The Pinnacle Awards, presented annually by the Marble Institute of America (MIA) during The International Surface Event (TISE) in Las Vegas, NV, 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.

Once again, Marmomacc honored a Grande Pinnacle Award to an architect from the firm involved with the winning project. In addition, that architect won a trip to Marmomacc to attend Veronafiere’s week-long continuing education program on designing with natural stone.

Also again this year, all Pinnacle Award of Excellence and Merit winners were given the opportunity to invite an architect from the firm involved in their winning project to StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2016. Support from Informa Exhibitions provided three award-winning architects with three nights lodging in Las Vegas. Marmomacc also invited the winning architects to take part in a full-day educational program held during StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas.

New for 2015, special awards were presented for Kitchen of the Year and Bath of the Year, sponsored by Vitória Stone Fair-Marmomacc Latin America. Winners received a free trip to the 2016 event, which was held in Espirito Santo, Brazil.

The following are the 2015 Pinnacle Award winners.

Award of Excellence  –  Commercial Interior | Grande Pinnacle Award

Park Hyatt New York  |  New York, NY

MIAMember Companies:

Walker Zanger, Perth Amboy, NJ (Stone Supplier and Fabricator); Port Morris Tile & Marble Corp. (Stone Installer); V.A.L. Floor (Stone Installer)

Other Project Team Members:

Client: Extell Development; Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Architect/Designer: Yabu Pushelberg

General Contractor: Lend Lease

Stones:Bianco Piove marble, Grigio Fantastico marble, Persian White onyx, Cassini marble

Project Description:The Park Hyatt New York, which comprises the first 21 floors of One57, the famous “Billionaire’s Building” on West 57th Street, is the flagship of the Park Hyatt brand. Inspired by the idea of a well-appointed New York home, stylish, spirited and considered, the Park Hyatt captures the verve of New York City itself. Infiltrated with art and eclecticism, bespoke furnishings and sumptuous materials lend a residential feel to the hotel’s common areas and private spaces, designed by Toronto-based Yabu Pushelberg Architects. Intimate in scale, the public areas are divided into a series of linked rooms. The notion of compartmentalization is carried through to the guest rooms and suites, where custom signature elements are layered with a tasteful chic mix of materials and furnishings. Most importantly, this hotel, as any great hotel, reflects the culture of the place; designed to act as a social center, a gathering place and attract a myriad of different people. There was careful consideration given to what that means, and how it is manifested in the physical environment. Art installations by U.S.- and New York-based artists reinforce a notion of style and confidence that is “of New York.”

The stone chosen for the Park Hyatt is as exotic and eclectic as the guests that the hotel welcomes, and was selected to reflect the very best that the quarries can offer. The guestrooms and lobby walls are clad in Bianco Piove marble from China. Less than 20 percent of the quarried material was accepted for the over 300,000 square feet of Bianco Piove used, and each room and elevation was laid out in the factory, to blend the material harmoniously. The floors of the lobby are paved in Italian Grigio Fantastico marble, and the ballroom is draped in over 4,000 square feet of hand-selected back-lit Persian White onyx, perhaps the most ambitious onyx installation ever attempted. Again, each material was laid out before and after fabrication to assure that the rigorous selection process was maintained. Over three years, no less than 15 trips by the design team, the developer and the stone supplier were made to Italy and China to select the very best in materials and to ensure that the production of the stone exceeded all of the client’s expectations.

Award of Excellence  –  Residential Interior/Exterior

Massachusetts Residence  |  Boston, MA

MIAMember Company:

Walker Zanger, Perth Amboy, NJ (Stone Supplier and Fabricator); Polycor, Inc. (Stone Fabricator), Granites of America (Stone Fabricator)

Other Project Team Members:

Design Architect: Brian Hemingway Architect Ltd.

Architect of Record and Collaborating Design Architect: Flavin Architects LLC

Design Landscape Architect: Ron Herman Landscape Architect

Landscape Architect of Record: Zen Associates

Interior Design: Pembrooke & Ives

General Contractor/Stone Installer: Thoughtforms, Inc.

Stone:Virginia Mist granite, Oxford Black granite, Bleu de Savoie marble

Project Description: As Sheila Gibson Stoodley writes in an article about this project in Robb Report, “Brian Hemingway is sensitive to light in the best way possible.”

“The Vancouver, British Columbia-based architect wanted this 22,000-square-foot home near Boston to glow like a lantern at night, and he attained that goal on behalf of the homeowners.” The wood and stone that Hemingway favored for the home informed the space’s color palette. So critical were these materials that settling on a shade of stain for the Douglas fir and the finishes to be used on the Virginia Mist granite took months of consultation.

Walker Zanger, the stone supplier, worked with the owner and with Colin Flavin, a Boston-based architect who partnered with Hemingway, to choose, detail and fabricate the granite.

The stone is used indoors and out, heightening the boundary-blurring effect that the design team desired. Though the owners are ardent art collectors, they did not build their home to showcase specific works; the real artists here are the architects, Hemingway and Flavin. So deft were they at inviting nature into their creation that, from certain angles, it can be hard to tell where the outdoors stops and starts.

“There are deliberately no window treatments so that Mother Nature weaves the most beautiful textural backgrounds,” said interior designer Andrew Sheinman of New York’s Pembrooke & Ives. He oversaw the interiors, working alongside his colleagues Michael Lewis. “The seasons change the look and aspect of the house,” said Sheinman, “and we wanted to play on this.”

Bleu de Savoie marble from France is used in the baths to contrast with the Virginia Mist granite and soften the palette and give the baths a spa-like serenity. Hand-chiseled Oxford Black granite is used on exterior landscape walls to tie the Virginia Mist seamlessly to the natural stone outcroppings.

Award of Excellence  –  Residential Interior/Exterior

“Bar with a View”  |  Boston, MA

MIAMember Company:

United Marble Fabricators, Inc., Watertown, Massachusetts (Stone Fabricator/Installer); Marble and Granite, Inc. (Stone Supplier)

Other Project Team Members:

Client:Nancy Haviland

Designer:Lewis Interiors

Designer/Builder: Adams & Beasley Associates

Stone:Honey onyx

Project Description:When United Marble Fabricators was hired by builders Adams & Beasley Associates to furnish, fabricate and install all of the stone and tile in this unique two-story penthouse within the Four Seasons in Boston’ Back Bay, the immediate focus of nearly all parties involved was more on the stunning views of Boston Common than of the stone and tile surfaces that would eventually adorn the kitchen and bathrooms. That entire focus, however, would quickly shift to the meticulously designed first floor wet bar nestled into the corner of the two-story living room.

Lewis Interiors and Adams & Beasley Associates designed a wet bar that would attract attention, specifying ¾- inch Honey onyx for the bar countertop and full-height backsplash. LED panels would be installed behind the backsplash to illuminate the entire surface without creating any “hot spots” traditionally associated with backlighting of natural stone.

As the design process evolved, it was decided that the originally specified glass shelves with wood nosing would be replaced with PPG Starphire ultra-clear glass that was to be rabbeted into the ¾- inch onyx backsplash so that the floating shelves would appear to be glowing as they floated, uninterrupted by moldings of any other materials.

The team first crafted and installed the backsplash, which was fabricated from shop drawings, delivered to the 15th floor by elevator, and installed prior to any base cabinetry. The countertops were fabricated with a 2-inch mitered edge with an eased edge profile, and a 4-inch backsplash was installed to meet the illuminated full-height backsplash.

The spirit of collaboration was alive and well on this project, as the skilled fabricators and installers of both stone and millwork worked interdependently with the singular goal of a striking wet bar that would captivate any and all guests of this stunning penthouse unit and rival the sweeping views of Boston Common.

Award of Excellence –  Renovation/Restoration

Fashion Tower New York  |  New York, NY

MIAMember Company:

Walker Zanger, Perth Amboy, NJ (Stone Supplier);
Rugo Stone, LLC (Stone Fabricator)

Other Project Team Members:

Client: Waitex International

Architect/Designer: GRT Architects LLP

General Contractor: SCK Teamwork

Stone Installer:SITU Fabrication

Stone: Calacatta Regina marble, Pietra D’Avola limestone

Project Description: The Fashion Tower, an Art Deco-era skyscraper in New York’s garment district, was originally designed by Emery Roth in the mid-1920’s. It is unique among the district’s buildings for its ornamental motifs referencing the apparel industry and for being occupied to this day by the garment trade.

Motivated by the resurgence of the fashion district and the building’s unique history, the architects restored the ornate facade of the tower’s base while sensitively incorporating a contemporary stone lobby.

Earlier renovations completely destroyed intricate detailing at the entry and obscured a sandstone facade with layers of gray cementitious coatings.

A minimal all-glass entry, set back from the line of the masonry, was added into a fully restored carved stone archway. Recognizing the importance of details that refer to the district’s history, the restoration ensured that the portal is once again flanked by polychrome terracotta panels with peacock motifs. These peacocks rejoin surviving stone ornaments that include winged putti holding shears and draping fabric and women clutching spindles and admiring their reflections. A delicate facade cleaning revealed a brightly veined sandstone cladding.

In order to improve the lobby, portions of the existing mezzanine were removed to make way for an expanded double height space. In keeping with the exuberant decorative program of Fashion Tower’s facade, GRT Architects took cues from fashion to create the pleated marble wall on the interior. The interior design represents a cross section through the history of stone fabrication technology — a collaboration between two past MIA Pinnacle award winning companies, Walker Zanger and Rugo Stone.

To achieve the faceted marble surface, both offsite CNC fabrication and onsite handcraft was employed, realizing a contemporary design in a classic material. Drawing upon the building’s history to prepare it for the next 100 years of service, the renovation reasserts the importance of fashion and style in a dynamic neighborhood.

Award of Merit  –  Commercial Exterior

Houston Museum of Natural Science  |  Houston, TX

MIAMember Company:

Dee Brown, Inc., Garland, Texas (Stone Erector); World Wide Stone Corp. (Stone Suppliers and Fabricators); IMC (Stone Suppliers/Fabricators)

Other Project Team Members:

Client: Houston Museum of Natural Science

Architect: Gensler

General Contractor: Linbeck Construction Company

Stones: Mexican travertine, Absolute Black granite

Project Description: The Houston Museum of Natural Science has been a significant part of Houston’s cultural and educational fabric since 1909, having hosted millions of visitors. The current campus was opened in 1969, and several renovations and significant additions have updated the institution over its history. The most recent addition adds roughly 230,000 square feet of space dedicated to a paleontology theme.

It was decided that the facade material on the addition should be in keeping with the cladding on the adjacent existing building. A search was begun to seek out a suitable travertine material as the major cladding component. Varying size formats, thicknesses and configurations were explored. Honeycomb-backed panels were found to be at too high a price point. Several travertine possibilities were eliminated due to cost, issues with physical properties and availability of sufficient quantities.

Ultimately, the search lead to the selection of vein-cut travertine sourced from Mexico. It was also decided that a granite base would be complementary, and Absolute Black was selected for that component. Stone panels were configured in several size formats, with the larger size range being around 5 feet, 9 inches x 4 feet, 5 inches and produced in a thickness of 6 cm. Stone was largely erected on aluminum anchors, which were supplied in continuous lengths. This anchorage method worked well with the engineering requirements associated with the backup wall, and also served to increase the erection rate of the stonework.

Prior to mobilizing for erection, there was significant time associated with finalizing material selections, processing shop drawings, generating engineering submittals and tracking material production. Once erection began, a moderate-sized crew spent roughly five months onsite to complete the stone installation. All told, the exterior stone skin elements totaled roughly 21,000 square feet.

Award of Merit  –  Commercial Exterior

Tarrant County Civil Courthouse  |  Fort Worth, TX

MIAMember Company:

Dee Brown, Inc. Garland, TX (Stone Erector);Mezger Enterprises, Coldspring (Stone Suppliers/Stone Fabricators)

Other Project Team Members:

Client: Tarrant County

Architect: HKS

General Contractor: Yates/Vendigm JV

Stones:Sunset Red granite

Project Description: The Tarrant County Civil Courthouse occupies a full city block and continues the expansion of the courts and municipals area of downtown Fort Worth. The design basis yields a relevant building complementary to adjacent structures, while displaying unique design character. 

Elevations utilize granite as the key finish, with complementary brickwork. Typical elevations begin with granite base panels of 2 inches and greater thickness. Continuing above are granite field panels, ledges, column wraps and copings. Significant to the design are the varied planes that create reveals and shadow lines.

The west elevation serves as the main entrance, and utilizes special features. Its curved facade begins with pitched-faced granite bellied-out to emulate cubic stonework common to historic Texas courthouses. Another configuration of 8- x 2- foot granite panels creates a vertical visual element, and serves to border the radial portion of the west main entry.

Also utilized on the west elevation are two historic carved limestone angels. These historic elements were removed years earlier from an adjacent courthouse by the same stone contractor.  The angels reuse required exploratory work to establish a restoration protocol to remove layers of paint, caulking and decades of pollution. Some re-fabrication was also required.

Erection of the facades was challenging. The sidewalk-to-sidewalk construction inherently involved constraints. The varied planes, as well as tolerance issues of backup walls, resulted in the use of more than 500 different custom anchors. The installation of the historic angels required a special crane permit and leave-out of the structure above to accomplish erection of the cubic limestone pieces into their recesses.

All told, the stone subcontractor’s onsite erection of the exterior skin materials spanned roughly 15 months and encompassed 57,000 square feet of completed stonework, not counting around 87,000 square feet of brickwork, interior stonework and concrete blockwork completed by the same subcontractor.

Award of Merit  –  Commercial Exterior

Mitchell Park Library  |  Palo Alto, CA

MIAMember Company:

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

Other Project Team Members:

Client: The City of Palo Alto

Architect: Group 4 Architecture

General Contractor: Flintco Construction

Stone Installer: International Tile

Stones: metaquartzite

Project Description: The Mitchell Park Library is 56,332 square feet of new construction on approximately 3.4 acres in a community park in Palo Alto, CA. The approximately 40,000-square-foot library is the newest and largest of six libraries in the Palo Alto City Library system. Recognizing the potential for a more sustainable service model, the city of Palo Alto’s Library and Community Services departments developed an innovative and robust “omni-channel” vision of enhanced service in a shared new destination for civic, cultural, educational, social and recreational experiences. To support this new vision, the city sought to replace its obsolete library and community center buildings with a new joint-use facility that would enable families to enjoy a full spectrum of directed and self-directed activities in one location.

Appropriateness, quality and durability of materials were key. This project was designed and built to serve the community for generations. The building envelope is clad in stone, standing-seam metal, stucco and other materials with proven longevity. The green roofs are designed to insulate the buildings from the sun’s heat in Palo Alto’s warm climate, and are planted with grasses and drought-tolerant materials that require little supplemental water. Materials such as Las Vegas Rock’s (LVR) Desert Blend metaquartzite stone cladding are regionally sourced, meeting LEED-NC’s standards of extraction within 500 miles of the project site.

The metaquartzite stone is very durable. There is actually 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. The material has a high threshold for resistance to wear. Las Vegas rock is one of a kind. It is one of two Silver Cradle to Cradle natural stones in the world and is the only deposit of this particular stone that is known of in existence. LVR practices ecologically conscious manufacturing. There is zero waste in production – 100% of the Las Vegas Rock byproducts are repurposed. These characteristics helped assist the project in receiving LEED Platinum certification.

The project represents more than a decade of collaborative community-based planning. The design process included multiple collaborative workshops with the design team, consultants and client representatives to incorporate innovative and proven design strategies and systems for a high-performance, sustainably designed facility.

The Mitchell Park Library and Community Center not only incorporates, but also strives to educate the community, about strategies to conserve resources, protect ecosystems and enhance the human experience. Environmental sustainability underpins every aspect of the project’s design.

Award of Merit  –   Commercial Exterior

Eaton House  |  Dublin, Ireland

MIAMember Company:

Eclad Limited, Dublin, Ireland (Stone Installer);
Savema S.p.a. (Stone Fabricator)

Other Project Team Members:

Client: Eaton Corporation

Design Architect: Pickard Chilton

General Contractor: John Sisk & Sons Limited

Architect of Record:Michael Collins & Associates

Stone Supplier:EireGramco Limited

Stones: Arandis Gold granite, Blanco Cristal granite, Bianco Carrara marble

Project Description:Eaton Corporation is a major international power management company based in Cleveland, OH, and operating in over 175 countries worldwide. When they decided to establish their corporate global headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, they were mindful of their enviable environmental record. They had been ranked amongst the world’s most ethical companies for eight consecutive years and listed in the top 100 best corporate companies in each of the last six years.

They identified the ex-IBM headquarters building in Dublin and commissioned American architects Pickard Chilton to develop a design solution that both respected the adjacent historical structures, while being contemporary in style and performance. It was decided to retain the existing 33,000-square-foot structure, but with a new facade that harmonized with the existing Georgian surroundings while performing to the highest environmental standards. Fundamental to achieving these objectives was the choice of materials. A strategic decision was made to use linear-coursed natural stone rather than brick both for performance and appearance.

John Sisk & Sons was selected as the main contractor, and in collaboration with Michael Collins & Associates, the local architect of record, EireGramco Limited was selected as the stone supplier and was installed by Eclad Ireland. Together with the client and architects, Arandis Gold granite from Namibia was selected after extensive investigation as the most suitable material for the facade. The 24-inch-long x 2 ½-inch-tall x 4-inch-deep honed pieces were fabricated in Italy by Savema S.p.a. Exacting standards were established for the stone as it was such a vital element of the aesthetic and technical design. As a result, no stones were rejected following shipping during the on-site inspection and everyone was delighted with the end result.

The 16,000+ square feet of external cladding was completed in six months with a maximum crew of 30 men.

Award of Merit  –  Commercial Exterior

United Nations Memorial, Ark of Return  |  New York, NY

MIAMember Company:

PICCO Engineering, Concord, Ontario, Canada (Stone Engineer); Precision Stone, Inc. (Stone Installer); ABC Worldwide Stone, Inc. (Stone Supplier)

Other Project Team Members:

Client: United Nations

Architect: Rodney Leon Architects

Master Craftsman: Corsanini Studios

Stone Fabricator: Union Marble & Granite Industry, Inc.

Stones:Olympia Danby marble, Mountain White Danby marble, Black Absolute Zimbabwe granite

Project Description: The first permanent memorial erected at the United Nations in New York City, the Ark of Return is a touching tribute to the men, women and children of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. It was erected to “acknowledge the tragedy and consider the legacy lest we forget.” Shaped out of gleaming white marble to represent a vessel, it symbolizes a slave ship that has “returned” to stand as a reminder for future generations to never repeat this tragedy. Various design elements incorporate facets of the voyage from Africa across the ocean. The triangular entrance of the structure into the interior space symbolizes the “Door of No Return” in the slave castle located on Gorèe Island, Senegal, West Africa, where countless enslaved Africans were taken against their will and pushed upon the ships to endure the Middle Passage across the ocean, never to return again. Visitors to the memorial are reminded of the horrific conditions that millions experienced on their journeys. A carving on one of the interior stone panels depicts the haunting interior of a typical slave ship. A map is also carved into the stone in the interior space depicting the triangular slave trade and those various routes across the Atlantic. As such, numerous triangular patterns of marble comprise the structure itself. A full-scale hand-carved figure with outstretched hand-made from Black Absolute Zimbabwe granite, combined with its white hand-carved marble “robe” is a touching reminder of the humanistic element. It is fitting, therefore, that master carvers spent hours carving this “Trinity Figure” that embodies the spirits of the men, women and children that have perished. A tear flows from its eye that fills a white marble pool, utilizing water as a cleansing and spiritual element. Visitors to this stone Ark can thereby reflect on its return, which symbolizes a proud victory for the enslaved souls of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

Award of Merit  –  Commercial Interior

Canadian Museum of Human Rights  |  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

MIAMember Company:

PICCO Engineering, Concord, Ontario, Canada (Stone Consultant Detailer and Engineer)

Other Project Team Members:

Client and Stone Installer: Gracom Masonry Ltd. (BRXTON)

Owner: Government of Canada

Design Architect: Antoine Predock Architect PC

Executive Architect: Smith Carter Architects

Construction Manager: PCL Constructors, Inc.

Stone Fabricator: Alabastros Aragoneses

Stone Supplier and Fabricator: Gillis Quarries Limited

Stone: Tyndall stone, Mongolian Basalt Spanish alabaster

Project Description:The Canadian Museum of Human Rights is the first and only Canadian national museum built outside the nation’s capital; it was established to celebrate the evolution and future of human rights. Its purpose is to serve as a destination for all people to learn about and advocate for human rights, promote respect for others and encourage reflection, dialogue and action. The design of this magnificent structure purposely incorporates many natural materials. The entranceway, deep into the earth, is meant to symbolize the roots of entry into humanity itself. Visitors are led through a complex series of vast spaces and ramps, which showcase stone in a variety of ways. Locally quarried Tyndall stone was ultimately selected for the exterior and interior main wall cladding. Basalt clad walls, floors and columns are a stark choice, but naturally align within the context of the museum’s design. Snaking gallery ramps are clad in back-lit quarried alabaster from Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain, which create a dramatic effect. The complexity of the design, coupled with the use of numerous natural materials, required careful integration. Three-dimensional drawings were a necessity and Autodesk Revit®was selected as the Building Information Modeling (BIM) software for the project. Deliberation and teamwork characterized the venture and in the end extraordinary technical challenges forced rewarding collaboration.

The stark beauty of this structure is undeniable inside and out. It stands as a fitting tribute toward the recognition that we are all equal and that we should be relentless in our struggles to ensure mankind expects and demands nothing less.

Award of Merit  –  Commercial Interior

Alston & Bird Atlanta  |  Atlanta, GA

MIAMember Company: Marmi Natural Stone, Norcross, GA (Stone Supplier, Fabricator and Installer)

Other Project Team Members:

Client/General Contractor: Skanska USA Building, Inc.

Architect/Designer: Carson Guest Interior Design

Stones:Calacatta Caldia marble, China Black marble, Galala Extra marble, Calacatta Viola marble

Project Description: The timeless beauty of natural stone is the heart of one’s experience upon entering the headquarters of this international law firm. Marble’s lasting strength reflects the firm’s stability, long history and quality. Wood veneers provide a warming counterbalance to the light colors and black and white of the marbles. The firm wanted a contemporary, functional and sustainable design in their new offices. The designers had the advantage of working with the law firm for more than 30 years. They understood the value of timeless design, incorporating advanced technology to achieve its objectives. The offices include state-of-the-art communications technology. Attorney floors are secure from the more public three-floor reception and conference center; the connecting elevator lobbies continue the signature Calacatta Caldia, China Black and Galala Extra marble floors of slab and tile. Walls of the conference level elevator lobbies and reception are Calacatta Caldia slab material and the reception desk stone is Calacatta Viola. A variety of other stone is used throughout the firm. The conference center, in addition to conference rooms, incorporates a dining room, mock courtroom, jury rooms and judges’ chambers that double as conference rooms and executive offices. Video conferencing is on all floors. For durability and sustainability, stone was a natural choice for public area finishes and continues a firm tradition of using a variety of marble and granite for conference tables and countertops.

The firm received LEED certification and is currently the third largest law office in the world to achieve LEED Gold certification for sustainability. The Department of Energy has just completed a case study on the firm’s energy efficiency gained through use of LED lighting and advanced control systems.

Award of Merit  –  Commercial Interior

The New York Palace Hotel  |  New York, NY

MIAMember Company:

Kenneth Castellucci & Associates, Inc., Lincoln, RI
(Natural Stone Contractor, Stone Supplier, Fabricator
and Installer); Euromarble Srl (Stone Fabricator)

Other Project Team Members:

Owner: Northwood Hospitality

Architect: Brennan Beer Gorman Architects

General Contractor: Shawmut Design and Construction

Stone: Bianco Carrara marble, Nero Marquina marble, Rosso Verona marble, Salome marble, Port Laurent marble, Limestone Chenille, Portoro marble, Belgian Petit granite

Project Description:In 1882, Henry Villard, one of the nation’s most prominent railroad financiers, commissioned McKim, Mead & White Architects to create a residence at 455 Madison Avenue, New York, NY. These structures became known as The Villard Houses. The structures and land eventually became the property of the Archdiocese of New York. In 1970, the Archdiocese sold the property to Harry B. Helmsley, who successfully managed to blend a contemporary 55-story hotel tower with the existing historic Villard Houses built circa 1882. It was called the Helmsley Palace. Today known as The New York Palace Hotel, the Villard Mansion has become the premier venue for weddings, business gatherings and social events. In 1993, the hotel changed ownership and again underwent a comprehensive multimillion-dollar restoration and refurbishment program to position it as a landmark New York City luxury hotel.

The hotel was owned by Northwood Hospitality, who in 2013 commissioned the all-encompassing $140 million renovation to upgrade the public spaces and guest rooms. The entire process was undertaken while the hotel was fully operational. The intent was to incorporate modern design elements, state-of-the-art technology and new accents that would match and enhance the existing appointments of this stunning architectural masterpiece. The lobby spaces were transformed by using natural stone as the featured material. The walls and portals are trimmed in molded and carved classic white marble and the floors are inlaid with intricate broad sweeping repeating patterns using multiple colors of richly contrasting marbles.

Through this perfect blend of past and present, the legacy of this historic New York City hotel continues, providing guests with a distinctive experience at a truly iconic luxury New York hotel. Early in 2015, the hotel was sold to Lotte, a Korean company. The name is now Lotte New York Palace.

Award of Merit  –  Commercial Interior

Zýme Winery  |  Cariano, Italy

MIAMember Company:

Grassi Pietre Srl, Nanto, Vl Italy (Stone Supplier and Fabricator)

Other Project Team Members:

Architect: AcMe Studio Associate Di Architettura- Verona

Stone Installer: VGC

Stones: Pietra di Vicenza Giallo Dorato, Rustic Green

Project Description: The new Zýme Winery arose from a pre-existing nucleus, an ex-quarry dating back to 1400. Today, it is used to age wine in wooden barriques. Grassi Pietre supplied all the stone elements for this project. Pietra di Vicenza Giallo Dorato was used throughout the installation — this stone was chosen because of its aesthetic connection to the stone originally found in the quarry.

Three ramps of internal shaped stairs were created using 3-cm-thick Giallo Dorato installed on an iron structure and glued with cement. A small kitchen was built, to bring guests on a full sensorial path. Grassi Pietre also created a futuristic design inside Zýme — pentagonal cells of Giallo Dorato that form “The Archive,” an extremely elegant shelving used to age wine bottles after wine has been taken out from barrels. The barrel cellar was hewn from an ancient sandstone quarry. Each cell (78 x 56 x 60 cm, weighing 85 kg each) was installed with hydraulic lime glue and a glass fiber net to ensure that the structure would be fully supported. This ensures that the structure will not collapse and helps reduce the risk of a “domino effect collapse” in case of earthquake or breakage of one element.

In addition to the interior installations, Grassi Pietre also supplied 120 square meters of Rustic Green to pave the external entrance to the winery.

Award of Merit  –  Renovation/Restoration

Cosmos Club Historic Fireplace Renovation  |  Washington, DC

MIAMember Company:

Rugo Stone, LLC, Lorton, VA (Stone Supplier, Fabricator and Installer)

Other Project Team Members:

Client:Cosmos Club

General Contractor: Whiting Turner Contracting Company

Stones: Bianco P marble, Campan Vert marble, Antique Virginia soapstone

Project Description: This wonderfully executed fireplace surround was carved over 100 years ago. At some point in the time of the Cosmos Club’s existence, the fireplace was dismantled and casually stored in the crawl space below the private club’s main level. A building manager discovered it and asked Rugo Stone to help salvage and restore the fireplace to its original grandeur. Rugo Stone’s team entered the 3-foot crawl space and carefully removed the pieces, which were covered with dirt. There were no drawings to identify the piece locations in the assembled fireplace, creating a puzzle. The pieces were taken to the studio at Rugo Stone and dry set to determine what was missing and what needed to be re-carved. After five weeks of careful and intensive cleaning, technicians were able to remove almost all of the filth and refinish the marble to bring back the bright white luster hidden beneath decades-worth of dirt. The stone was identified and re-carved using Bianco P marble from Rugo Stone’s inventory of rare and precious stones. The hearth was broken into many pieces, requiring it to be reassembled, cleaned and re-polished. New pieces of a rare French marble, Campan Vert, were required to complete the hearth. Again, the match was found in Rugo Stone’s inventory of rare stones. The firebox itself was originally built in Virginia soapstone, which had to be cleaned and restored. Rugo Stone’s skilled masons performed the installation of the marble and decorative cast iron surround in its original location in the main foyer of this grand traditional building. The result is that a classic treasure of marble craftsmanship has been saved and restored for many to enjoy for years to come.

Award of Merit  –  Renovation/Restoration

John Hancock Lobby Renovation  |  Chicago, IL

MIAMember Company:

W. R. Weis Company, Inc., Chicago, IL (Stone Installer); Eclad USA, Inc. (Stone Supplier/Fabricator), A. Lacroix Granit (Stone Supplier/Fabricator)

Other Project Team Members:

Client/Owner: Hearn Company

Architect: Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB)

General Contractor: Hearn Construction Company

Stones: Bianco Carrara marble, Aspen Gray marble, Absolute Black granite, Atlantic Black granite

Project Description: Last year, W. R. Weis was contracted by Hearn Construction Company to provide a long-overdue renovation to the interior lobbies of the iconic John Hancock Building in downtown Chicago. The lobbies were originally done with travertine, which had been stained darker by a previous owner, giving the original lobby pallet a dated look. The combination of stone and water are a beautiful part of any project, requiring a tremendous amount of coordination and precise fabrication. The water feature for this project appears standard at first glance but, as the saying goes, the devil is in the detail. This project features a customized piece of art that hangs from the ceiling, above the fountain, and interacts with the water in the pooling area of the fountain. Together the artwork and reflection from the fountain create the stars in the sky. This project took several months to complete. Bianco Carrara marble from Italy was used for the main interior floor and main walls of the fountain. Absolute Black granite was used to intensify the mirror effect of the water inside the fountain. The new revolver and vestibule stone was Atlantic Black granite.

Bath of the Year

2014 Pasadena Showcase House  |  Pasadena, CA

MIAMember Company:

Walker Zanger, Sun Valley, CA (Stone Supplier, Mosaic Stone Fabricator, Mosaic Stone Designer)

Other Project Team Members:

Designer: Designs of the Interior

Stone Installer: Maria Carillo Construction

Stones: Tangent Astral Night Calacatta, Café Bruno marble, Tangent Zephyr Calacatta marble, Studio Moderne Mosaic Calacatta marble, Paradigm Calacatta marble, Tangent Apex Calacatta marble

Project Description: For over 20 years, Walker Zanger has been a participating vendor for the Pasadena Showcase House of Design. Each year, a house in the Pasadena area is selected and transformed into a showpiece by some of the leading interior designers in Los Angeles. The house selected for the 2014 Showcase is known as the Flint House and was originally built for Robert Flint and his wife Margaret Grey Flint in 1915, in the English Arts and Crafts style.

Designs of the Interior was selected to design the master suite wing and teamed up with Walker Zanger to remodel the master bath. Due to the historical aspect of this landmark, major construction was limited and the designers were barred from removing historical pieces, like windows and fireplaces.

The designers selected a color palette of grays, taupe, cream and peacock. Sleek fixtures grace the freestanding oval bath tub, while nickel finishes adorn the shower and sink. Walker Zanger’s Tangent Collection, which consists of decorative marble and limestone mosaics, lined the floors and the shower and bath walls. The floor contains a starburst mosaic pattern made out of Calacatta marble and Flannel and Ash Grey limestones. The shower fixtures were highlighted by a strip of Café Bruno marble tiles and surrounded by a teardrop mosaic pattern in Calacatta.

Inspired by a blend of abstract geometrical shapes and mid-century modern design, Designs of the Interior considered Walker Zanger’s Tangent Collection the perfect choice for transforming this master bath into a magnificent showpiece that complements the home’s original architecture.

Kitchen of the Year

Private Residence  |  Lake Forest, IL

MIAMember Company:

Tithof Tile & Marble, Northbrook, IL (Stone Fabricator and Installer); Stone Source Midwest, Terrazzo & Marble Supply (Stone Supplier)

Other Project Team Members:

Interior Designer: Frank Ponterio Interiors

General Contractor: Legacy Custom Homes, LLC

Millwork: NuHaus

Stones: Pietra Cardosa stone, Calacatta Borghini marble

Project Description: This residential kitchen project was performed in conjunction with Legacy Custom Homes/RSD, Frank Ponterio Interiors and NuHaus/Exclusive Woodworking. The goal of this project was to fabricate and install marble slabs in a fashion that mimicked the custom millwork in the rest of this estate home on the Northshore of Chicago. John Tithof and Jason Cranmer, along with the fabrication production team, executed this project on behalf of Tithof Tile & Marble.

The client wanted the panels to appear as if carved from dimensional stone blocks rather than the classic full height stone backsplash. One of the primary focuses was keeping the client involved through the templating and layout process to ensure they knew what their project would look like before anything was cut or installed. The evolution of this process has changed in recent years. Gone are the days of blue tape and visualizing the completed job. With the recent introduction of the revolutionary Perfect Match and Slabsmith software programs, there is the ability to digitally layout every slab project and create a virtual representation of the project for approval prior to cutting.