06 Nov Creative paving – Tell a story. Make a difference. Make it beautiful.
The technical aspects of installing clay pavers can be taught. Creative paving comes with experience.
Technical installation involves, among other things, measurements and geometry, along with the skill of knowing how to lay a proper foundation and how to cut materials and place them properly. Taking a class and better yet, working alongside a seasoned pro, can lead to mastery of those skills.
Creativity doesn’t necessarily come in a training session, but rather by observing what others have done successfully.
Three good examples are three projects that used Pine Hall Brick products, which were among hardscape projects in the United States and Canada to be honored during an awards ceremony at the 2018 Hardscape North America (HNA) trade show on Oct. 18.
The projects are Freedom Walkway in Rock Hill, S.C., which won for clay brick commercial project; Flats East Bank in Cleveland, OH, which won for clay brick permeable project; and a residential driveway in May’s Landing, N.J., which won an honorable mention for a clay brick residential project.
The awards honored the contractors who built the projects. They are Scott Michaud and Unit Paving Inc. of Charlotte, N.C. which built Freedom Walkway; Ben Ali and Royal Landscape-Gardening of Garfield Heights, Ohio, which built Flats East Bank; and Frank Lomangino of Tough Turf LLC of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., which built the residential driveway project.
What, then, are the takeaways for designers and installers?
For creative paving, tell a story, make a difference and make it beautiful.
Tell a story
Freedom Walkway, which won in the Clay Brick – a Commercial category in the Hardscape North America contest, also won a Silver Award in the Brick Industry Association contest earlier this year. The installation commemorates a sit-in by college students during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.
The City of Rock Hill designated a space for a public walkway between a historic building and a new development, providing a critical pedestrian connection in the Old Town area of downtown.
Landscape architect Laurel Holtzapple, principal of Charlotte-based groundworks studio, researched the history of what had gone on there to tell the story through the design.
The walkway honors the Friendship 9, who were students at the now-closed Friendship Junior College. The students integrated the McCrory’s lunch counter in 1961 and were arrested for trespassing. The design references the reopening of the court docket book in 2015, vacating their trespassing convictions.
The project had its beginnings in a deteriorated former Woolworth’s building, not far from the lunch counter where the sit-in took place. Roof damage and years of neglect left the 1916-era building too dilapidated to restore. Plans were developed to demolish the building for a mix of retail and apartments with a public walkway connecting a parking lot to the business district.
On the ground, curving patterns of clay pavers flow through the walkway, leading visitors on a journey. The nine cylinders of gray granite represent the stools that the Friendship 9 sat on; swirling blue spiral mosaic patterns within the field of pavers represent the turbulence of the era; the boulders within the walkway represent obstacles in the path of those seeking freedom and justice.
Make a difference
The Flats East Bank, which won an HNA award for Clay Brick – Permeable, is an expansive warehouse district on the waterfront of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio.
It is now the site of $750 million in development, including an 18-story office tower, a hotel, a fitness club, and local restaurants. Additionally, it has a 241-unit high-end apartment building, a fitness club, and entertainment venues.
Central to tie the whole project together is an extensive riverwalk, made of StormPave permeable pavers, which were installed to address stormwater management requirements. Many cities are now requiring commercial projects to treat stormwater on site, to keep pollutants on the ground from washing into nearby rivers.
StormPave pavers have nibs to create space in between the pavers. Rainwater enters the system and is collected by aggregates underneath, where it is naturally filtered into the groundwater below, or captured for use as irrigation.
The placement of a means to improve water quality is particularly significant here because the Cuyahoga was the site of a fire on an oil slick in the middle of a shipping channel almost 50 years ago. The fire and the coverage surrounding it are both credited with beginning a chain of events that led to new federal regulations to protect the environment.
Jeremy Hinte, RLA, a landscape architect in the Cleveland-based firm Behnke Associates, said that the pavers succeeded both in emulating the red-brick buildings used in the historic warehouse district and at the same time, fulfilled environmental regulations.
Notably, the efforts to clean up the Cuyahoga watershed are showing signs of success. At about the same time that the latest phase of Flats East Bank was opened, researchers on the Cuyahoga found a walleye ten miles south of Lake Erie, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Installing permeable pavers is a continuation of the watershed’s cleanup.
Make it beautiful
A residential project, a driveway in May’s Landing, New Jersey, won an Honorable Mention in the Clay Brick – Residential category.
In many residential driveway projects, installers start out with a soldier course, then use a herringbone, which effectively spreads out the forces of vehicles driving across it.
That’s not how it is when the homeowner is also a masonry contractor, who after decades of experience, knows how to figure out the angles in a brick wall – and turns to a friend in the segmental paving business who knows how to translate it to a horizontal installation on the ground, also know as a chevron pattern.
Using a Pine Hall classic rumbled full range paver, the design uses a double row soldier course to add width and combines 4” by 8” conventional pavers and 4” by 12” plank pavers in an alternating chevron pattern.
Frank Lomangino is the owner of Tough Turf LLC, who installed this driveway at a client’s home in Mays Landing, New Jersey this spring. Lomangino is quick to say that the design is beautiful, but he can’t take credit for it. The house belongs to Darrin Pantalone, who owns Pantalone Construction, a longtime masonry contractor in the area. Pantalone came up with the design of the driveway. Lomangino installed it.
“He’s pretty creative,” said Lomangino. “He’s been around the industry for a long time.”
So has Lomangino. He’s been in the segmental paving business since 1988 and with self-deprecating humor says that if he’s had enough time to figure it out by now and if he hasn’t, it’s time to go into another line of work.
At 6,000 square feet, the project is sand-set over concrete. The complicated design pattern required great attention to detail around the numerous angles of the driveway entrance as well as keeping the lines straight.
The brick driveway tied in nicely with the brick accents in the stone columns and side walls surrounding the project, contributing to a design that blends both traditional and newer design elements seamlessly. The installation was complicated further by featuring a new plank size of paver blended with a traditional size, but the contractor made it look easy.
The takeaway? Go the extra mile. Mix sizes, patterns, and colors to get a beautiful outcome. Take a picture of it and use it to sell your services to another client.