Recognizing Excellence in the Stone Industry

Pinnacle award winnersThe Marble Institute of America announced the winners of the 2012 Pinnacle Awards competition during its annual Awards Luncheon, held during StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2013. This year, there were so many notable projects recognized that we are presenting the awards in two parts.

The Pinnacle Awards recognize excellence in commercial, residential, sustainability and renovation/restoration of natural stone projects worldwide.  Projects selected as winners must demonstrate exceptional beauty, creativity, ingenuity, and craftsmanship in the use of granite, marble, travertine, limestone, and other natural stones.  The competition is open to MIA members around the world.  

During the Awards Luncheon, the MIA also presented the 5th annual Grande Pinnacle Award, sponsored by Marmomacc. A Grande Pinnacle Award was also presented to the architect involved with the winning project. The 2012 Grande Pinnacle Award winner is:

Grazzini Brothers & Company of Eagan, Minnesota for the amazing interior work on the Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Challenged with adding a large structure to a much-beloved place, a strategy was developed that protected and enhanced the cemetery’s historic landscape.  At the mausoleum’s entry, an intricately patterned white mosaic rendered in infinite loops across white billowing surfaces re-imagines the historic 1910 Lakewood Chapel’s colorful mosaic interiors. 

The interior committal space is clad with Alabama White marble walls. Horizontal bands of split-faced gray granite tie the structure to the earth. Bronze doors usher visitors into a serene space of mahogany walls, marble floors and abundant daylight.  

Throughout, the contrast of textures - light and dark, rough and smooth, rustic and refined - calls upon both visual and tactile senses to offer a peaceful place for contemplation and remembrance.  At this cherished haven within the city, architectural progress meets history with grace and a newfound vitality.   

The architectural firm of HGA Architects of Minneapolis, Minnesota was also presented with a Grande Pinnacle Award for the Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum.  

The 2012 Pinnacle Award winners are:

  • Commercial Exterior Award of Excellence  and Grande Pinnacle Interior Award of Excellence to Cold Spring Granite, Cold Spring, MN for the Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum in Minneapolis, MN.
  • Commercial Exterior Award of Excellence to Port Morris Tile & Marble, Bronx, NY for the National September 11 Memorial in New York, NY.
  • Residential Interior/Exterior Award of Excellence to Picasso Tile & Stonework of Tempe, AZ for the Desert Courtyard in Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Residential Interior/Exterior Award of Excellence to Stones and Roses International Co. Ltd. of Samutprakam, Thailand for the Muang Thong Thani Residence in Samutprakam, Thailand.
  • Renovation/Restoration Award of Excellence to Rugo Stone, LLC, of Lorton, VA for the Saint John the Apostle Catholic Church in Leesburg, VA.
  • Renovation/Restoration Award of Excellence to Tennessee Marble Company of Friendsville, TN for the Harris County 1910 Courthouse Restoration in Houston, TX.
  • Renovation/Restoration Award of Excellence to Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. of Houston, TX for the 1910 Courthouse Restoration in Houston, TX.
  • Commercial Interior Award of Merit to Twin Stone Designs & Installations, Inc. of Hollywood, FL for the St. Regis Spa in Miami Beach, FL.

The previous were all featured in the April issue of the Slippery Rock Gazette.

The remainder of the award-winning projects are featured throughout the May SRG.


Judges for the 2012 Pinnacle Awards competition were:

Mac Walcott of Walcott Adams Verneuille Architects in Fairhope, AL

Carter Quina, AIA of Quina Grundhoefer Architects in Pensacola, Fl

Christian R. Pongratz of Pongratz Perbellini Architects in Verona, Italy

Gasper (G.K.) Naquin, Immediate MIA Past President of Stone Interiors in Loxley, AL


Award of Merit: The Smith Center for Performing ArtsAWARD OF MERIT

Commercial Interior

The Smith Center for Performing Arts

Las Vegas, Nevada


Award of Merit: The Smith Center for Performing ArtsMIA Member Company: 

Intertile Natural Stone Surfaces

San Leandro, California

Stone Supplier

Superior Tile and Stone

San Leandro, California

Stone Installer

Other Project Team Members: 

David M. Schwarz Architects

Architectural Design

Whiting Turner

General Contractor


Fior di Pesco

Rosso Asiago


In search of a timeless and elegant design befitting a world class performing arts center, Myron Martin, President and CEO of the Smith Center, selected David M. Schwarz Architects’ Art Deco style, which incorporates 1930’s motifs and echoes the design elements of the nearby Hoover Dam.

Intertile Natural Stone Surfaces imported all the marble cut-to-size and ready for installation from Italy. The main floors are composed of light and dark polished Fior di Pesco in an alternating pattern. The walls are polished Rosso Asiago installed in book and diamond matched patterns.

The success of the project was largely due to the quality of Superior Tile and Stone’s engineering team, the accuracy of the fabrication and the skill of the masons, setters and finishers that installed the stone. 

The two Founders Walls were perhaps the most difficult aspect of coordination. Each wall is composed of eight perfectly aligned diamond matched panels. One is a curved wall in the concave rotunda entry. Custom fonts were developed for engraving over two thousand characters, and many of the founders’ names span more than one marble panel.


Award of Merit:Brickell World PlazaAWARD OF MERIT

Commercial Exterior

Brickell World Plaza

Miami, Florida


Award of Merit:Brickell World PlazaMIA Member Company: 

Titan Stone, LLC

Pompano Beach, Florida

Stone Contractor, Stone Installer

Other Project Team Members: 

Forum Group


RTKL Architects

Feature Wall Architect

Sasaki Associates

Exterior Plaza Designers

John Moriarity & Associates

General Contractor

Curtain Wall Design & Consulting (CDC)(MIA Member Company)

Stone Façade Engineering and Design


(MIA Member Company)

Feature Wall & Granite Site Work Fabricator


Coral Stone Site Work Fabricator


Cappuccino Mocha Quartzitic Limestone

Black Pearl Granite, Silver Pearl Granite

Palladium Coral Limestone


The 600 Brickell includes a high-rise office tower and 30,000 sq. ft. Brickell World Plaza. The development’s feature wall was envisioned to create a monumental relationship between the tower and the public plaza below. Stone was selected to remain durable, yet elegant over time, but also needed to have enough veining and contrast to appear as stone when viewed from below. 

As such, visually-linear Cappuccino Mocha quartzitic limestone was selected as the primary stone with Black Pearl granite surrounds. Three primary sections, each 52’ tall by 25’ wide, extend 100’ above the plaza—with 4 sub-sections separated by granite reveals. Installing book-matched and end-matched stones, Titan had to exercise extreme care, and no breakage occurred. 

Also, all perimeter edges were epoxied together requiring “blind” anchorage, achieved with a system designed by Titan and CDC to allow for last minute adjustments in three-piece anchor assemblies.

Flamed, brushed Silver Pearl granite provides a soft gray palette for the hard surfacing. With polished Silver Pearl for the cubic fountain weirs and planter copings, more dramatic color was exposed. The Black Pearl fountain flooring creates a visual link to the feature wall above.


Award of Merit: Masterpiece of Saddle RiverAWARD OF MERIT

Residential Interior/Exterior

Masterpiece of Saddle River

Upper Saddle River, New Jersey


Award of Merit: Masterpiece of Saddle RiverMIA Member Company: 

Award of Merit: Masterpiece of Saddle RiverCreative Edge Master Shop, Inc.

Fairfield, Iowa

Waterjet/Stone Fabricator

Other Project Team Members: 

Kevo Corp

Stone Installer, General Contractor

Levantina USA, Inc.

(MIA Member Company)

Nasco Stone & Tile

Stone Suppliers

Aalto Design

Kevo Corp



Crema Marfil, Emperador Dark,

Jerusalem Gold, Indus Gold,

Quetzel Green, French Vanilla


Developer George Kevo collaborated with Creative Edge Master Shop, Inc., and Aalto Design to design and fabricate floors for a French chateau masterpiece home.

A project of this nature requires meticulous care and excellent craftsmanship. Both developer George Kevo and Harri Aalto, President of Aalto Design, have discerning eyes and discriminating tastes.

Working together, Harri Aalto was able to interpret and add his design style to George’s idea. Their collaboration yielded floors containing over 20 colors and over 2,200 ft. of stunning artistry.

Some of the stones used in this project were Crema Marfil, Emperador Dark, Jerusalem Gold, Indus Gold, Quetzel Green and French Vanilla. Design and colors were carefully chosen following the developer’s interior decorations. After a month of designing and programming, Creative Edge Master Shop, Inc. fabricated and shipped over 40,000 pieces of preassembled stone flooring for installation.


Award of Merit: Cleveland Museum of ArtAWARD OF MERIT


Cleveland Museum of Art

Cleveland, Ohio


Award of Merit: Cleveland Museum of ArtMIA Member Company: 


Quebec, Canada

Stone Supplier, Stone Fabricator

Other Project Team Members: 

Rafael Vinoly Architects


Cleveland Marble Mosaic Co.

(MIA Member Company)

Stone Installer

Sasaki Associates

Exterior Plaza Designers

Panzica Construction Company

General Contractor


White Cherokee Marble

Newton Brown Granite


Museums may be rooted in time, but growth calls for contemporary transitions. In 1999, New York-based firm Rafael Vinoly Architects took on the challenge to expand and renovate the Cleveland Museum of Art, while keeping in mind the historic significance of the museum’s existing design.

A strict adherence to the team’s preservation goals resulted in Polycor providing the building’s original marble, White Cherokee, from its quarry in Tate, Georgia. Once quarried, the fabrication and finishing of pieces required acute attention to detail to maintain the integrity of the original design, including following the original specifications of the project from 1916. 

The team relied on existing structures, in addition to the building’s original drawings and photographs from that era, to ensure accuracy in recreating molding and intricate details through the project. 

Central to the expansion project was the use of original materials specified in 1916. White Cherokee was therefore complemented by Newton Brown granite from Quebec, Canada. The final product is considered to be the largest cultural project in all of Ohio.


Award of Merit: Krungthep Kreetha ResidenceAWARD OF MERIT

Residential Interior/Exterior

Krungthep Kreetha Residence

Bangkok, Thailand


Award of Merit: Krungthep Kreetha ResidenceMIA Member Company: 

Stone and Roses International Co. Ltd.

Samutprakam, Thailand

Stone Supplier, Stone Fabricator

Stone Installer

Other Project Team Members: 

Silom Furniture Co. Ltd.


General Contractor

Interior Architects 49 Limited



Blue Grey Slate


The design of the living room in this residence continues the non-orthogonal concept of the external architecture.

The facets enhance the modernity and underline the light beams entering the room from the south west side.

The stone color reacts and contrasts in relation to the angle and orientation to the main natural light source in an array of hues of greys, greens and blues. The continuation of the stone pattern from the outside to the inside emphasizes the flow of the light.

Stones and Roses International (SRI) started this challenging piece of work from a general elevation. The first step consisted in building a 3d model in particle board. Then SRI followed through with the 3d Auto-CAD drawing of the stone wall. 

Folding the stone along the facets involved the drawing of more than 40 sections which were later assembled at precise angles. The last step consisted in calculating the size and angle of each slab for production. 

SRI also designed and manufactured the steel structure which was erected parallel and recessed from the stone wall in order to receive the dry fixing anchors for the installation of the stone slabs.


Special Award Of Merit: The Annunciation at Ave Maria UniversitySPECIAL AWARD OF MERIT


The Annunciation at Ave Maria University

Ave Maria, Florida


Special Award Of Merit: The Annunciation at Ave Maria UniversityMIA Member Company: 

Special Award Of Merit: The Annunciation at Ave Maria UniversityTitan Stone, LLC

Pompano Beach, Florida

Stone Contractor

Other Project Team Members: 

Marton Varo

Annunciation Sculptor

Ave Maria University

General Contractor

Curtain Wall Design & Consulting (CDC)

(MIA Member Company) 

Stone Façade Engineering and Design


Carrara Marble


Ave Maria University staged a world-wide competition to solicit a work of art for the main entry niche of its existing stone-clad Oratory.

Sculptor Marton Varo submitted a design of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be carved from White Carrara Marble quarried from the still-active Cave Michelangelo, from which the marble for St. Peter’s famous Pieta was extracted.

To create this sculpture, Varo required over 120 tons of raw Carrara Marble blocks, which he selected from the quarry himself.

The configuration of the existing façade surround, projecting well beyond the face of the Oratory substrate, made it impossible to utilize a traditional crane configuration to hoist the sculpture.

As such, Titan Stone and CDC devised a counter-balanced beam trolley projecting from below the end of the crane outward so that the 7 feet wide by 7-1/2 feet tall pieces once hoisted to level could then be moved horizontally into place under the overhanging stone. 

Titan was also forced to provide a great deal of perimeter field cutting to achieve proper alignment within these difficult constraints.


Special Award Of Merit: MDA ExpansionSPECIAL AWARD OF MERIT


MDA Expansion

Tucson, Arizona


Special Award Of Merit: MDA ExpansionMIA Member Company: 

Las Vegas Rock Inc.

Jean, Nevada

Stone Supplier, Stone Fabricator

Special Award Of Merit: MDA ExpansionOther Project Team Members: 

Carpenter Sellars



General Contractor

Muscular Dystrophy Association



Stone Installer




The Rachel Ann Perkinson Center is a two story, 15,000 sq. ft. expansion of MDA’s national headquarters building and was built to the highest standards of “green” design and energy efficiency.

It was designed to fit into its natural desert surroundings and complement, rather than mimic, the bold architecture of the original building. The LEED® project achieved Gold-level certification.

The exterior and interior include polished desert stone cladding.

The stone acted as a unifying element between the natural surroundings and the architecture of the building.

The natural stone was a large contributor to the LEED Gold Certification. 

The use of this indigenous resource and its proximity of 500 miles to the job site reduced the environmental implications which typically result from the transportation involved on a project.

Las Vegas Rock is the only Silver Cradle-to-Cradle natural stone in the world.

There is zero waste in production – 100% of the Las Vegas Rock byproduct is re-purposed. 

These attributes along with the cradle-to-cradle certification allowed for another point in the LEED rating system for the Innovation in Design Credit.

Award Of Merit: Ocean Financial CentreAWARD OF MERIT

Commercial Interior

Ocean Financial Centre



MIA Member Company: 



Stone Supplier, Stone Fabricator

Other Project Team Members: 

Ocean Properties LLP


Award Of Merit: Ocean Financial CentrePelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Design Architect

Architects 61

Local Architect


Travertino Chiaro

(Light Classico Travertine)


M&G Contracts was tasked to fabricate and supply Travertino Chiaro from Italy for the feature wall of this prominent project.

The stones were carried along a continuous layout from the main lift lobby interior to the external walls, measuring 50 ft. high with a combined length of more than 656 feet.

The challenge was to follow the design intent of having vein-cut travertine presented in a continuous and seamless manner, so that it appears as though the walls were carved out directly from the quarry.

Blocks were pre-selected and inspected at the quarry to ensure that the size, color and veining were suitable for the project.

Fabrication was thoroughly planned, with each bundle of slabs from individual blocks marked and assigned to a specific ‘layer’ of each elevation according to their veining character, before further processing in a slab-matched sequence to ensure the continuous flow of the veins.

Finally, all the cut panels for each elevation were dry laid for approval, adjusted as required, and marked accordingly for installation.


Award Of Merit: El Paso Energy BuildingAWARD OF MERIT

Commercial Interior

El Paso Energy Building

Houston, Texas

Award Of Merit: El Paso Energy BuildingMIA Member Company: 

Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd.

Houston, Texas

Stone Contractor

Other Project Team Members: 

Epec Realty, Inc.


Gensler Architects


Gilbane Building Company

General Contractor/Client


Cold Spring Granite Company

(MIA Member Company)

Stone Fabricators


Sunset Red Granite, Victoria White Granite, 

Black Granite, Calacatta Gold Marble, 

Impala Black Granite


All 32 stories of the El Paso Energy Building received a renovation while the building remained fully occupied. A major feature of the redesign is the hanging radius glass walls that stretched over two floors surrounded by Callacatta Gold marble on the inside and Impala Black granite and Victorian White granite at the basement level and exterior.

CMS was responsible for the installation of 13,000 sq. ft. of flamed Sunset Red granite floors, 28,000 sq. ft. of flamed Victoria White granite floors and 2,000 sq. ft. of flamed Impala Black granite floors.

The 1st and 2nd floors consisted of 22,000 sq. ft. of polished Calacatta Gold marble, 1,000 sq. ft. of polished Impala Black granite and 100 sq. ft. of polished Victoria White granite. The sub-basement and the tunnel area consisted of 17,500 sq. ft. of granite. 

CMS was also responsible for the procurement and installation of 8,000 sq. ft. of quarry floor tile, 40,000 sq. ft. of white glazed wall tile, 2,000 sq. ft. of grey porcelain floor tile, 1,000 sq. ft. of glass tile and 337 lavatory tops.