The bold, backlit, glass-front registration desk at the InterContinental Dallas is just one of the dramatic symbols of the hotel's new, $25 million makeover.
The 3-year project, designed by ForrestPerkins, included renovations of the grand lobby, a new restaurant and bar, over 75,000 square feet of ballrooms and meeting areas, as well as 32 executive bi-level suites.
The Design Challenge
ForrestPerkins particularly wanted to create a sense of arrival to welcome hotel guests in the grand lobby. Key to achieving this was using backlit stone as a lead design element throughout, from the registration desk, lobby and bar area through to the elevator interiors.
While natural stone was the first choice, the ForrestPerkins' team recognized there were several limitations associated with using natural stone such as weight, integrity of material, control of continuity and cost.
The hotel owner had fallen in love with a vein cut warm honey onyx, but it was only available in a 3” X 9” tile due to its integrity.
ForrestPerkins Interior Designer Toby Bishop said, “Much of our design defied natural geology. We needed to create something that didn’t exist, something that could meet all of the challenges we faced and still appear to be a natural material.”
Bishop was especially concerned about the weight of the stone, particularly in the elevator interiors which have strict weight limitations.
The stone’s thickness presented another challenge when ForrestPerkins tried to backlight it; the onyx just wasn’t translucent enough for the desired glowing effect.
The Convenience of ViviStone
Fortunately, around this time, Forms+Surfaces launched ViviStone, an architectural glass that unites the beauty of stone with the convenience of glass. Nearly indistinguishable from real stone, the graphic interlayers of this revolutionary product are ultra-sharp, full-scale representations of stones hand-selected from quarries around the world.
And, to make it easier to design with ViviStone, we developed an online application called the Virtual Quarry (www.virtualquarry.com), which allows users to select from one of our stone families, then choose from a library of ViviStone “slabs” and configure them to meet their design needs.
While we offer a number of standard stone variations, we were able to work with ForrestPerkins to create a Honey Onyx that matched the stone the hotel owner had selected.
Bishop said, “Natural stone is beautiful, but you don’t have much control over what you get. With ViviStone, we were able to custom create the 'stone' we wanted to see throughout the space. And if anything ever needs to be replaced, we can go back and order the exact same piece.”
Besides offering better translucency than stone, ViviStone is also much lighter, making it ideal for meeting elevator weight restrictions. It is also easier to remove and relamp a fixture if a light goes out, and to clean and maintain.
“ViviStone was a perfect solution for us,” said Bishop.
ViviStone Honey Onyx is now featured prominently throughout the InterContinental Dallas. The glass was used in the registration desk and bar front and illuminated by a bright array of LEDs. It can also be seen in the narrow wall sconces, built into square walnut columns, which are lit with softer cold cathode lights.
The entire lobby area now has a warm and inviting glow from the illuminated panels.
ViviStone also fills the upper insets in the LEVELe elevator interiors, carrying the design theme throughout the space.
Bishop said, “ViviStone is the common thread throughout the hotel and it exceeded my expectations. It is truly one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in a long time and really made this project.”
If you’d like the beauty of stone with the convenience of glass, ask about using ViviStone for your next project. Visit us at www.forms-surfaces.com to learn more.