We received an inquiry from Vladimir Djurovic of VDLA early last year to ask for help with an exciting and challenging new project in London. The AKDN in Kings Cross, consisted of a number of gardens. Each garden was to give the feeling and aesthetic of a particular part of the world.
Gardens in this first building were to be a Moroccan/Lebanese theme. The patterns and colours needed to reflect this especially as our weather here would not..
There were to be two gardens here. On level 8 the design called for detailed mosaic, solid curved benches, ornate carving and a central water feature. The palette was red, white and grey for the mosaic and jet black for the water feature. On the lower level the specification called for very narrow planks of stone just 65mm wide and laid in an intricate interlocking pattern. The colour was to match the newly supplied but 'aged' London brick.
Before VLDA got much further along the specification trail and onto procurement suitability of materials and the budgets needed to be established. GDS appraised the specified stones and gave feedback. In the main despite the colours giving the desired look they were generally mesh backed slightly fractious limestones that, although popular and perfectly suitable for internal applications, would not be particularly good for this installation.
After much consideration and subsequent sampling we finally arrived at a solution. A mixture of sandstones and limestones and a chunk of granite would give the answer.
The stone selected had to be easy to clean so we wanted stones suitable in a honed finish. But also anti slip in the wet and of course frost resistant.
Level 8 Garden
The mosaic, Bretigny Limestone, Pietra Serena Sandstone and Red Sunset Sandstone achieved the colour combo and design concept required. And even more critically they all passed the slip resistant tests in a honed finish. The water feature needed a black stone. This was to be Zimbabwe Black Granite and was actually on the original specification. Permanently submerged this needed to be absolutely bullet proof especially with the water treatment system to consider.
Level 1 Garden
The solution for the stone that matched the London brick incredibly well was Crema Grande Limestone. This stone has a superb abrasion resistance and a scarcely believable slip resistance in honed finish considering its durability. Its colour range mirrored the brick perfectly - beige, buff brown and yellow - and in a honed finish, as with all the material specified - had no issues with maintenance.
All stones sourced were European, so environmentally sound too. It was a big challenge but worthwhile now the gardens are complete, look stunning and the client happy.