August 1, 2012

Charles Luck Opens LEED Gold Showroom

Chalres Luck president Anderson McNeill and Charles Luck IV at the studio's opening. Photo by Michael Kress.

Charles Luck president Anderson McNeill and Charles Luck IV at the studio’s opening. Photo by Michael Kress.

A balmy breeze blew off the C&O Canal and a stone beacon cast a welcoming glow over historic cobblestones and new bluestone earlier this summer, beckoning Washington, DC, design scenesters to architectural stone supplier

Charles Luck Stone Center

‘s newest outpost. Sipping elderberry Champagne cocktails and nibbling mini fig-anise duck burgers, a crowd of what president Anderson McNeill calls “style-minded stone fanatics” toasted the new kid on the block in Cady’s Alley, the contemporary design promenade in Georgetown.

Showroom opening attendees. Photo by Michael Kress.Showroom opening attendees. Photo by Michael Kress.

Showroom opening attendees. Photo by Michael Kress.

Despite the small footprint of the 700-square-foot building, Luck’s team pursued sustainable strategies aiming to achieve LEED Silver certification and eventually Gold. They achieved all 67 points they pursued, surpassing the 60-point minimum. To be closer to the design community and cater to urban customers, the Virginia-based natural stone purveyor spent six months transforming a 19th-century stable into a LEED-certified storefront, its first metro-area showroom. Sustainable Design Consulting incorporated energy-saving heating, air conditioning, ventilation, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, and other features including collecting recyclables to divert from landfills.

The 19th-century facade. Photo by Michael Kress.

The 19th-century facade. Photo by Michael Kress.

The two-story building’s cozy ground-level space employs Charles Luck products as functional design elements rather than contrived vignettes. In the entry, visitors are greeted by a herringbone quartzite  (“Roman Road”) floor and the company’s signature “Datum Wall,” a blend of oak run and clearstream sandstone quarry blocks, complete with pin and feathering marks. To the right, the pantry backsplash is clad in a linear mosaic of trademark Struttura Notte, a cut, tumbled, and acid-washed Nero Marquina marble veneer that contrasts nicely with a creamy white counter of rare Tuscan Calacatta Gold marble. A feature wall comprises 108 slabs from the Charles Luck collections — furniture and accessories, terraces and pathways, and exterior walls and fireplaces – and is a visual and tactile delight.

Design professionals and clients can perch on aluminum stools, sip cappuccino, and pore over samples at bar-height tables topped with rectangular slabs of honed soapstone, which were inspired by Thomas Edison’s lab. This neutral environment,” says McNeill,  “is indeed like a laboratory—a blank slate, so to speak –where things can be imagined, created, and designed.”

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