Specsheet: Architects' and designers' favorite surfaces

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Specsheet: Architects' and designers' favorite surfaces

The Architect’s Newspaper enlisted an array of architects and designers to share the interior surfaces, materials, and finishes that they return to time and again. Stay tuned next week for the second half!

Adam Snow Frampton
Principal, Only If

We seek to create unexpected combinations through materials that are often common, off-the-shelf, or industrial. For Voyager Espresso, we took oriented strand board (OSB) and painted it with aluminum enamel, which transformed it from an everyday material into something new. The texture of the OSB also plays off the veining of the adjacent black marble countertop. The contractor sourced very low-quality OSB that had lots of construction debris in it, like screws and bolts, but we liked that they looked like fossils embedded in stone.

Wayne Norbeck and Jordan Rogove
Partners and cofounders, DXA Studio

White Fantasy in leather finish is an elegant gray stone with an unexpected tactile quality. The subtle texture enhances the natural feel and touch of the stone, with the unique veins and movement offering a rugged but still smooth surface. The neutral variation in color on this stone also complements a wide range of other materials and works well in many different applications.

David Hacin
Principal, H+A/ Hacin + Associates

One of our favorite building materials is carefully crafted black steel as railings, hardware, counter surfaces, hooks, towel bars, etc. It’s an old-school
material that evokes the New England tradition of wrought iron and industrial metalwork but feels handmade and crafted when used in a more modern setting.

Stephanie Goto 
Founder, Stephanie Goto

Using materials in slightly unconventional ways has proved to be a successful approach. We are particularly drawn to the balance between the breadth of color palette and the resilience of the material Caesarstone. Not only do we specify Caesarstone for our chef’s kitchens where you may expect it, but we are also pushing the boundaries to apply the material to floors, walls, ceilings, and even furniture, at the same time.

Katie Shima
Designer, Situ Studio

My favorite material is spalted maple with a water-based finish. It’s a beautiful wood with a lot of character and can accept the wear and tear of use over time.

Cass Calder Smith
Principal/founder, CCS Architecture

There are two interior finish materials that I really like to use, and often together. The first is Calacatta marble—it’s luxurious, modern, classic, and sexy. The second is walnut, which is authentic and warm.