Stone to the Ceiling at Boston Airport Area Hotel
One of the really cool things about Rock Panels is that they can be used in applications not traditionally associated with traditional stone masonry. A great example is this amazing lobby feature wall completed several years ago at a Boston Airport area hotel. Soaring the equivalent of about three traditional stories, or over 30 feet into the air, this is an amazing large scale installation of our White Rock Panel product. Hotels often use stacked stone and other hard surfaces for their commercial durability, and while extra large in size, this project has a lot of great detail and thought put into the space by the design team which we’ll dive into in this week’s blog.
The first thing catches everyone that looks at this wall is the sheer size of it. It’s actually hard to do it justice with the camera angles that the space provides! One of the best views in our opinion is this angle looking back towards the entrance and reception desk on the first floor and mezzanine level on the second. As is common in hotels, the first couple “public” floors tend to have higher ceilings to accommodate scaled up lobbies, restaurants, and meeting spaces, so when you actually put a measurement on this wall, the stone is going just over 30 feet floor to ceiling.
One of the cool things about stacked stone veneer is that it’s lightweight and can therefore be installed using a direct bond thinset method instead of mechanical fastening which is more common with traditional full thickness stone masonry. Norstone Standard Series Rock Panels weight about 12.5 lbs per sq ft, below the threshold of 15 lbs per sq ft allowing them to be installed using the direct bond thinset method, making an installation like this hotel lobby possible. The engineering team did make sure the wall was designed and built to accommodate the extra weight load, but apart from that this product was installed just like a our Rock Panels would be installed on one of our client’s fireplaces, backsplashes, or feature walls – just super sized! Installing stacked stone is easy when you’ve got a great product to work with!
Natural light makes almost any space better, and this one is no exception. Significant glass along the back wall of this lobby atrium adds a lot of natural light, as does the unique domed glass ceiling right above the stone feature wall. While the glass doesn’t extend across the entire ceiling of the atrium space it hits the mark as far as bringing in beautiful natural light and maintaining an open feeling in the space.
The art pieces located on each expanse of the stone feature wall are unique and grand enough in size to not get overpowered by the overall scale of the wall and atrium. We really liked this four segmented modern piece. The black color and curved lines contrast nicely against the white blank canvas of the stone and the linear geometry of the rock panel system. The installer expertly used metal stand offs to position the pieces in front of the stone, which not only makes it possible to get the art pieces to be flat against the variable face of the stone, but also adds an extra little bit of dimensionality to the wall.
Light fixtures are an important accent to any stacked stone installation, and this one is no exception. The scale of these fixtures, being almost 4 feet from tip to tip, and the brushed stainless finish which creates a great modern color scheme with the starkness of the White Rock Panels, makes them excellent choices for the space. The installation team again has done an amazing job to get these fixtures sitting flat against the dimensional face of the stone.
While lobby atriums like this one will always pose design and material selection challenges due to the wall heights involved, so too will many of the “great rooms” of homes built in the last decade or so. If you have a great room of your own at home with high ceilings and tall walls, stone veneer is a great product to consider since its classic in style and not the latest fad you’ll want to change out in two years, and lightweight enough to not warrant much, if any, structural work prior to installation. We have a great team knowledgeable in the intricacies of installing stone veneer at height, so come to us with your questions and we’ll be happy to help. And if you’re checking into a hotel in Boston anytime soon, be sure to look up and you might just have a view worth enjoying for a while!