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  Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
     Monthly Newsletter
November 2010
In This Issue


Topic of the Month: A Modern Touch for Gramercy Park, NYC

Architectural Firm of the Month: Audrey Matlock Architect

Helpful Links for Architects

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Devonian Stone Irving PlaceWelcome to the November issue of our newsletter! We do our best to present you with informative articles about the various projects architects and designers are working on around the country. If you have a project you would like to share with us, please contact us and tell us about it. If chosen, we will feature your project in one of our upcoming issues of this newsletter, which goes out to architects and building industry professionals across the country. Click here to find out more about us, or visit us on our Facebook Fan Page.

Architectural Firm of the Month: Audrey Matlock Architect

Irving Place 1Located in New York, NY, Audrey Matlock Architect's goal is to deliver projects that are contemporary and original and that engage a building's program as the prime generator of architectural space. Ultimately, a building's success is determined by its ability to enhance the activities that take place within it. We believe that such buildings have lasting value.

Audrey Matlock Architects consider the design process to be integral to the outcome of any design. The actual manner in which the project develops is entirely dependent upon the contributions of the larger team - the client, the architect, the engineers and contractors. The orchestration of all the individual contributions into a meaningful project is our role in the process.

As principal and designer, Audrey Matlock sets the design direction of every project, while team members participate in the design and problem solving. Each team is comprised of individuals with specific skills to match the project, while individual creativity and design exploration is encouraged. This promises our clients a breadth of expertise and talent that when combined result in a unique vision.

For more information visit:

Topic of the Month: A Modern Touch for Gramercy Park, NYC

Irving Place 2
Fort Hill Landscape 2
In the historic and exclusive Gramercy Park neighborhood in New York City, there is a new building on the block where a parking garage used to stand. The nine-unit concrete and glass apartment building at 57 Irving Place stands out like a multi-faceted jewel among the surrounding residential buildings with a fa?ade that is literally a kinetic sculpture. Architect Audrey Matlock directed the design process. The project began in 2007 and the newly constructed luxury condominium apartments are now ready for tenants.

Irving Place is a six-block street just south of Gramercy Park and is lined by an array of restaurants and other establishments, the most notable being Pete's Tavern, New York's oldest surviving saloon where famous author O. Henry wrote his story The Gift of the Magi. The street was created as a result of the efforts of Samuel B. Ruggles, a developer who first proposed the idea for the park in 1831 and then also brought about the creation of Lexington Avenue and Irving Place by the state legislature. These two new north-south roads laid out between Third and Fourth Avenues fed into the new development at the top and bottom of the park, which is central to the neighborhood.

Drawing inspiration from the scale and texture of the neighborhood, the new building is designed with double height spaces and open living areas that stretch its entire 50-foot frontage. The finely layered fa?ade creates depth and detail while incorporating contemporary materials and innovative technology. With floor-to-ceiling glass, a "living fa?ade" projects the internal planning concepts onto the face of the building, and is composed of elements that address natural light and privacy needs throughout the day. Fifteen-foot wide louvered screens that are automatically controlled can be moved along an external steel track to provide shading and separation as desired. 

The individual identities of each apartment can be read on the building's exterior. One and two-story bays occur at each apartment's living spaces, shifting locations as the plans dictate. These projections are sheathed in custom patterned glass that is designed to provide privacy from the outside and visibility from the inside. The glass has a low iron content and has a cloud-like ceramic pattern printed on the face. The resulting milky-white clouds appear to be flowing across the building, mixing with the actual changing sky reflections.

Five-foot by 10-foot parallel projecting window panels have airflow on all sides. These are similar to the windows developed for Chelsea Modern High-Rise Residential Tower in the Chelsea District of New York City that Matlock also designed, but due to their size and weight, manual operation is impossible. Through a partnership with a hardware fabricator, a mechanized operation system has been adapted to the scissor hinges so that these glass panels open automatically. At the ground level rear facade, slide-away glass walls open the entire living space to the adjacent garden.

In contrast to the modern materials used on the exterior of the building, natural materials were chosen for the interior spaces such as walnut floors, bamboo walls, and stone surfaces in the kitchens and bathrooms. Glacier Blue® Devonian Sandstone was chosen for the project and was used in the bathrooms, kitchens, swimming pool, outdoor terraces, and in the spacious steam room, or hamam. The architect states, "The stone is one of our favorite materials and we will continue to use it in our projects."

When asked about the challenges in designing the project, the architect noted two: the constraints of working within a narrow site, and working within the context of a traditional neighborhood. Regardless, the end result is a stunning building both inside and out that will not only provide comfortable and elegant living spaces for residents, but will also enhance the historical Gramercy Park neighborhood with an artfully designed building that adds a modern touch.

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:

CORA - Congress of Residential Architecture
CORA is a grass root organization that encourages our members to participate in the dialog of improving residential architecture in a way that suits them best. The purpose of the CORA is to provide a continuing forum for advocating and enhancing residential architecture by all individuals, both professionals and non-professionals, that share a common interest in improving the quality of the homes and communities we live in. 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:

The World Architecture Community
The World Architecture Community invites all architects to create a free profile on their website. The World Architecture Portal is a unique comprehensive international directory and catalog of contemporary architecture where all architects, scholars and institutions may submit their work and links to share with colleagues from around the world.
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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