DARE TO DESIGN: UK EDITION
Neolith® showcases its 2019 propositions during London Design Festival 2018
Neolith®, a market-leading brand of Sintered Stone, invites architects, designers and specifiers to discover its latest slabs at a special exhibition during London Design Festival (12.00 – 23.00, 20th September, 133-135 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, E2 7DG). The exhibition will also be complemented by a reception, starting from 18:00 on the same day.
In anticipation of 2019, Neolith has looked at emerging design trends to inspire eight new colours. Visitors will be welcomed to browse the diverse proposals in situ and provide feedback to help decide on the upcoming new releases.
Technology is ever-evolving, offering more opportunities to Neolith’s development team to realise complex patterns and a wide range of colours. The latest propositions are evidence of this, embracing the contrasting nascent themes in interior decoration.
Scandinavian style leads the way with a beautiful, airy palette of greys, blue accents and light timber tones. Simple, natural and neutral, this popular look evokes a convivial atmosphere, contributing to a healthy sense of well-being. A wood grain pattern with a softer and lighter character than Neolith’s popular La Bohème will meet a growing appetite for Fjord chic. A nod to the warmer climes of Miami and the glamour of South Beach, leather textured slabs in pastel colours add a contemporary and whimsical touch.
In contrast, an industrial motif seeks inspiration from factory warehouses and raw elements to create a space that is both functional and oozes contemporary cool. Components which designers usually try to conceal, such as steel or brick, are strategically exposed to make a strong statement. Neolith reimagines its classic Beton design with a new concrete-inspired slab. In response to a growing desire for lustrous details, a golden metallic surface will also be exhibited, ideal for adding allure to otherwise understated décor.
With enduring appeal in the culinary arena, Neolith adapts the striking silver sheen of stainless steel to the hardwearing qualities of Sintered Stone. For those who prefer a less refined appearance, an expansion of its Iron Collection sees more options for oxides, blending aged tones with a captivating, characteristic patina.
Carlos Garcia, Product Designer at Neolith, comments: “We’re seeing an increasing demand for greater creative scope in both residential and commercial spaces. Neolith Digital Design technology allows us to explore diverse colours and textures, so our 2019 collection will offer designers more possibilities than ever before to realise their dreams spaces.”
To find out more information about the event, click here.
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO NEOLITH
Neolith delivers contemporary look to high-spec Netherlands show home
When Dutch materials expert Stone and Skills discovered Neolith® in a Netherlands-based stone shop three years ago, the brand immediately captured their attention. The wide range of different colours, patterns and finishes on display fired their collective creative imagination, encouraging them to find out more about this Spanish Sintered Stone.
Following a visit to the Neolith factory in Castellon, Spain, they learned more about the performance and aesthetic attributes of the material and were determined to work with it on future projects.
Upon returning to the Netherlands, the Stone and Skills team kept thinking back to the ways in which Neolith had been presented, through various applications, at the brand’s Valencia-based showroom.
“It brought the product to life in a variety of ways,” said Amal Babay of Stone and Skills, “Like any building material, it’s one thing to see the standalone slabs hot off the production line, but quite another to see them in application. Experiencing a kitchen or bathroom specified in Neolith gives essential context, emphasising its visual qualities and design capabilities.”
Babay continues, “We wanted to bring Neolith to life, giving our clients the same experience as we had in Valencia, by creating an immersive atmosphere which would do justice to this prestigious brand. Inspired by what we had seen, we decided to take the showroom concept a step further and create a fully-functioning ‘Show Home’, allowing a customer to enter a real residence. Here they could truly visualise how their own project might look if they specified Neolith.”
Stone and Skill’s ambition was on a grand, all-encompassing scale. They wanted to incorporate a variety of colours, patterns, finishes, thicknesses and formats to really celebrate the aesthetic breadth of Neolith’s range. Applications across floors, walls, worktops, fireplaces, dining tables and even a clock demonstrated the brand’s potential.
A modern house in Hoofddorp (Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands) provided the perfect set within which to conjure up a vision in Neolith. Spanning a total area of 120m², Stone and Skills sought to create a contemporary feel with an industrial theme, playfully mixing several different material patterns including wood (La Boheme), metal (Iron Grey, Iron Moss and Iron Corten), concrete (Beton and Concrete Taupe) and marble (Pulpis Silk).
With so many diverse colours and finishes used, it was important for the designers to ensure that none of the surfaces clashed with each other.
To achieve a balance, Stone and Skills turned to Fauvism, an early 20th Century artistic movement made popular by artists such as Dufy, Derain and Braque. This approach focuses on the use of complementary colours, in which seemingly opposite hues can be used in conjunction to make each other look brighter. A famous example of this technique is Matisse’s Le Bonheur de Vivre (1905), a pastoral scene painted in a mesmerisingly vivid mix of red and green, purple and yellow.
NEOLITH REACHES HIGHER GROUND WITH 570 BROOME
Neolith® PURETi is specified for revolutionary green skyscraper in the heart of New York
As urban areas become more crowded and populations increase, so too do greenhouse gas emissions. These directly impact on public health and contribute to negative phenomena including global warming and acid rain.
According to recent findings from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, ‘Since 1990, gross U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have increased by about 2 percent’ and, whilst figures have been slowly decreasing in the last few years, emission levels remain unacceptably high. Of the total figure (6,511 Million Metric Tons of CO2 equivalent), transport alone makes up 28% of the total output . Much of this is concentrated in densely populated towns and cities.
The gradual rise in popularity of Green Buildings over the last decade reflects an ever-increasing awareness amongst business, industry and the consumer of ecological issues and concerns, particularly pollution levels and the effects on national wellbeing.
As such, architects, designers and contractors are actively exploring more environmentally friendly solutions for future construction and retrofit projects.
On the Face of It
One area in which extensive research has been carried out is on structural facades and cladding, the building’s first point of contact for elements and man-made emissions.
It was against this backdrop that Neolith® was approached by architectural firm builtd, which was looking to build a 25-storey commercial condo tower, 570 Broome (Soho, Manhattan), in close proximity to New York’s highly-congested Holland Tunnel.
The client specifically wanted to construct a durable building which could withstand both physical damage and both natural and man-made atmospheric deterioration, such as UV-rays and car exhaust fumes. There was also a desire to specify a low-maintenance surface which would not stain over time. These were all performance properties inherent in Neolith’s composition.
More than Meets the Eye
Neolith had already been specified as the material of choice for 570 Broome facade when its partnership with photocatalytic treatment manufacturer solutions, PURETi, was announced in spring 2017.
Essentially, the application of PURETi’s water-based, photocatalytic preventative maintenance solution on Neolith slabs enhances its surface, transforming it into self-cleaning air purifiers. This helps to improve air quality and enables Neolith slabs to stay cleaner for even longer.
Furthermore, this ingenious technology has the ability to reduce air pollution by destroying Nitrous Oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contact the treated stone, solely using the energy from natural sunlight.
Taking the initiative, Neolith’s US team suggested that this innovation would be perfectly suited for the skyscraper, given both the initial design brief and its location in a high-congestion area. This proved to be both relevant and timely to the building’s architects who, quick to see the treated surface’s potential, immediately decided to incorporate it into the façade.
As builtd’s principal architect, Tahir Demircioglu explains: “The initial selection of the Neolith panels was for their lightness and aesthetic qualities, but once we found out it came with this element, we were like, of course! It’s a huge plus that PURETi treated slabs also limits the amount of maintenance required. Instead of using chemicals and power-washing the façade, the material is hydrophilic so it cleans itself.”
On A Grand Scale
2,000m2 of PURETi treated Neolith Jura Limestone (a custom colour produced especially for the project) are being used for the façade on all sides and for framing the three-storey high expanses of glazing on the front of the building. These require sensitive and careful installation using lightweight aluminium frames which provided both strength and flexibility.
As the project is being constructed in a heavily built-up area, with unpredictable weather conditions, a number of regulations need to be met, particularly in regards to New York City’s stringent fire and combustibility code.
Furthermore, sheet resistance tests have been carried out to guarantee the durability of the PURETi application on Neolith surfaces.
Construction of 570 Broome is set to complete at the end of 2018. The complex will comprise of a 54-unit luxury boutique condominiums. The overall design references the area’s rich history through the soaring ceiling heights and a silhouette evocative of staggered cubes.
The Game Changer
Commenting on the significance of the project, Neolith’s Mar Esteve Cortes explains: “This project marks an important milestone in the partnership between Neolith and PURETi. 570 Broome is the first project in which the treated slabs have been specific on such a large scale. It’s truly awe inspiring.”
She continues, “There can be no doubt that this is a game changer in the way that we approach urban planning and construction. We cannot wait to see how it makes a positive impact on the lives of both 570 Broome’s residents and New York City citizens in general. Hopefully, this example will encourage other architects and specifiers globally to consider greener façade options for future high-rise projects.”
High resolution versions of the images within this release can be downloaded here.
THE LIGHTEST PLYWOOD PRODUCT IN THE WORLD FLOATS INTO THE UK
THE world’s lightest plywood is now available in the UK for the first time and is immediately proving popular with a vast range of users, from luxury yacht and motorhome builders through to packaging manufacturers and furniture producers.
The product, known as Banova Plus, is being sold exclusively by the UK’s leading supplier of timber and construction materials, Arnold Laver which operates 13 strategically located depots. It features an innovative design that combines a balsa core with lightweight hardwood surfaces, to create a product that typically weighs half as much as conventional plywood, whilst being just a strong and robust.
In addition, Banova Superflex is an extremely flexible variation of the product that features a textile layer that can be easily formed to create curved shapes.
Banova is manufactured by German company 3A Composites GmbH, using FSC certified wood from responsible sources, and features low emission values. Both the Plus and Superflex products are available in a variety of thicknesses from 9mm to 50mm and formats that range from 1220mm x 2440mm up to 1220mm x 3050mm.
Terry Palmer, Category Director from Arnold Laver, says: “Banova is almost an optical illusion because it’s hard to fathom how such a solid product can weigh so little, whilst still being robust. It’s also easy to process, without requiring any special tools or equipment, and offers a consistent surface quality. As a result, it’s ideal for any scenario that requires a high quality, natural looking product that is strong and crucially, very lightweight.
“We’ve already seen it successfully used to make exhibition stands, sculptures, mobile advertising boards, theatre sets, cargo crates and all types of lightweight furniture. It’s also the ideal material for suspended lighting rafts, like those often found in high-end restaurants and hotels, because it can be easily fitted to ceilings and places little strain on mechanical fixing systems, as well as looking extremely stylish.
“In addition, it can be combined with scratch resistant surfaces, printed onto and even laminated, so it lends itself to an endless range of possibilities. There’s nothing else like it on the market, so it’s a fantastic addition to the innovative and vast product range that Arnold Laver is renowned for.”
For further information about Banova, call your local Arnold Laver depot or visit www.laver.co.uk
MDF SHOPFRONTS FOR NEW CENTRAL LONDON DESIGN AND RETAIL HUB
Yes, you read that correctly MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME (MTX) now adorns the shopfronts of over 30 high-end retail and design spaces at the new Eccleston Place hub near Victoria station, central London. However, it’s far from an ordinary MDF… When thinking ‘high-end’, opting for an engineered wood panel over a hardwood alternative may not seem like an obvious choice, but MTX’s exceptional finishing qualities match like-for-like with its hardwood peers. What’s the difference then? To name but one, MTX’s 50-year external usage guarantee will protect the shopfront from the London weather for years to come.
It’s the customised shapes and designs embellishing the doorways of Eccleston Place that play an essential part in the feel of the development. In order to create that look, the designers had to be sure that the timber solution they opted for was up to scratch, that’s why K & D Joinery chose MTX.
“We discovered MTX when looking for a durable, weather-resistant, easy to work with, MDF material that matched our clients’ expectations,” said Alan Sheehy, Director at K & D Joinery. That’s not an easy set of criteria to match.
“The quality of the finish on the units was clearly the most important part of this project due to its location and the potential clientele. We assessed a number of different options when it came to the material, but MTX came out on top.
“The ability to finish the material to such a high standard means that we were satisfied it could serve as a suitable entryway to some of the leading, and up and coming brands, the capital has to offer.
“The fact that the material is guaranteed externally for up to 50 years gives a sense of security to the project, knowing that we can rely on the product to hold its finish for years to come.
The increased interest in MTX comes as no surprise to Product Manager for MTX, Peter Clifton, but the way in which it is used continues to impress.
“We’ve often supplied MTX for use on shopfront designs, but we’re now starting to see an increase of interest from designers dealing in more luxurious and exclusive circles,” comments Peter.
“The panels unique weather resistant qualities along with its ease of customisation and high finish quality make it a dream for joiners and carpenters alike. When it comes to things like shopfronts, no project will be the same, so as a material manufacturer you need to create something that has additional qualities, but that remains easy to work with and looks the business; that’s what you get with MTX.”
VERSATILE ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF NEW PASSIVE HOUSE SPECIALIST TO THE VENTILATION FUNCTION
Michael McCarthy, a certified trainer with the Passive House Academy and an international authority on the Passive House Standard as lead Passivhaus Certifer on the MosArt team, has joined Versatile as the new Ventilation Specialist within its Heating, Cooling & Ventilation division.
Michael, widely known and respected within the industry despite his young years, brings significant Passive House, nZEB and Mechanical Ventilation design experience in both the commercial and residential sector including a number of ground breaking nZEB and Passivhaus projects here in Ireland and on the international scene. Michael led the mechanical design on the PH consultant team for Ireland’s largest retrofit PH project, Rochestown House for DLRCC. He also acted as chief PH Certifier on Ireland’s largest multi-unit residential Passivhaus development: Silken Park in City West, Dublin with Durkan Residential.
In 2017, Michael was the PH Certifier on the tallest certified Passivhaus building in the world, the 26- story student residence at Cornell University on Roosevelt Island, New York. Michael holds an honours Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering and a B.A. in Mathematics and Project Management – both from Trinity College, Dublin. Michael is a Certified Passive House Trainer and Designer. His previous roles include Education and Training Manager & Director of Passivhaus Certification at MosArt Architects, where his work focused mainly on training competencies in Passivhaus construction and design, ultimately mentoring the design and construction teams and looking after the QA and QC on some of the largest Passivhaus projects in the world.
Michael joined Versatile at the beginning of the year and is looking forward to the new opportunities & challenges this post will bring. He is now actively working to greatly expand Versatile’s market share of the residential mechanical ventilation sector, bringing the brand’s demand control MEV & high performance MVHR series to the industry at a time when building regulations are ramping up for the emergence of nZEB. Michael will also be heavily involved in Versatile’s commercial fan coil and decentralised trench ventilation projects & is currently focusing on some high-profile projects including the new School of Business at Trinity College, Dublin.
Andrew Treacy, MD of Versatile Group said “The knowledge, expertise and experience that Michael brings to the company further strengthens our Ventilation offering and reinforces our position at the forefront of sustainable building on the island of Ireland. This appointment continues to consolidate the professionalism of our organisation and is further evidence of Versatile’s commitment to green building and NZEB initiatives”
Contact: Michael McCarthy, Versatile. M: 087.936.2660; email: email@example.com
INTERNATIONAL CONCRETE DESIGN COMPETITION
Friday May 18th Announced as closing date for International Concrete Design Competition 2017/2018
Successful students to attend international Masterclass in Brussels in September 2018 and share in a €3,000 prize fund
The Concrete Design Competition is open to students of architecture and design related disciplines. The competition aims to promote innovative design attitudes related to the use of concrete as a material and a technology. Each competition cycle is framed by a theme exploring a specific property of concrete. The theme for 2017/2018 is “TACTILITY”.
The Irish Jury of Carole Pollard, Past President of RIAI; Gary Mongey, Box Architecture; Maxime Laroussi, Urban Agency and Patrick Wheeler, Arigho Larmour Wheeler Architects will select the winning Irish entries and decide on the distribution of a €3,000 prize fund. Successful students will be invited to participate in an international Masterclass in early September 2018 in Brussels, where they will be joined by winning students from other National competitions. This Masterclass will provide a great opportunity for students to engage with international experts and gain unique experience of working and designing in concrete.
Aoife Flynn a past winning Student from DIT described her Masterclass experience as ‘the highlight of my architectural education’ and ‘an incredible privilege’ which gave her ‘a whole new understanding of concrete’
For further details on the competition please see www.concretedesigncompetition.com.
The competition is funded in Ireland by Cement Manufacturers Ireland.
CAPTURING CONTINUITY AND CONTRAST
‘House in Roma’, was born out of a desire to bring the glamour of an Italian countryside villa into the heart of Rome.
Approaching this project, architect Pierluigi De Gasperis was fascinated with the dual principles of continuity and contrast. He wanted to include both concepts into the final designs of the structure’s interiors.
Using their considerable artistic expertise De Gasperis’s team of designers mixed and matched colours and textures to achieve a contrast and enhance the overall atmosphere of the interior. But the greater challenge was in his aim to capturing the essence of continuity.
Initial inspiration came from the local abundance of travertine stone, which combines subtle grey-white tones and delicately undulating veining. The desire was to incorporate this style throughout the villa’s flooring. However, naturally hewn stone is notoriously hard to fabricate into a continuous grain, due to its unpredictable and spontaneous patterning.
Rather than changing tack, this encouraged De Gasperis to consider alternative materials in order to achieve fluidity, so central to his imaginative design.
Silver travertine is a dramatic stone, full of character, it was central to the overall aesthetic of the house.
Travertine, widely found throughout both classical and modern architecture, was highly-prized by the ancient Romans. Marked by its characteristic veining or strata, it is a material with deep affiliation to the Lazio region (Central Italy).
The luxuriant villas nestled in the Alban Hills, which fringe Rome, have long used carved Travertine for both structural and decorative purposes. It is these corresponding attributes that influenced the architect when he drew up the initial concepts for ‘House in Roma’.
“We wanted to ingrain this house with personality and history” said De Gasperis, “Travertine’s prolific use in architecture over the last 2,000 years and its timeless ability to evolve and adapt in line with a specific style or movement made it an attractive choice. Its visual appeal and association with grandeur made it highly desirable.”
De Gasperis continues: “However, the permeability of natural travertine makes it susceptible to staining, especially from acidic substances, even seemingly innocuous, everyday liquids such as orange juice. Neolith® Strata Argentum provided a welcome solution. Its faithful interpretation of travertine made it the perfect choice for this project. The robustness required to meet the wear and tear associated with the modern family house, whilst offering the beauty and authenticity of the real stone. Importantly, we were able to design around the Neolith slab to create the consistency in veining we required.”
Rome is globally renowned for its impressive sculptures and iconic stone monuments. Paying homage to the skilled artisans of the city, ‘House in Roma’ floor is a masterpiece in fabrication and the centrepiece of the project. It is a feature in its own right, a vista of travertine, stretching beyond the threshold of the house, emphasising continuity.
As a result of the clever and meticulous fitting, by top fabricators Stone Arredo, the villa’s flooring creates a mesmerising illusion of fluidity. Rapturously flowing from staircase to ground level, out of the threshold and onto the terrace into a panorama of Strata Argentum, it provides a seamless connection between inside and outside. The surface’s silvery striations pleasantly stretch out to ultimately envelop a pool that incorporates the subtle, sandy, sun-soaked shades of Neolith’s Arena.
Commenting on the significance of the project, and how it relates to the brand’s own activity, Neolith’s Mar Esteve Cortes says, “When our Italian distributor, Domus Marmi, came to us with this project and described the concept we were very excited. We felt the material chosen and the required precision within the design would present a tantalising challenge for the fabricators. If the ambitious plans could be realised, they would create a highly individual interior full of character. As one can see from the finished floor, the results speak for themselves; it really showcases the potential of Neolith.”
A Question of Balance
A key principle within the world of art is that contrast should, fundamentally, be complementary. It must serve to augment perceptions, creating harmony as opposed to discord.
When colours are contrasted effectively within an interior, they can offer either a backdrop emphasising certain features, or stand alone to become the unifying element, bringing a whole room together.
In addition to ensuring a high degree of continuity throughout the house, the designers were also keen to provide focal points within the property through an interesting and diverse use of matt earth colours and natural effects.
De Gasperis’s simple, but visually arresting mosaic of Neolith’s Barro, Pietra di Luna and Pierta di Osso in one of the two bathrooms lends a distinctly modernist look. Its approximated symmetry offsets the space’s metallic fixtures.
The second bathroom features the rustic look and feel of wood against lavish and lustrous marble. Neolith’s La Boheme B01 and La Boheme B02 used in conjunction with Calacatta Gold establishes a minimalist décor, which is refinement embodied.
The clever use of material patterns and textures within these two rooms amplifies the space within, creating a captivating visual equilibrium which excites and entices.
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND
Neolith® delivers impeccable continuity with landmark Infinity rectifying system
Neolith® launches Neolith Infinity in January 2018. This system, the latest fitting solution from the market-leading Sintered Stone Surface brand, will offer designers more scope for creativity and fabricators enhanced precision.
Neolith Infinity is a first in the Sintered Stone market. It is a multi-functional tooling system which helps fabricators connect two slabs together seamlessly by finely sharpening their edges before levelling them immaculately.
The result of extensive research and development by Neolith’s dedicated technical team, Neolith Infinity is a direct response to calls from interiors designers for hyper-realism and invisible jointing on in residential kitchen worktops and bathroom vanities.
The device consists of three elements: the guiding rule, parallel system and grinding head. It performs the necessary guiding to work along the edge, placing a fixed ruler for ultimate accuracy before performing the grinding task. The end result is a faultlessly planed edge of Neolith slab, ready to be matched.
This remarkable mechanism allows for the creation of super-strength joints with high resistance to UV and no thermal expansion. Whether subject to intense heat, strong sunlight or humidity, both surface and join will maintain integrity. The tight bond and Neolith’s hygienic properties also ensure that the worktops are easy to clean and maintain.
Neolith Infinity can be used across the whole range of Neolith surfaces, an exceptional choice for thicker worktops of 12mm or 20mm.
Commenting on the System, Neolith’s Mar Esteve Cortes says: “It’s always exciting to bring a new product to the market, especially one which we have invested so much time and expertise in creating. From a practical perspective, Infinity offers far greater flexibility for those looking to incorporate a Sintered Stone surface within their home, presenting plenty of aesthetic inspiration.
“From a philosophical perspective, I think Infinity reflects Neolith’s imaginative approach and uncompromising desire for perfection. We cannot wait to see the potential for Infinity when our fabricators get their hands on it!”
To ensure fabricators and designers know how to use the device to its greatest effect, Neolith is sharing its expertise in a how-to video and a technical manual. This will be made available to Neolith Infinity purchasers, as well as membership to an exclusive area on the Neolith site to receive specific product support.
For more information about Neolith Infinity click here
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