Fashion by Waterjet

Stone World - August, 1994

Sixteen medallions were included in the Phipps' design.

Sixteen medallions were included in the Phipps' design.

we were shipping was a very sophisticated jigsaw puzzle. Many of the cut shapes were more than 7 feet long (2.1 m) with thin wedges, making them quite fragile. Due to that, we had to come up with special crating designs to ensure the material would be safe while in transit. This project was a learning experience for us."

To further enhance the medallions, inlaid brass letters were positioned in 4-foot (1.2 m) central discs made from Black Absolute. Precision waterjet cutting resulted in grout lines never wider than 1/6 inch (4 mm) giving an aristocratic, monolithic look to Phipps Plaza's overall floor. "Shoppers are actually walking on one-of-a-kind art that could only have been done with high technology waterjet machines," Mr. Aalto said.■

Designed by the architectural firm of Thompson, Ventulett, Stainbeck and Associates, Phipps Plaza of Atlanta mixed stone with state-of-the-art technology to distinguish it in the retail sector. Sixteen stone floor medallions ranging from 8 to 120 inches (20.3 x 304.8 cm) in diameter, are situated at various focal points throughout the mall.

Creative Edge Corporation (CEC) of Fairfield, IA, the nation's largest waterjet fabricator, was contracted to cut and assemble these medallions. According to Harri Aalto, ASID, co-owner of CEC, "This was an incredibly challenging project for us. In the case of Phipps, we were given very specific parameters. Approved designs were handed to us up front. Our customers were very emphatic that the upscale look of this plaza was to be very evident in each of the stone floor medallions. We were requested to make them as close to perfection as was humanly possible.

"First of all, the medallions were cut from 3/4 -inch-thick (2 cm) slabs consisting of more than 15 different marble and travertine colors," Mr. Aalto continued. "We had instructions to keep the grout lines as small as we possibly could. Brass letters were included in the original designs, as were requests to ship each medallion in tagged pieces to make it easier for the contractor to install. Last, we were asked to turn this job around in four to six weeks after we received the stone material."

The stones specified included Amarillo, Verde Antique, White Carrara, Negro Marquina and various tones of travertine. "We shipped the cut material in individual pieces, with numbers on the back of each piece," explained Jim Belilove, president of CEC. "In essence, what