What’s your StoneArt Design Style?

Cote d’Azur. This subtle yet unexpected limestone draws the eye in and always makes an impression. Gaze deeply and then try to turn away… we dare you.

Opus White. Cool, confident, and chic, this quartzite has nothing to prove. She stands her ground and speaks her mind. (Metaphorically, of course…)

Jasper Shellflint. The name says it all… rife with a sense of spirited spontaneity, semi-precious Jasper Shellflint demands a second (and third and fourth) look.

Burlesque. As its name implies, Burlesque quartzite is a beautifully bawdy twist on its simpler, more neutral siblings. Not for those hoping to blend into the background.

Azul Imperial. This delightfully prismatic quartzite is for lovers and dreamers… soft in appearance yet mightily durable, Azul Imperial is no shrinking violet.

Photo Archivist by day, Artist and Design Maven always: ABC’s Sueey Gutierrez

An artist in our midst. Here at ABC Stone we work every day with a wide variety of design professionals whom we assist in the specification and meaningful application of our materials. We collaborate with them on a substantial array of projects of diverse types and sizes, so it is a great boon to us in this pursuit that we harbor in our ranks personnel who are, in their own right, practitioners of the fine arts. We had a chance to sit down with our Materials Photographer + Archivist Sueey Gutierrez, a visual artist with an upcoming Art Show whose closing will be celebrated at Treme in Islip, NY, to discuss her artistic proclivities and origins.

ABC Stone: When did you first become interested in art?

Sueey Gutierrez: At age three, which is also when I began to create art! I received a scholarship to study at the Brooklyn Museum at the age of six. I would also regularly visit the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens at that time.

ABC: What do you think gravitated you towards art, and sustained your interest in it?

SG: I didn’t really grow up in the greatest neighborhood in the world, and my parents wanted me to stay away from that environment, so they would take every opportunity to enroll me in arts classes. I found a highly valuable outlet in the freedom of expression afforded me by art. I was an only child, and surrounded by adult all the time, so as I had to entertain myself, creative expression became a means for me to do so.

ABC: What is your favorite genre or medium of art in which to work?

SG: The media I prefer are usually dry media, so I like to use colored pencils, markers, oil pastels, acrylic markers, charcoal, graphite dust, and graphite pencil. I’ll occasionally do paintings. The genre that I like the most—it runs the gamut. I’m into pinup art. Alberto Vargas is one of my favorite artists. Dali is as well. Frida Kahlo is one of my greatest inspirations. I’m also into neo-classicism, some Dadaist art. I’m also very much into Pre-Columbian art because my family comes from El Salvador and I’m of Mayan descent. And of course, that genre of art is very stone-based.

ABC: What is your favorite time-period?

SG: Oh wow, that’s a really hard question to answer. I would have to say between the nineteen-twenties and the fifties. I feel that fashion was amazing then, and women were so elegant, and I think all over the world fashion was at its prime.

ABC: What’s your favorite design aesthetic?

SG: I would have to say an eclectic one. I don’t have a particular style, I create my own. I’m definitely into a bohemian look, as far as interior design goes. I like art deco and art nouveau architecture, gothic architecture,—the idea of mixing elements of these aesthetics together. I also like bright colors. My own apartment is designed in this way. It’s very retro-inspired. Much of my furniture is antique, from the 1800s or early twentieth century, but I also bring back textiles and fabrics when I go to visit family in El Salvador.

ABC: What are some of your favorite stones and stone applications?

SG: I love all of the semi-precious stones that ABC has to offer: especially the Amethyst, Pyrite, Tiger Eye, and Malachite. The Blue Agate is beautiful. Then we have a granite that’s really stunning, Lemurian, which has elements of labradorite. And we also have Amazonite which has a turquoise appearance to it which I love. I’m very much into earthy, rich jewel-tones. My favorite applications include functional art, for example, we had a tub done in Lilac marble which I thought was stunning. I like book-matched marble, especially on walls, but not so much in commercial spaces, more residences; I think it’s beautiful, an art piece in itself, it needs no additional adornment, it becomes the focus of attention in whatever room it’s in.

Sueey Gutierrez’s Art Show Closing on Sunday, August 27th from 2PM—5PM, will be hosted by Treme Islip | 533 Main St | Islip, NY | 11751.

Perkins Eastman’s and Thomas Balsley Associates’ Flushing Commons Phase I nears completion

Three years into ground-breaking of Flushing, Queens’ $1BM megaproject Flushing Commons, the development now welcomes its first residents, with closings underway for a few months now at the project’s 17-storey condo at 138-35 39th Avenue. The overall 1.8M SqFt development is a collaboration between the F&T Group, AECOM Capital, and the Rockefeller Group; the building’s architects, and landscape architects, our good friends and longtime collaborators Perkins Eastman, and Thomas Balsley Associates, respectively. Amenities for residents will include a landscaped garden, fitness center, residents lounge (with fireplace), a playground, and a dog park. In keeping with the project’s aim of community-building, Phase II of the project will comprise three additional mixed-use structures comprising commercial, retail, residential, and community space, surrounded by 1.5 acres of public space.

Studio Gang’s 21,K SqFt Brooklyn FDNY training facility

The precast concrete firehouse and training center for FDNY’s Brooklyn Rescue Company 2 sits at 1815 Sterling Place, on the border of Crown Heights and Brownsville. The 21,K SqFt structure, designed by our friends at Studio Gang, will allow firefighters to simulate rescue scenarios for training purposes, – such as those in which they have to deal with the obstacles of balconies, stairs, and ladders. The facility itself is energy efficient, with a green roof, and geothermal system 500 feet belowground. Though the building is largely in place, having topped out, one year into construction, it is awaiting the red glazed tiling that will frame its windows and other openings, and is about a year away from the completion. This $32M project is being constructed through NYC’s Department of Design and Construction.

Another monumental Frankenmansion in the works on the UES (to be helmed by Steven Harris Architects)

Pending approval by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, a townhouse conversion will combine two existing UES homes, at 53 and 55 East 92nd Street, into a megamansion. Our friends at Steven Harris Architects, heading up the project, were responsible for the conversion of the buildings covering 85-89 Jane Street into a large mansion, which bodes well for LPC approval. The plan is to convert 53 and 55 E 92nd into a six-storey, 11,K SqFt home with a basketball court, gym, sauna, rec room, screening room, front terrace (with a hot tub), “yoga pavilion” and a full-floor master suite with his-and-hers dressing rooms. The LPC comes into play because the homes lie within the Carnegie Hill Historic District. But the firm intends to retain and restore the facades of buildings with period-appropriate details, which should be interesting because there are two of them and this is to be one house; already Scrooge McDuck and Rich Uncle Pennybags have each put in offers.

HOK unveils new renderings of a rebuilt LaGuardia Airport

Last year, J.D. Power undertook a survey of 36,000 air-travelers which showed that LaGuardia is one of the five worst airports in America. But as New Yorkers we know it is, in fact, much worse than all of that. But have no fear, help is on the way, in the form of our friends at HOK. New renderings of the Delta terminal have been revealed as part of a $4B project to improve LaGuardia Airport: They depict a serene environment with Jeff Koons sculptures, extensive interior landscape architecture, and a bridge with moving sidewalks enclosed in glass. Interestingly, Delta Airlines is providing 3.4 of 4 billions in question, albeit that the project is fundamentally a New York state government policy initiative.

FXFOWLE’s 3 Hudson Boulevard May Be Hudson Yards’ Tallest Building

New renderings of the firm’s LEED Platinum 3 Hudson Boulevard show the addition of a proposed 350 foot spire, which would make 3 Hudson the tallest building in the Hudson Yards development when complete, and one of the tallest in the city. The building, formerly known as The Girasole, will/would reach a total of 1,350 feet, making it only 47 feet shorter than Rafael Viñoly’s 432 Park Avenue, which is the tallest residential building in the world, and second tallest building in NYC. 1,050 feet of the building will be inhabitable, comprising 1.8M SqFt spread throughout 66 storeys. The project, designed by our friends at FXFOWLE, is being developed by Moinian Group; preparatory construction and work on the foundation began last May and a completion date has yet to be announced. The building will offer high ceilings, column-free floor plates, and 360° views.

Rafael Viñoly’s 125 Greenwich Street gets new rendering

While original plans for 125 Greenwich had it poised to top off at 1,400 feet, becoming lower Manhattan’s tallest residential building, a finalized rendering for the project has the finished product standing 912 feet, which is still obviously very tall. The rejigged plan and rendering have come on the heels of the building’s developers, Bizzi & Parnters and New Valley, acquiring a $450M loan for the project, designed by our friends at Rafael Viñoly Architects. The latest in a swathe a super-skinny supertalls beginning to populate the NYC skyline, the building will offer exceptional views and a wind-resistant design. There will be 72 floors, with 273 units diffused among 350,K SqFt of residential space. The interiors are unique: with parallelogrammatic floor plates, and virtually no interior columns. Units facing west will have rounded corners with pitched windows. Furthermore, and unusually, the residence’s top three floors will host amenities, including fitness and spa facilities, squash courts, conference rooms, a library, game area, demo kitchen, tech bar, and grotto.

ODA New York’s modern take on a townhouse in Williamsburg

Friends of ABC Stone ODA New York’s Casetta (Italian “cottage” or “bungalow”) at 630-632 Lorimer Street features giant abacuses for exterior panels, which can, interestingly, be configured to provide shade, as well as privacy. Twelve apartments make up this unorthodox variation upon a townhouse, including two two-bedroom duplexes spanning the first and second storeys, each with its own 1,080 SqFt garden; and two penthouses, each with two balconies, and private rooftop terraces. To complement the stark, angularity of the building’s façade are uniformly chiaroscuro interiors characterized by clean lines and virtually no color other than white and grey. Other notable features: floor-to-ceiling windows, custom kitchen cabinetry, deep soaking tubs in bathrooms, and a communal rooftop terrace (in addition to the two aforementioned).

Studio Gang Architects’ Hive at the National Building Museum​​

Frequent ABC Stone collaborator Studio Gang, headed by Jeanne Gang, is a prominent Chicago- & NYC-based interdisciplinary A+D firm continually undertaking vital and important projects, of which this is one. For their contribution to Washington, D.C’s National Building Museum‘s Summer Block Party installation series, entitled Hive, the studio have turned the museum’s main hall into a… [that’s right, you guessed it]. Comprised of three oculus-topped chambers of stacked silver and magenta-wound paper tubes, the hives were inspired by the Hall’s infamous acoustics issues: the vast open space has nothing of off which sound might bounce so being in it is very much like standing in a field. Sound physics is a very complex discipline – for example, even temperature can effect sound dynamics in a space; – but one with which A+D’s must needs directly engage, either obliquely or directly depending on the nature of the project: this even extends to the consideration of building materials depending on whether they are more or less dense, &c. That Gang is addressing the acoustics issues often created by beautiful architecture in this unorthodox manner is less a curio than it is a glimpse of a way forward for how architects might in the future think about and address matters related to sound.