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  Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
     Monthly Newsletter
October 2009
In This Issue


Topic of the Month:
Gensler Talks About Sustainability at Rivers Edge in Boston

Architectural Firm of the Month: Gensler

Helpful Links for Architects

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bank NYC Welcome to the October issue of our newsletter! We enjoy hearing what architects and designers are up to, so if you have a project you would like to share with us, please contact us and tell us about it. We may choose to feature your project in one of our upcoming issues, which goes out to architects and building industry professionals across the country. And who are we? Our company mines and manufactures Glacier Blue® Devonian Sandstone products. The stone has a consistent pale blue-gray hue that has been used in residential, institutional and commercial projects across the country. Click here to find out more.

Architectural Firm of the Month: Gensler

RiversEdge 1 Photo (c) Greig Cranna

Gensler is a firm with an international reputation for innovative design, superb delivery, and efficient management of its teams and projects, partnering with clients on some 3,000 projects every year. With more than 2,100 professionals networked across 32 locations, Gensler serves its clients as trusted advisors, combining localized expertise with global perspective wherever new opportunities arise.

Gensler is organized into practices, each charged with sharing innovation and expertise through an integrated cross-office, cross-practice exchange. This dynamic network ensures that new insights inform the firm's collective knowledge, creating value for clients, industry leaders and start-ups alike.

The firm's ability to create environments that enhance organizational performance and achieve measurable business goals is one reason Gensler is a multiple winner of the Business Week/Architectural Record Awards, the U.S. benchmark for business design innovation.

For more information:

Topic of the Month: Gensler Talks About Sustainability at Rivers Edge in Boston
RiversEdge 2
Photo (c) Greig Cranna

Christopher Haynes, Senior Associate at Gensler Architects was kind enough to speak with us about his work on the Rivers Edge project in Boston, for which he serves as Project Architect.

The Rivers Edge project is a mixed use development site that will include three contemporary office buildings adjacent to The Park at River's Edge, a 10-acre riverfront park with over 1/3 mile of frontage along the Malden River. Building 1, or more specifically 200 Rivers Edge Drive, is a 120,000 square foot building that was completed last Spring. Building 2 is slated to be the same size, and Building 3 will be 180,000 square feet.  Building 1 has been LEED pre-certified at the Gold Level and is the first office building to achieve this pre-certification for core and shell in Greater Boston.

Haynes explains, "We're pre-certified at Gold Level, so we were trying to achieve as many sustainable goals as possible, one being in terms of materials. That's when we started searching for floor materials for the lobby that were regional and more specifically for the LEED credit, which means within 500 miles. We chose Devonian Stone for a couple of reasons. One was that it had a consistency that we liked. It also had a grain texture that was very fine, so I tend to talk about it as sort of an abstracted stone because it doesn't have a lot of striking veins and things like that. It's a little bit more abstract, a little finer grained and more sleek. And we liked the fact that it has the variety of finishes that are available. We wanted to be able to use the same stone and create a different effect within the lobby by just changing the finish, and Devonian stone allowed us to do that."

The building has a two-sided lobby that is highlighted by Glacier Blue® Devonian Sandstone flooring, back-painted glass, and rich, quarter-sawn eucalyptus paneling. This section of the lobby includes a sculptural bench of Devonian Sandstone with a walnut inlay. "The stone helped create a seamless transition from the front walk into the lobby and then through the lobby out to the river park. It was a material that could seamlessly transition inside to outside, which was a goal from the beginning that we had with the landscape architect."

"In terms of materials, it is more than a trend to choose regional materials, it's the right thing to do. At Gensler, we have a very strong sustainability program as part of the firm and we apply it to every project, whether it's going for a LEED certification or not. We choose materials that are regional, that have recycled content, that have whatever is particular about the material that has a sustainable trait. It's something that we do naturally on every project, and that's how we came to Devonian Stone and was part of the process in choosing it."

"The other thing that was an important aspect in terms of the selection of materials, is the very naturally inspired palette. For instance, the pre-casts on the exterior had a warm tone and the glass that we used had a slight green tint to it. In the interior we used the Devonian Stone, which has a bluer, more natural tint than just a gray stone. The wood we used is a eucalyptus wood and we also used a standard float glass that had a little bit of a green tint.  We wanted to use materials that had a very natural feel, both inside and outside, and because of the very natural park setting around the building."

The building's southern exposure faces the "Great Lawn," a lush New England garden space framed by white-barked birch trees and red maples, with sculptural land forms, granite walls, benches, walks and lighting between the building and the residences. The berm and granite seat wall in the foreground create a separation between the public River Park and the more private Great Lawn. Haynes explains, "We worked closely with Shadley Associates, the landscape architect. Along with the granite walls he was using other undulations of the landscape and carefully selected the types of plants and colors that were used. He wanted it to feel harmonious." The Park at Rivers Edge is an award winning park, having won the 2008 Honor Design Award by the Boston Society of Landscape Architects. 

Haynes ends in saying, "It is a brownfield site, having had heavy industrial use from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution until recently when there was a major cleanup and then the development of this park. It's been reborn. I saw it before, and to see it now is more than dramatic."

Helpful Links for Architects

AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community
The AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community provides leadership and expertise to practitioners of interior architecture and design, working cooperatively with its members and other interiors organizations to address relevant, timely practice issues, markets, and trends, such as licensing, liability, environmental, and technological considerations. Through the Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, important links are maintained with allied professionals, service providers, and manufacturers. If you wish to become a member of the AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, call AIA Member Services at 800-242-3837, or visit:

Architect Online's Continuing Education Center

Architect Online's Online Continuing Education Center gives professionals a convenient way to earn necessary continuing education credits without having to set foot in a classroom. The courses listed, sponsored by the companies noted, are accessible from anywhere you can establish an online connection. Just register, read the required material, and then take the test, either through a downloadable mail-in form, or free via a secure online connection, depending on the course. You'll be able to maintain your professional credentials, at your pace, and at a location that works for you. Visit:

Architectural Record Continuing Education Center
Architectural Record magazine has a free Continuing Education Center where architects can earn AIA Continuing Education Credits online. Visit:

Architectural Record Discussion Forums

The McGraw Hill Construction Community, publisher of Architectural Record, has provided architects with a forum to express ideas, opinions, suggestions, and gripes. The discussion forums are open to all, and include topics such as Green Building Projects, Virtual Design, Practice Matters and a forum for younger architects. Visit:

The Green Meeting Industry Council

The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) is a non profit 501(c)(6) membership-based organization. Their goal is to encourage collaboration within the meetings industry toward the development of green standards that will improve the environmental performance of meetings and events on a global basis. The GMIC is the only professional green meetings organization that is a member of the Convention Industry Council. For more information visit:

We hope you enjoyed our informative monthly e-newsletter. For questions, comments or more information, please e-mail or call us today.

Liz Benton, Editor 
Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
Devonian Stone of New York, Inc.

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