Mansions @ Acqualina Adapted from the Huffington Post

It’s hard to top the $55 million price tag of a new Miami penthouse — or its extravagant floor plan.
But the home’s cantilevered glass swimming pool, which appears to dangle from its 47th floor perch above Sunny Isles Beach at the Mansions at Acqualina, is giving the penthouse itself a run for its money.
In fact, just thinking about swimming in a glass-bottom pool with this view is making us feel a little faint. (Remember the one in Shanghai? Crazy.)
But some of that may be sticker shock. Billing itself as “the world’s finest penthouse,” Acqualina’s two-story Palazzo D’Oro (Palace of Gold) comes with just about every amenity and luxury furnishing imaginable: a pivoting wall entry, private sky-garden with a living wall, a 25-foot water fall, leather walls, maple paneling with inlay, a second reflecting pool that extends into the living room, a hydrotherapy area, and beyond.
Then there’s the staggering breadth of this place: 6 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms on two floors form a 15,500-square foot home with another 5,000 square feet of terrace with both ocean and city views — there’s even a dining terrace, in case the regular dining room and standard patio furniture just aren’t enough. Not to mention a terrace that’s just for the theatre room.
Curbed Miami reports that Palazzo D’Oro is the second most expensive listing in Miami overall, second only to the former Versace mansion, Casa Casuarina.

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5th Annual FNGLA & ASLA Landscape Architect Bus Tour

Join us. If you are a landscape architect please join us at Books and Books Coral Gables at 8:00 am on 3-15-13 for the 5th Landscape Architect Annual Bus Tour. CEUs will be provided. Guava smoked chicken at Pine Island Nursery.

Tour moderated by: Gustavo Santana of AECOM, Allyson Humphries of Larry’s Cap Rock and Stone & Sylvia Gordon of Landscapes by Sylvia Gordon

More details are forthcoming. Seats are limited. RSVP to: allyson@larryscaprockandstone.com

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Raymond Jungles

Raymond Jungles was just named as a new member of the stewardship council of The Cultural Landscape Foundation on December 21, 2012.

The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) is the only not-for-profit (501c3) foundation in America dedicated to increasing the public’s awareness and understanding of the importance and irreplaceable legacy of its cultural landscapes.

Through education, technical assistance, and outreach, we broaden awareness of and support for historic landscapes nationwide in hopes of saving this diverse and priceless heritage for future generations. While TCLF seeks donations to support its efforts, it is not a membership organization.

Raymond Jungles, FASLA, RLA, founded his landscape architecture firm soon after graduating with honors from the University of Florida in 1981. While attending college, he was introduced to the work of Brazilian artist and landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, whose book Tropical Gardens of Roberto Burle Marx, opened his eyes to the poetry of landscape design.

Mr. Jungles has thirty-one years of experience in the study and practice of landscape architecture. His passion for design and broad base of knowledge informs each and every project, from concept to completion. His past projects include 1111 Lincoln Road, an award-winning urban plaza in Miami Beach, Florida, the Brazilian Garden at Naples Botanical Garden in Naples, Florida, as well as many resort and private residential gardens in Florida, Antigua, Anguilla, the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, China, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and St. Kitts and Nevis.

Work by Mr. Jungles has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest, Ocean Drive, House Beautiful, Coastal Living and Garden Design, as well as his two monographs titled Ten Landscapes and The Colors of Nature: Subtropical Gardens by Raymond Jungles. He has served on multiple design and awards juries and has won noteworthy professional recognitions including professional design awards from the Florida and National Chapters of the ASLA.

Congrats Raymond.

Unlicensed & Uninsured Not Worth Risk

Hiring a contractor who is not bonded, insured and licensed if applicable is a risk you don’t want to take.

Contractors should carry two types of insurance: liability and workman compensation. As a homeowner these protect you in 2 ways. First, liability will protect you if the contractor causes damage to your home. What if the contractor has an employee injures on your property? If he or she doesn’t have workmans compensation, there is little likelihood your homeowners policy will.

Bonding is often confused for insurance but there is a notable difference. A bond is a guarantee that the contractor will perform the work. It is secured money which will be given to the homeowner in the event the contractor failed to perform the work.

Finally you want make to sure your contractor holds the appropriate licensing if its needed. Licensing offers proof that the contractor has met certain industry training standards.

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Columns

I drove by the Viceroy hotel in Miami this week and noticed the odd “Easter Island inspired” architectural columns, inspired by The Related Group’s founder and CEO Jorge Perez.

Then I fed my Pinterest addiction. I noticed David Bromstad of HGTV’s Design Star pins related to columns.

Both led me to share the following pictures. We can create almost any of these beautiful works of art in stone.

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What Is Limestone?

Slate and limestone also have water in common, at least when it comes to their formation. Slate is found in the ocean; likewise, limestone is found anywhere an ancient sea existed and can even be comprised entirely of marine fossils. Limestones are sedimentary rocks that form from the layering of silt and organic matter over time. The pressure and heat from the accumulation of layers results in chemical reactions that harden the sediments into solid stone.

Sometimes limestone is purely calcite from skeletal remains of marine life, but depending upon the nature of the silt (i.e., “impurities” like clay, sand, and iron oxide that may have contributed to its formation), limestone can vary in color, from the predominant grey color of many limestones to browns, yellows, or reds. The presence of carbon in the silt can also make limestone appear blue or black. Also, depending on the methods of formation and the types of deposits that accumulated, limestone can be found in crystalline, clastic (composed of fragments), granular (like sand), or massive slabs. This makes it a highly varied stone useful for many modern applications.

Limestone is typically composed of calcium carbonate, so it is soluble in acid. When crushed, it is soluble in water. As an alkali, it is great for adjusting the pH in a garden for vegetables that prefer less acidic soil. Limestone is also used in the water industry to soften water. It is employed in dyes (it is used to make paper white) and as an additive in paint, as well as in everyday items that we put into our bodies like toothpaste and antacids as a filler. It is also found in many of our favorite foods as a preservative and as a source of calcium, an essential mineral in our diets.

More commonly known uses of limestone are as aggregate or base for roads and foundations and for purification in many industries – to purify steel, to purify molten glass, and even to purify sugar. It is essential in other kinds of manufacturing as well: brake pads and wools for clothing also utilize limestone. One of the most common uses is in the production of Portland cement, which is the most common type of cement in use around the world. Limestone is the basic ingredient for concrete, mortor, stucco, and grout.

Because limestone is found in abundance and is easier to cut in comparison to some other natural stones, as well as because it is long-lasting and resistant to weather fluctuations, it is often found in the manufacture of buildings, either as building blocks or for facades. Limestone City in Canada actually derives its name from the sheer number of buildings made from limestone there!

Limestone certainly has many faces, but it finds a spot in our hearts for its uses in indoor and outdoor, commercial and residential applications. Its muted tones, whether polished or honed, are fit for bathrooms, fireplace facings and mantles, countertops, and flooring. (Limestone is very porous, so it doesn’t turn aside stains as easily as some other natural stones; therefore, when it comes to countertops and flooring, it must be finished and sealed properly or placed in areas that are less active.) Limestone slabs and tiles are also suited for landscaping applications in patios and walkways . They are especially eye-catching when defining garden borders, as both a salute to nature and a nod to limestone’s nutritional pedigree.

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DIY Christmas Gift With Stone

Forget your sleeve. Really put your heart out there. Hang it on your deck, balcony or wherever you want to share. Rock on

Step 1: Make the Outline
Step 2: Create the Shape
Step 3: Finishing Touches
TIME
One day COST
Under $25
Step 1: Make the Outline
Outline a heart shape in heavy-gauge wire. Using a pair of pliers, tie the points together with garden wire.

Step 2: Create the Shape
Place the heart shape over a double layer of chicken wire, and cut out a slightly larger heart with wire cutters. Tie the chicken wire to the wire frame with garden wire, leaving an opening through which to fill it.

Step 3: Finishing Touches
Fill the heart with pretty pebbles. (Try large, colored glass pebbles if you want to up the bling factor.) Close the opening; attach a sturdy chain and hang.

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Small Business Saturday

It’s small business Saturday so I thought it would be a great opportunity to remind you that your local stone yard Larry’s Cap Rock and Stone depends on you.

We have 12 employees total. Think about that: 5 fabricators, 4 office staff, 2 truck drivers, and 1 yard foreman. We employ no subcontracted labor. Our company relies on the founder’s core principle to guide and empower our staff : Serve each client humbly, gratefully, and with knowledge.

Our small business started in 1992 when Larry began selling stone to supplement his tire business and clothe and feed his 4 kids. 2 of those 4 kids manage the company.

Pictured from Top to Bottom:

Larry’s grandfather, Joseph Bernard Albregts from Holland

Larry with his wife Sara and their three daughters (2nd in from left to right Rebecca, Rachel & Allyson)

Larry’s father Earl Eugene Albregts with daughter Allyson

Ryan Albregts, Larry’s son

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Pedro

Behind every piece of stone we fabricate us is the inspiration of a talented designer, the knowledge and compassion of a knowledgable sales associate, and the hand of an experienced craftsmen.

And when it comes time to deliver your precious cargo, you are in good hands with Pedro. Pedro, a kind and experienced driver, is a Cuban immigrant to South Florida. Pedro has been with Larry’s for almost 5 years and is one of the most dedicated employees on staff. He has an easy going style and witty charm that serve him well on the challenging streets of Miami. Thank you for your service Pedro.

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2012 AIA Miami Design Awards

Arquitectonica, Oppenheim Architecture + Design and Mateu Architecture were among the big winners at the 58th Annual American Institute of Architects Miami Design Awards gala Friday night.
Arquitectonica and Oppenheim Architecture + Design both won twice for different projects, and Mateu Architecture was named Firm of the Year during the awards at the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center on Miami Beach.

The awards honored excellence in architecture, interior design, landscape, unbuilt design, student design, and the architecture firm of the year.
“The AIA Miami Design Awards highlight the very best that Miami has to offer. The competition continues to be extremely strong. Each winner personifies the creativity, innovation, and talent inherent in Miami’s architectural community,” stated Alex Silva, AIA Miami Chapter President. “More and more, Miami architects and designers are being lauded throughout the world for their unique outlook and exceptional work, and we are enormously proud to call them our own.”

A panel of architects and designers from California judged 140 applicants and bestowed 17 awards in six categories. The projects can be located elsewhere, but the applicants must practice in Miami or the Keys.
The complete winners of the 2012 AIA Miami Design Awards are:

• Excellence in Architecture: Arquitectonica, Florida International University School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA)

• Excellence in Architecture: Arquitectonica, East Los Angeles College Performing & Fine Arts Complex;

Excellence in Interior Design award-winner DEN Architecture for the Bilezikjian Apartment renovation.

• Excellence in Architecture: Cure and Penabad Architecture & Urban Design, MDO Building

• Excellence in Architecture: Max Strang Architecture, Lakehouse Residence

• Excellence in Architecture: Perez & Perez Architects Planners, Inc., Miami International Airport Metrorail Station

• Excellence in Architecture: Perkins + Will, Signature Place

• Excellence in Interior Design: DEN Architecture, Bilezikjian Apartment Renovation

• Excellence in Interior Design: FORMA Design Inc., BloÄ Dental

• Landscape Architecture: Raymond Jungles, Inc., 1111 Lincoln Road

• Unbuilt Design Award: Cure and Penabad Architecture & Urban Design, IMSA

• Unbuilt Design Award: Oppenheim Architecture + Design, Bel Air

• Unbuilt Design Award: Oppenheim Architecture + Design, Wharf Road

• Unbuilt Design Award: R & R Studios, Roberto Behar & Rosario Maquardt, Toftegards Plads Syd

• Unbuilt Design Award: Rene Gonzalez Architect, Dune Road Residence

• Student Design Award: Daisy Marie Nodal/Florida International University, Miami of Tomorrow

• Student Design Award: Eric Rodgers/University of Miami, Prana Fazenda House

• Firm of the Year: Mateu Architecture

• People’s Choice Award – Project Selected by the Public: 2020 Alton Road – Cube House

AIA Miami Honor Awards

The AIA Miami Honor Awards for 2012 were juried by a local committee to recognize outstanding achievement in architecture, urban design, contracting, engineering and other related industries. The honorees are:
• Architect of the Year: John Forbes, AIA – Forbes Architects
• Young Architect of the Year: Alyssa Kriplen, AIA – Allan T. Shulman Architect
• Urban Designer of the Year: Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co.
• Associate of the Year: Yovanna Alvarez, Associate AIA – HKS Architects
• Architectural Photographer of the Year: Greg Clark
• Contractor of the Year: Coastal Construction
• Consulting Engineer of the Year: John Moulder, PE
• Developer of the Year: Goldman Properties
• Leader in Education: Jean Francois LeJeune
• Leadership in Government: Alberto Carvalho
• Writing About Architecture: Marilys Nepomechie, FAIA
• Historic Preservation Award: William Cary

Larry’s Cap Rock and Stone would like to congratulate the award winners.