Chaos outside, calm within
High Style Stone & Tile
A quiet oasis away from the bustling chaos of the metropolis, « a location that conveys a sense of inner calm despite being in a high-density urban area. » This was the goal that the design team from US firm StudioSC had in mind when they created the interiors of 250-260 Gold Street, a large 13-storey multi-family residential building in downtown Brooklyn, New York. Designed by J Frankl Architects and built by Bruman Realty, the exterior of the building stands out for the unusual design of the upper levels, which consist of a series of cantilevered rectangular volumes that appear to float above the more traditional base of the structure.
The building houses 287 apartments and a number of service spaces, including a fitness centre, a wellness area, a laundry, a common room and a children’s playroom. The project received an honourable mention in the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition 2022, which is presented each year to the best North American architectural projects featuring the use of Italian ceramic tiles, and was also « greatly appreciated by the tenants, who continue to give very positive feedback », says architect Stephen Conte from StudioSC. The interiors stand out for their simple elegance achieved through the use of high quality materials and carefully designed, unobtrusive details, as if to counterbalance the vibrancy of the exterior. « The contemporary style brings together various textures that blend harmoniously, » explains Conte. « The combination of materials and the layout of the spaces were designed to create an environment that conveys a sense of tranquillity. Instead of the opulent materials normally selected for luxury projects, we opted for warm tones to create homey interiors and a more relaxing visual experience, » he adds. Italian ceramic tiles made an important contribution to the success of the project. In particular, StudioSC selected Marble Experience Orobico grey porcelain tiles from Italgraniti for the lobby floor along with various products from Lea Ceramiche, including slate-effect surfaces from the Waterfall line for the corridor, business centre and wine cellar and wood-effect surfaces from the Bio Select line for the spa. « We chose these ceramic products primarily for their aesthetic purity. The floor tiles from the Bio Select collection, for example, create a strong sense of warmth inside the spa. Visually they look like real wood but they have a softer, more tactile quality than most other tiles and they are hard wearing enough to withstand daily use in a spa environment. »
With their combination of aesthetics, durability and high performance, these Italian tiles from Italgraniti Group and Lea Ceramiche fit in perfectly with the architects’ aims and the nature of the project.