Tiffany Aryeh of Amalfi Stone talks about her company and shares details of working through the pandemic to complete one of their most high-profile luxury projects, Pendry Hollywood.

SW: Please tell us a little bit about Amalfi Stone.

TA: Amalfi Stone & Masonry Company, Inc. is a leading natural stone sub-contracting firm specializing in the procurement, fabrication and installation of projects in Southern California. Established in 2011, Amalfi Stone & Masonry collectively has 250 years of experience in the natural stone industry.

The key elements we pride ourselves on include, excellent in-house shop drawings, setting the pace on projects, governing quality control of overseas procurement and employing the best in the industry.

We offer a complete bid breakdown, engineering, procurement, installation and fabrication.

Amalfi Stone and Masonry owns and operates a 60,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility and stone yard in Sun Valley, CA. We complete every project we are contracted for and our goal is to provide every client with quality service and expertise above and beyond their expectation.

Amalfi Stone and Masonry is a WBE business.

SW: What type of work does the company primarily focus on?

TA: Amalfi Stone works in the hospitality, luxury residential, commercial, multi-family, higher education and institutional sectors. We are primarily a natural stone and masonry firm, but with the industry constantly introducing new materials, we have added ceramic tile, porcelain tile, large-format porcelain tile, terra-cotta, concrete and engineered quartz to our set of skills.

SW: What specific machinery do you have in the shop?

TA: We have a wide range of machinery to meet the needs of our projects. Some of our machines include: a Flow waterjet; a TECNA saw; a Breton saw and Combicut saw; a SaberJet saw, a Pro-Edge III edge polisher, a Pathfinder 1200 Digital Imaging system and a Wizard Deluxe Radial Arm Workstation, all from Park Industries; and a multi-functional stone profile machine SYM-10.

SW: What is the most recent piece of machinery you have invested in and how has this helped your business?

TA: A 5-axis Combicut DJ/NC 550 bridge saw with diamond saw blade and waterjet. This machine was purchased in response to the overseas tariffs and COVID-19 pandemic. Along with other fabricators in Los Angeles and within the U.S., we were affected virtually overnight by circumstances out of our control. Our business has always incorporated overseas fabrication for certain projects. With the addition of this new machine, we aim to maintain the project schedule and price we prepared for. We will begin using this machine later this month.

Video: Park Saberjet Making Cut

Almafi Stone uses a Park Industries SaberJet saw to cut the edge.

SW: Please explain your experience working through the pandemic.

TA: Amalfi Stone was open for business for the duration of the pandemic. We quickly adopted to the COVID-19 regulations and requirements to include personal protective equipment for all field and office staff. Our field crews were tested for COVID-19 at the start of every work week. Some project schedules were impacted due to social distancing and availability of field crews. Onsite limitations, due to social distancing, created a ripple effect for the timing and daily completion goals. Also, procurement and shipping material were affected. Moreover, our local trade vendors had difficulties for field supply deliveries. Fabrication onsite, staging and storage of supplies and materials required revised planning, scheduling and manpower. As a finish trade, we were affected onsite by how well and on time neighboring sub-contractors completed stages of their work. The pace could be unpredictable. Amalfi strived to take the lead on the pace of our trade as best we could. That is one key element to completing a successful job.

SW: What would you say was the most challenging aspect of running a shop during this time?

TA: As we navigate out of the pandemic, we are returning to a new normal of operating our fabrication facility. The stone industry is ever changing with the introduction of new materials and designs that are required for our projects. To keep up with the demand of the times we are always researching the latest machines to hit the industry and how to best optimize our current machines.

SW: I understand you recently completed a large commercial project, Pendry Hollywood. Please tell us a little about that.

TA: Amalfi Stone engineered, procured, fabricated and installed 100,000 square feet of stone and tile material for the project. This project includes two new buildings, a luxury hotel with 149 guestrooms and a five-story 40 unit Pendry Residences. The hotel includes a high-end spa, four restaurants and bars, a private members club that includes a bowling alley and event space. The fully serviced residences offer two to four bedroom units between 2,000 to 4,500 square feet. The hotel and residences are the first for the brand in Los Angeles. Built on the famed Sunset Strip at the former House of Blues site that also includes retail, restaurants and bars, which is referred to as Sunset Time. Constructed by AECOM Hunt Group and designed by EYRC Architects and Martin Brudinzki Design Studio.

SW: As the fabricator and installer, what were some points you discussed with the design team prior to and during the job?

TA: After being awarded the project, Amalfi Stone submitted color range samples and slab photos of the natural stone selection. This process gave insight of the variations in stone character, finishes, vein direction and maintenance. The mockup of the condominium bathroom and kitchen at the Sales Gallery established the layout, quality and details. During the shop drawing phase, our team developed custom edge details to create the design intent of the design team. The hotel design is laid back California dripping with Hollywood glamour that called for ornate and dramatic details. The countertops for the lounges, bar and members club were all fabricated at Amalfi’s plant. Material quality was of upmost importance. Amalfi Stone traveled to Carrara, Italy, with the design team to select and inspect the Calacatta Borghini marble that was used on the kitchen countertops for the residences.

Video: Breton Saw Cutting Slab

Almafi Stone uses a Breton saw to cut into a slab.

SW: What specific stone pieces did Amalfi Stone fabricate for the project?

TA: Amalfi’s stonework on the project was expansive. There were over 20 different stone and tile materials used. The most notable areas included Imperial White marble and Eros Grey marble at the hotel main lobby floor and elevator cabs. This created a checker-board pattern that is accompanied with an LED prism statue. There is line textured Carrara marble with a chevron pattern for the exterior wall of the hotel’s main entrance and all signage. Imperial White marble tile and mosaics in all 149 hotel guest bathrooms and 37 suites. The bar areas include Rosso Moon marble, Costa Esmeralda granite, Norwegian Rose marble and Golden Amber marble. The pool roof deck features 4,500 square feet of porcelain tiles for the walls and columns; and marble for the roof top bar. Spa Pendry used Imperial White marble for the sauna flooring and benches and accompanied with blue and pink tiles for the men’s and women’s locker rooms.

For the condominiums, 60,000 square feet of stone and tile was fabricated and installed. A combination of Calacatta Borghini marble for the kitchen island and Gris Du Marais marble for the kitchen tops was used. Arabescato Cerviole marble was used in the master bathrooms for the shower, vanity tops, tub deck, flooring, linen niche and accent walls. Nero Gold marble was installed in the powder rooms and Crema Delicato marble in the secondary bath flooring, tub deck, vanity and niche. Finally, Silver Beige travertine was featured in the elevator lobby and vestibule flooring.

SW: What would you say was the most challenging aspect of Pendry Hollywood? 

TA: There was a wide variety of specified materials, including natural stone, quartz, ceramic tile, porcelain tile and cement pavers. Therefore, almost every material type had a different source. Management of the material procurement and consolidation from overseas and local vendors became a challenge. The material procurement for the project took place during the time of the U.S. and China trade tariffs, which affected the material order and lead time. Because the project had a very specific design intent, we went through rounds of detailed shop drawings to execute the designer’s and architect’s vision. During the installation, Amalfi’s field teams were simultaneously working in both the hotel and condo residences. It came down to manpower logistics. During the installation of the project, we were hit with the COVID-19 pandemic. Safety for our teams and project management was our priority. Distribution of PPE in the form of gloves, masks, shields and sanitizer was an important daily step that took away time from the production. In following safety protocols to maintain social distancing, during the use of the elevator cabs, the number of people allowed was limited. Wait times to access the elevator cabs were high so some of our field team took the stairs. This was an unforeseen roadblock and created delays in mobilization.

SW: Are there any other details you would like to share about Pendry Hollywood?

TA: The Pendry Hotel has been showcased in various articles and mentions from Vogue to Travel + Leisure Magazine. In the short time the hotel and condos have made their mark in the hills of West Hollywood, it has quickly become a destination to visit. The designer Martin Brudinzki Design Studio, is a world-renowned designer whose projects included Annabel’s London and the Soho House brand hotels and restaurants. Amalfi Stone views this project as a true accomplishment.