In early March, Baltic Stone team presented some of natural stone types used in interior decoration for the architects of ArchDesign studio. The design professionals became particularly interested in gemstones. According to the team leader Akiko Tutlys, it is important to offer the clients not only an original project, but also an interesting material. When working with architectural projects of different proportions and purposes, it is advantageous to have a wide choice of materials and as diverse a colour palette as possible.
The ArchDesign team uses a variety of natural stones in their projects, especially granite, marble and quartzite. For example, in the interior of the Fireplace House, grey marble was used for the fireplace decor. One of the client's main wishes was for a large and cosy fireplace in the centre of the living space. Miglė Šalnaitė fulfilled this request by selecting a grey marble finish to match the neutral style of the house and its antique elements.
During the presentation, we spent most of the time discussing exotic stone types, as they were of particular interest to the architects. Otherwise known as semi-precious stones, gemstone slabs are either solid or made up of smaller stones of the same type placed side by side and glued together with a special sealant. When translucent exotic stone slabs are illuminated from the other side, a spectacular pattern emerges. Imagine blue agate, purple amethyst, pink quartzite, polished to a brilliant shine, three metres high and one and a half metres wide. Red jasper, greenish amazonite, brownish-orange tiger's eye, fossilised wood slabs look dramatic. Each slab is a unique work of art created by nature.
For another ArchDesign project, a greenish Emerald Quartzite was particularly suitable. Harder than granite, quartzite stone often surprises with fabulous colours and patterns, which are the result of the impurities in other rocks. Against a greenish background, the flames of fire look even more spectacular. The emerald quartzite fireplace, which has become the centrepiece of the interior, matches the cedar panelling and clay plaster used in the same project. This translucent natural stone can be greenish, bluish, but also pink and purple. The authors of the project with the quartzite fireplace are architects Akiko Tutlys and Jūratė Norkutė.
The ArchDesign professionals were also impressed by the examples of sintered stone. The team has already completed a number of projects using this hardest type of engineered surface, in Lithuania also known as artificial granite. Only a few companies produce large-format slabs of sintered stone, which requires special technologies that replicate the heat and pressure of the earth's depths. These extreme conditions produce a material that is extremely hard, completely natural and resistant to environmental impacts. The most popular brands of sintered stone are Neolith, Dekton and Lapitec.
Sintered stone worktops decorate the homes of a few clients of ArchDesign architects Miglė Šalnaitė and Vida Miškūnaitė Jarošienė. The unique feature of one of these interiors - a subtle and elegant combination of different natural materials: textured dark wood, mirrors, grey stone, black metal. The texture and composition of sintered stone is the closest to natural stone, and the range of colours and patterns is extensive.
Acrylic solid surface is almost a standard feature in modern interiors, so we haven't done without a discussion of this material. ArchDesign has been using acrylic solid surface in its projects for years. Corian, Meganite, Staron acrylic stone brands are popular in Lithuania, but there are others. This material differs significantly in its properties from quartz, ceramic, sintered stone. Acrylic solid surface becomes flexible at high temperatures, so it can be used to form sinks of any shape and non-standard, wavy surfaces. The sinks fabricated from acrylic stone can be integrated into the worktop without visible seams and joints. Such seamless surfaces are very convenient in kitchens and bathrooms. The material has the necessary hygiene certificates and can be used in restaurants, medical institutions and hotels.
The ArchDesign team used acrylic solid surface in the design of the Tower Spa pool area in Vilnius. The spa was built into the large courtyard of the complex, underground, between the buildings, while the historic basements of the buildings around the perimeter were used for treatments, changing rooms, showers and other support facilities. According to Akiko Tutlys, the irregular shapes and limited size of the rooms in the authentic basements were a challenge. It was necessary to find technically feasible solutions that met both the client's high aesthetic requirements and the technical building regulations, while preserving the authenticity of the precious historic buildings.
Finally, we talked about the stone fabricators located in various Lithuanian cities. Most of them work not only with natural stone, but also with all types of artificial stone types. It's easy to find stone companies on the interactive map of Lithuanian stone fabricators.