CaesarStone Designs Unique "Million Dollar" Quartz Surface Showrooms In San Francisco & Australia

SUN VALLEY, Calif. (Aug. 21, 2006) —CaesarStone, known throughout the world as the original manufacturer of quartz countertops, has built two “million dollar” showrooms designed to reach out to the architects and designers that use its products. The San Leandro, Calif. showroom’s grand opening is scheduled for Fall 2006 and the Australia showroom is now open to industry professionals. Architects in Northern California and Australia can now experience the versatility and beauty of CaesarStone quartz surfaces in showrooms designed to support their specific professional needs.

Built by award-winning architects Dan Brunn and William Smart, the remarkable showrooms display CaesarStone’s quartz surfaces, kitchen and bathroom countertop material that is up to 93 percent natural quartz and 7 percent polyresin. CaesarStone’s high-end product Concetto is also featured, the first handcrafted surface made with real semi-precious stones. From its visually appealing design to easy to access materials, the showrooms’ unique applications simplify the process of choosing a quartz surface for a kitchen or bathroom.

“As CaesarStone’s presence continues to grow in these markets, it’s imperative to provide the support that architects and designers need to be successful,” said Arik Tendler, president of CaesarStone. “These new showrooms are created with that one goal in mind. Our partnership with the industry professionals who use our materials is important to CaesarStone and we’ve incorporated that belief into the design of our new showrooms.”

SAN LEANDRO, CALIF. SHOWROOM
To design the San Leandro showroom, CaesarStone chose Dan Brunn, an up-and-coming, 28-year-old architect with an already impressive resume. After earning his bachelor’s in architecture from University of Southern California (USC), Brunn worked for award-winning firm John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects in Los Angeles. During his tenure, Brunn and his team received the prestigious National Institute Honor Award from the AIA for their work on the Los Angeles Design Center. In addition to earning his masters in architecture from Harvard University, Brunn has also taught architecture at Harvard, USC and the Boston Architectural Center.

One of Brunn’s goals for the new showroom was to mimic an at-home atmosphere by capitalizing on the existing windows and natural light, believing it a disservice to architects to design a showroom otherwise. Brunn also developed an efficient way to feature CaesarStone as a horizontal surface, instead of hanging it on the wall as in most stone showrooms. Displaying the surface horizontally allows architects and designers to test the material in the manner it will be installed, checking the reflections, light and contrast.

Another design challenge for Brunn was to come up with a clever way to showcase the more than 40 samples horizontally within a confined space. “The idea of a carousel came to mind,” said Brunn. “I stacked 40 slabs, measuring 4-feet by 1.5-feet, of different colors one on top of another, with a thrust ball bearing secured in the middle. This has become one of our unique showpieces. A designer can approach this sculpture and rotate to reveal his choice, or just play and make a new design with the pieces.”

The San Leandro showroom is visually driven by a white 150-foot long by 15-foot high wall that divides the showroom from the corporate offices. The main design element of the showroom, the massive white wall, is constructed from hundreds of wood laminate “fins,” which forms an abstract replica of raw, unprocessed quartz. Each of the pieces was custom cut to replicate the peaks and serrated edges of the stone.

Brunn explains. “I really wanted to exploit the length of the existing space, as well as incorporate the existing wood structure instead of hiding it. I find that it is more powerful to work with the existing conditions then to forcibly manipulate and hide them. I find the juxtaposition between the raw existing space and the new pristine space very dynamic.”

In addition to the quartz surface material, a backlit 8- by 10-foot wall of CaesarStone’s Concetto is immediately visible from the entrance. The large wall draws visitors into the Concetto lounge area where a stunning display of all eight varieties boldly highlights the handcrafted surface’s semi-precious stone content. Capitalizing on the translucence of the material, Brunn set each slab of Concetto atop a stainless steel shelf that also provides backlighting.

An ideal venue for parties and events, the San Leandro showroom also features a Macintosh computer station and is well equipped to service architects and the designers that visit the showroom. A completely functional kitchen will be used to provide architects with free professional cooking classes and wine tasting events. CaesarStone’s San Leandro showroom will be opened in Fall 2006 and is located at 2500 Teagarden Street, Unit A, San Leandro, Calif. 94577. The phone number is 800.203.5774.

ALEXANDRIA, NSW, AUSTRALIA SHOWROOM
Designed by William Smart of Smart Design Studio, the Alexandria showroom was described by Belle magazine as “much more art gallery than showroom.” Open to industry professionals as well as the general public, the CaesarStone showroom is a long thin space, oriented with activities along the long axis to draw visitors into the showroom and towards the back, where backlit panels are displayed in the conference room. The organization of the space is structured by a rhythm of slots in the polyurethane finished ceiling concealing the services. It then extends to the floor, where stainless steel grates punctuate the concrete slab. This attention to detail, integration of artwork and flexibility were the key factors governing the design of this beautiful CaesarStone showroom.

In addition to the showroom, Smart designed the corporate offices, which are separated from the main space by a series of frosted glass sliding panels, inscribed with a graphic representation of the actual quartz formula. The artwork, designed in collaboration with graphic artist, Marita Leuver, provides an effective counterpoint to the visual strength of the full height CaesarStone panels. For flexibility, all of the display tables are made as movable trolleys to accommodate the varying demands on the space, ranging from individual customers to large promotional functions.

About CaesarStone
CaesarStone is the original quartz surface manufacturer. The company is headquartered in Southern California with offices in Los Angeles, CA;, San Francisco, CA, San Diego, CA, Seattle, WA, Miami, FL and New York City. CaesarStone produces premium quartz surfaces, complementing any design application, from traditional to contemporary, for both home and commercial applications. Price range is from $70 to $120 per square foot installed. CaesarStone products are available through kitchen and bath retailers, fabricators, architects, designers, builders and distributors nationwide.

Offering a Lifetime Warranty as of February 15, 2008, their products are stain, scratch and heat resistant. CaesarStone has earned the respected Good Housekeeping Seal from Good Housekeeping Research Institute in addition to ISO 14001 (environmental management system), ISO 9002 (quality management standard) and NSF (public health and safety) certification.

For more information about CaesarStone and its products, please visit the company's website at www.CaesarStoneUS.com, or call toll-free 877-9QUARTZ (877-978-2789).