Posts Tagged ‘stone’

Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, Ratho

September 24, 2012

I visited the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, near Ratho at the weekend. I was there for a children’s party in one of the soft play areas, but I couldn’t help wandering around the building to take in the scale and feel of the space, as well as grab a few photos.

It is built in to a disused quarry and was an enormous and ambitious project.

The five story building is a fantastic example of architecture interacting with the surrounding landscape.

The slate floor and stacked wall linings in the atrium are Caithness Slate. The stone from the quarry is dolerite, a quartzite rock that is similar to basalt. The building makes use of the local material, which makes perfect sense and gives the interior the feel of being in, or at least close to, a quarry, even when you are under a steel and glass structure.

The stacked slate wall cladding below is one of my favourite features.

It was designed by APD Architecture. Unfortunately the project was troubled and eventually went into receivership, being taken over by Edinburgh Council but it remains a fantastic building.


Project showcase: All Bar One, Windsor, by Harrison

July 20, 2012

Harrison was commissioned by hospitality operator Mitchells & Butlers to design an All Bar One in a building that was originally Queen Victoria’s private waiting room at Windsor Royal Station.

Developing a branded offer in a listed building is always a challenge and Harrison’s design sensitivity enabled them to develop a proposition that successfully met the expectations of both the client and their customers.

I spoke to Janice Mitten from Harrison about this interesting project:

What was the brief?
Mitchells & Butlers’ brief was to restore the existing listed building, as it has a historic story and fantastic existing features. So, incorporating this into the design was key. We felt that we could incorporate the All Bar One brand feel into this building without disturbing what was there, by using things like large leaning blackboards and painted graphics on the walls.


Stone wall trends: split face and bookmatch

June 25, 2012

Split Face stone, for wall applications, is on trend at the moment, especially for the commercial market. These types of textured stone panels are being frequently used for projects such as bars.

Oyster Split Face Mosaics, by Mandarin Stone

Antique English Reverse Face tiles, Lapicida Stone Group


Stone floor trends for 2012

January 5, 2012

I wrote recently about the popular pale cream marble, Crema Marfil, which has been a popular choice amongst architects and interior designers for some time.

Recently clients and designers have been steering away from warm yellow tones, and opting more for classic creams and beiges. However, for 2012, leading stone companies advise that blue and grey hues are expected to be most in demand.

Vix Blue Honed Limestone by Mandarin Stone

New Montpellier, by Lapicida Stone Group

Branding and exclusivity in stone tiles: When is Crema Marfil not Crema Marfil?

November 8, 2011

Crema Marfil stone, which means ‘Ivory Cream’ in Spanish, is extracted from the El Coto quarry located in Pinoso (Alicante). It is the largest marble quarry in the world, owned by Levantina.

Levantina describes the stone as “internationally recognized as the best cream marble. Its chromatic wealth, excellent finish, unbeatable physical qualities and its resistance to impact, combined with a low coefficient of water absorption make it the preferred option among all architects and creators when choosing Ivory Cream.”

While you’d expect this sort of marketing information from the manufacturer, the quarry is certainly enormous (as the picture below shows), and amongst architects and interior designers, it’s fair to say that it’s a popular, well-known material.

Crema Marfil tiles UK suppliers

I have noticed a great many Crema Marfil products available for sale – is this simply because it is a very popular product?

Flooring test by London Underground at Victoria Station

August 26, 2011

London Underground works in conjunction with leading flooring manufacturers and suppliers and is currently conducting a trial of flooring materials at Victoria Station (Underground).

Victoria station

Above: London Victoria rail station, with one of the tube entrances on the left. (image by Ewan M on flickr- creative commons license)

In the passage linking Victoria and District & Circle Lines, there are eight areas of trial floorings, two granite, five terrazzo types and one fully vitrified porcelain. London Underground said:

We are very keen in maintaining high standards of finishes in public areas, taking into account durability, cleanability and safety. Over the course of the coming year, these aspects will be taken into consideration and, given that the various flooring types meet our criteria, then they can be considered suitable for installation, particularly when it comes to new station development as well as the refurbishment of existing assets.

London 69