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award winners
Beautiful buildings
built with natural stone
atural stone has lost none of its fascination over the years. On
the contrary, the consumption of natural stone is growing
throughout the world and its use in commercial buildings in
particular, has skyrocketed.
The project was complex and consisted of two distinct sub-projects. The
first was the complete renovation of the actual villa; the second was
the new construction of additional buildings directly adjacent to and
surrounding the museum.
Technological advances in all areas of stone production from quarrying,
fabricating, and installing, have dramatically reduced the cost of using
stone and architects the world over are embracing these increased
advantages to create dynamic, award-winning buildings that will stand
the test of time.
Added features include a parking complex, a new entrance, new
galleries, a research library, café, bookstore, conservation facility and
450-seat auditorium and an amphitheatre. New windows, lighting and
earthquake-proofing were also part of the scheme.
Once such project is the newly renovated Getty Villa in Malibu,
California, which took out the Marble Institute of America’s 2006
Pinnacle Award for the best commercial exterior presented at Coverings
2007 in Chicago in April.
Conrad Ello, a senior associate with Machado and Silvetti, said that the
stones used on the project were sourced from Italy, Spain, Turkey,
China, Greece and the US and were specifically selected by the
architects for their colour and ability to support the design intent of the
villa itself.
One look at the images of the villa – and a brief history of its
construction and intensive reinvention – and it is easy to see why the
project was the hands-down favourite among the judging panel.
“The architects made several trips overseas to the quarries to select the
exact blocks and oversee production of finished materials. All up, 35
containers of stone were brought in to complete the renovation,” he said.
The Getty Villa was built by philanthropist John Paul Getty in 1974 to
house his art collection.
Included in the containers were nine 2 x 2 x 4 metre blocks of Amarillo
Triana, a buttery-yellow marble from Macael, Spain.
Constructed as a reproduction of the Villa dei Papiri, one of the most
lavish houses in Herculaneum, destroyed in AD 79 by the eruption of
Mt Vesuvius, the villa boasts some 44,000 different works dedicated to
the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.
“The blocks were hand-selected in two separate trips to Spain and the
honed stone used on stairs in the museum and the café. Three similar
sized blocks of Turkish onyx, quarried south east of Istanbul and
supplied by Teodor Marble, were also purchased and cut into thick,
plank-like pieces then vein cut and honed for use as cornice for the
entry pavilion and as column capitals on the café,” explained Conrad.
After most of the collection was moved to the new Getty Center in
1997, the villa was closed for renovation. It reopened in January 2006.
The US$275 million renovation was designed and coordinated by Bostonbased architecture and urban design firm Machado and Silvetti Associates,
a 40-person team known for distinctive spaces and unique works of
architecture in the US and abroad. Building was carried out by the Morely
Construction Company, with stone installed by Carnevale & Lohr.
issue 12
Around 465 square metres of honed and acid-etched China Black
Marble quarried in China, was used for the central plaza floor and wall
cladding. Honed and cleaved blocks of noce travertine, quarried and
supplied from Italy, were also used as wall cladding and on select
flooring and stair applications (stair treads/risers are cubic stones). Top left: The new award-winning addition to
the Getty Villa by architects Machado &
Silvetti features carefully hand-chosen
stones from six countries.
Top right: Acid-etched China Black marble
adorns the floor, while Turkish onyx has
been used for the cornice and column
capitals. The walls are clad in a mixture of
Italian noce travertine and coloured
aggregates. (Photos: Peter Kwok).
Bottom left: Architect Jan Kleihues used a
light-coloured German travertine to clad the
classically-proportioned façade of Berlin’s
Galleria Kaufhof.
Bottom right: A glittering glass dome
crowns the six-storey department store.
“A range of decorative wine red and bark brown aggregates mixed
with Mexican beach pebbles were used in concrete wall and floor
applications throughout the complex. The aggregates were finished
similar to terrazzo. The walls were sandblasted for a rough finish, while
the floors were ground, honed and acid-etched to provide dramatic
contrast,” said Conrad.
“Italian porphyry was also used on select floor, stair and wall
applications. Honed Carrara Marble, quarried and supplied by Massa
Industries in Carrara, Italy, was used in the detailed applications within
the museum, as well as for the front porch entrance stairs and ramps,”
he added.
German engineering
According to Germany’s Federal Statistics Office (FSO), the German
production of natural stone increased distinctly in 2006 with a 10.9 per
cent rise on 2005 figures. For the same time, local consumption of
natural stone increased by 5.1 per cent over the previous year.
Despite the strong competition from cheaper imports, mainly from
Asia, these rising demands show a great appreciation of local stones
among consumers – and just like other commodities, the stones are
subject to fashion trends.
FSO surveys indicate that while the production quantities of granites
and sandstones have remained constant, the production of limestones
has risen by 23.7 per cent. Single-coloured stones from beige to grey
and black are especially in demand.
The long-term trend is that the appreciation of natural stone among
developers and architects will also continue to grow, particularly in special
applications such as airports and railway stations, and building facades. In June, Berlin architects Kleihues and Kleihues became the recipients
of the German Natural Stone Award 2007 presented during Stone+tec
at the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg.
The firm received the prestigious accolade for the refurbishment of the
iconic Galeria Kaufhof department store located at Alexanderplatz
(square) in Berlin.
In the past 100 years Alexanderplatz has witnessed profound changes
and the Kaufhof department store is no exception. Its origins trace back
to the beginning of the 20th century. After sustaining partial damage
during the Second World War and its demolition in the 1960s, the
building was reconstructed in a 1970s style with a façade of moulded
aluminium panels that saw it become a dominant feature of the square.
In 2004, the building was once again flagged for refurbishment. The
project called for the modification and extension of the existing
building with a strong emphasis on making it represent the successful
reconstruction of Berlin’s city centre.
The new facade is a modern interpretation of the classic department
store architecture, including grand entrances, a two-storey base and
moulded, structured natural stone surfaces.
Architect Josef Kleihues achieved an elegant overall design using an
exterior base of Nero Impala granite and approximately 9000 square
metres of light-coloured Bavarian Gauinger travertine to clad the
classically-proportioned facades, which were mechanically fixed to an
aluminium frame. Another 270 square metres of the travertine was
used to clad the interior of the main entrance, with approximately 310
square metres of Jura limestone used on the escalator handrails and
elevator portals.
The careful, sculptured stonework is continued in the exactly designed
details of the entrances and base of the building. There are also many
smaller detailed points throughout the building that add to the casual
elegance of the project and help to round off the theme of the
building. A lavish atrium crowned with a glittering glass dome that
bathes the interior with light, completes the makeover, which cost
more than $160 million and was completed in May 2006. issue 12