Norstone XL Large Stone Veneer at the Mall of America
Our natural stone products have always been a favorite of architects and designers working on commercial retail and hospitality spaces since they are so durable and require little upkeep. A couple years ago we were excited to hear about a project in Minnesota at the iconic Mall of America that was planning on on using our XL Series Rock Panels. Working through our long time partner and distributor in the Midwest, we supplied this project with the Charcoal XL color. Recently, a few members of our team got a chance to see the finished project in person which we’d like to share with our readers today!
The Mall of America is obviously pretty massive, but our stone is easy to find as it was part of the recent expansion which included the construction of a new J.W. Marriott luxury hotel. All of the Charcoal XL Stone Panels are used on the exterior of the building and the bulk of the stone is used on the ground level exterior around the hotel and a connected parking garage.
The thing we love about this project the most is that it’s a great fit for the XL Series Panel. In fact, this is exactly the kind of project we had in mind when designing the XL Series – a project where the scale is so large that our Standard Series Rock Panels would create a very “busy” stone look. The super-sized nature of the individual stones in the XL Series work well to create a clean, modern look that’s not overly complicated. Malls in general are over-sized, but especially the Mall of America, which at one time was the largest mall in the country. The attached photo shows some of that scale on a wall bordering the entrance / exit to the parking garage.
Our interlocking finger jointed outside corner units are another reason that Architects and Designers love our products – it makes their jobs a lot easier! The outside corner in this photo is the perfect example of what makes our corner units special, which come as a two piece set and interlock together to form a 90 degree outside corner. The interlocking finger joint concept creates a relatively smooth transition from one side of the corner to the other and gives the corner a great finished look. The Architect or Designer doesn’t have to worry about the quality of workmanship the on site contractor might deliver if they instead had chosen to specify a miter cut, and they don’t have to bring in a third party product, such as a metal tile edge or similar to finish off the corner. Our line of accessories which includes the corners and our recently added natural end panels help solve problems for architects, designers, contractors, and homeowners that are designing, working with and installing our products.
We’re also really liking the fact that the design team on this project opted to go with natural stone. Even though its limited to the ground floor, the inherent beauty of a natural stone product goes a long way in establishing the brand identity of this luxury hotel. The photo above offers a nice contrast showing the luxurious finishes of glass, steel, and dark colored stone in the foreground compared to a dated building the background of beige toned brick and stucco. The stone, shown here after some precipitation, really comes alive as it dries out going from almost black when fully wet to its native Charcoal color.
Thanks for taking a look at this cool project with us today and learning more about how our natural stone products are a great fit for commercial retail and hospitality projects. If you’re an Architect or Designer, or just playing one on your own home project, contact us today to learn more about using any of our natural stone veneer products on your project. And if you’re ever at the Mall of America, tag us in a photo of the stone and we’ll send you an Amazon Gift Card – we’d love to see it!