6 feet.

MIA?Member Company

Amalfi Stone & Masonry, Inc.

Sun Valley, CA (Stone Installer/Stone Fabricator)


Other Project Team Members

Architect: B+A

General Contractor: Alain Hirsch Construction

Stone Supplier: Owner Supplied

Stones: Roman travertine, Fire Red onyx, Jade onyx, Brown Wood onyx

Award of Merit: Commercial Exterior

Film Archive and Preservation Center; Santa Clarita, CA

The new building for the Film Archive and Preservation Center, inspired by the ancient Greek Stoa of Attalos with its two-story colonnades and classical pediments, consists of nearly 105,000 square feet of handset honed Biancone marble. Along the colonnades of the building are 64 fluted columns 14 feet tall and 58 fluted columns 10 feet tall. They are installed over the buildings structural columns with 62 intricately carved lattice handrails set in between.

Dividing the floors of the colonnade is a 5-foot-tall entablature with massive 8-x 2-foot beams at its bottom, metope and triglyph carvings in its center and 800-pound moldings at its top. Crowning the colonnade is a 4-foot cornice consisting of 8-foot- long beams below five courses of moldings which are 4 feetlong. On four elevations of the building are classical Greek pediments comprised of cubic stone. Over 70,000 square feet of wall cladding covers the building.

Surrounding the building is 11,000 square feet of honed Biancone paving, 6,000 square feet of 6-inch-thick honed Biancone cubic stair treads, and 6,600 square feet of 3-inch-thick tumbled Fondola limestone paving in random modules (the largest being 36 x 30 inches).

MIA?Member Company

Carnevale & Lohr, Inc., Bell Gardens, CA (Stone Supplier/Stone Installer)


Other Project Team Members

Client: Packard Humanities Institute

Architect: B.A.R. Architects

Consultant: Trade International, Inc. (MIA Member Company)

General Contractor: Morley Construction Company

Stones:Trani Biancone Belmonte, Trani Fondola, Pietra Serena, Carrara White marble

Award of Merit: Commercial Exterior

Spotlight on Broadway Map, Times Square, NYC; New York, NY

The Spotlight on Broadway Map is a key graphics element in a multi-year project undertaken for the renovation of the Times Square entertainment district in New York City. The “spotlight” map is located outdoors in the granite pavement in the triangular “Bow Tie” that forms the heart of the Broadway theater district.

The graphic is a stylized map of the 40 official Broadway theaters, showing the locations of the Amsterdam, Sondheim, Majestic, Ambassador… etc. and their main doors and locations in the district. The map depicts the area between 41st Street and 54th Street, centered on the intersection of 7th Avenue and Broadway. The color scheme is a light gray granite, with the darker gray of stainless steel lettering and black granite for the streets. The low key gray-black theme was developed by Snohetta Architects throughout the renovation area as a neutral palette to form a contrast to the extreme color and liveliness of Times Square.

One technical challenge involved the potential of the stainless steel to be a slip hazard. This was addressed by a stainless bead applied by hot weld to the stainless surface. The result is an attractive, permanent, non-slip finish.

MIA?Member Company

Creative Edge Master Shop, Inc.

Fairfield, IA (Waterjet Stone Fabricator)


Other Project Team Members

General Contractor: Tully Construction

Architect: Snohetta Associates

Graphic Design: Doyle Partners

Graphics Specification: Dale Travis and Associates

Stone Supplier: Granicor, Inc.
(MIA Member Company)

Stones:Stansted Gray granite, Peribonka Black granite

Award of Merit: Residential Interior/Exterior

Residence Bangsen; Chonburi, Thailand   

This house sits along an array of lakes and canals which highlights the landscape of a golf course. A clear objective of the architecture is to focus on large openings to enjoy the view of the surrounding landscape. Serving the same purpose, the house has been set high on stilts, a clear reference to Thai traditional architecture. The house seems to float in the air. The large cantilevered openings are framed by the stone cladding. Another objective of the architecture is to blend itself seamlessly into the landscape. The two objectives of the stonework were to focus on the large framed openings and to blend into the landscape. The travertine chosen by the architect has a smooth and warm color which blends well with the wood cladding and landscape. It displays complex movements, crystalline veins and color blends which accentuates its natural character. The challenge was to display this natural character, while ensuring a perfect continuity in the opening frames. The color and pattern of the stone had to continue seamlessly along the four sides of each frame, while still featuring the natural character of the stone. This required long drying times in the factory, and detailed piece-per-piece touch-up to smooth outstanding features of the stone.

MIA?Member Company

Stones and Roses International Co. Ltd.

Samutprakarn, Thailand (Stone Supplier/Stone Fabricator/Stone Installer)


Other Project Team Members

Architect: Jon Somton

General Contractor: Lock-Build Group

Stone:Thai travertine

Award of Merit: Residential Interior/Exterior

Hadstan; Paradise Valley, AZ

This contemporary 18,000-square-foot home in Paradise Valley, AZ, is a perfect mix of gray limestone used on all horizontal surfaces and cream vein-cut limestone on all vertical surfaces. The gray limestone flooring was mud packed to meet 1½-inch wood flooring areas using uncoupling membrane throughout. Numerous hours went into the layout to insure architectural detail lines were met. Oversized tiles were planned to ensure all layouts met crucial lines per the design. Blue limestone was used setting the path to the front entry. All pieces at the edges were mitered to appear to be thick block stone. The veneer walls were alternated in size to reach the exact width at the top band of the walls. The edge detailing created interesting shadow play, both day and night, at interior and exterior locations. This detail is also noted on the fireplaces. Blue limestone hearths, which floated at all locations, used the same quirk mitered edges.

Five showers throughout the main house share the same veneer and flooring materials. Blue limestone slab benches were fabricated to rest on a stainless steel frame. The shower floors were mapped out to the exact dimensions so there were no cuts, but rather the same size pieces continually framing the space to the center drain.

MIA?Member Company

Picasso Tile & Stonework

Tempe, AZ (Stone Fabricator/Stone Installer)


Other Project Team Members

Designer: David Michael Miller Associates

Client/Builder: Desert Star Construction, Inc.

Stones:blue limestone, cream limestone, gray limestone

Award of Merit: Renovation/Restoration

Capital One Plaza; Houston, TX

Capital One Plaza is a 22-story building built in 1982 and located in Houston, TX. The building exterior wall consists of ribbon windows and 3-cm-thick travertine panels connected to precast concrete spandrel panels. The travertine panels are mechanically connected to the precast concrete panels with stainless steel wire loop anchors. The height of the travertine panels is approximately 4 feet and the length of the panels vary between approximately 5 feet and 7 feet.

The 30-year-old travertine exterior wall panels and plaza pavers at Capital One Plaza exhibited distresses such as cracking and spalling. A comprehensive evaluation was performed on the exterior wall and pavers at the building.

The repairs consisted of removing and replacing approximately 250 exterior wall panels and 90 pavers along with in-place repairs of approximately 1,000 additional exterior wall panels.

MIA?Member Company

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

Houston, TX (Designer)


Other Project Team Members

Client: CBRE

General Contractor/Stone Installer: Western Waterproofing

Stone Supplier/Stone Fabricator: Mariotti, Carlo
& Figli SpA.

Stone:Roman Classic travertine

Special Pinnacle Award of Merit for Architectural Element: Commercial Interior

Nu Skin Innovation Center; Provo, UT      

With its clean lines and modern décor, every aspect of the Nu Skin Innovation Center’s atrium is designed to exude excellence and sophistication. One of the center’s most impressive features is the massive one-of-a-kind marble desk, which greets visitors upon their arrival. Shaped like the hull of a boat, the unique desk is 26 feet long and 5 feet wide at the thickest point. A feat of modern design and innovation, the desk curves in such a manner that only a strip of stone 8 feet long and 3 inches wide makes contact with the floor. The desk was fabricated from two very large blocks of Carrara “Pencil Vein” marble. The blocks were carefully oriented so that the veining was random. Installation of this unique feature also took great care and planning. Three layers of plywood were used to protect the atrium floor from receiving any damage during the desk’s installation due to the significant weight of the stones (7,700 pounds each). Special jigs were created out of steel to support the stone while it was being installed. The two end stones were connected via a stainless steel frame hidden beneath the matching stone countertop in the center of the desk. Three-quarter inch stainless steel anchors were used to attach the stone to the frame.

MIA?Member Company

KEPCO+ , Salt Lake City, UT (Stone Installer)


Other Project Team Members

Client/Owner: Nu Skin Enterprises

Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

General Contractor: Okland Construction

Stone Supplier/Stone Fabricator: Henraux Spa (MIA Member Company)

Stones: Carrara White, “Pencil Vein” marble