2007 Project of the Year: Landscape Project
Project: East Shore at The Woodlands
Owner: The Woodlands Operating Company
Landscape Architect: Clark Condon & Associates
Masonry Contractor: Hoggatt LP
Masonry Suppliers: Alamo Stone Co., Siteworks, Inc.
Stone and particular uses of stone are among the most important elements used to establish the identity and character of East Shore, a development in The Woodlands. The specified stone materials were selected in part because they are quarried relatively nearby. They are known as Cheyenne, a sandstone of tans and grays quarried in Oklahoma, and Cimarron, a limestone with a hint of gray to gold quarried in west Texas.
Cheyenne is laid in an ashlar pattern using designated ratios of chop face to bed face and tan to gray proportion. A 1:24 batter is maintained for these "vertical" faces at the Entry. To further anchor these walls and columns, stout, even height courses of Cimarron are used as a base. Thinner Cimarron is used similarly as caps, sill, and lintels to frame recesses in walls and columns, showing off the variable-color chopped faces on all vertical faces and a clean, saw-cut white on all horizontal faces. In an effort to elegantly understate the entry statement, lighting for the sign wall and four pedestrian gateway columns originates from within the masonry via fiber optic lighting. The light sources are carefully positioned so as to not be seen directly while entering or leaving East Shore. This required the mason to coordinate a network of conduit and use some ingenuity to help determine how best to set and secure the light-emitting channel inside each column.
The largest stone statement in East Shore to date, the East Shore Bridge provided an opportunity to not only repeat the elements, proportions, and lighting introduced at the Entry, but also allowed exploration of other applications for these materials. Vertical walls are contrasted with battered vertical walls, Cheyenne is introduced as a flagstone material, and the heights of the Cimarron base courses are justified by integrating them into the stone lake edge. East Shore Drive at the Bridge has a slight but noticeably curved alignment, yielding different length of inside and outside facades.
Particularly unique detailing at the bridge is evident in the Cimarron wall caps. These were hand-cut on respective radii and notched to receive a 1" square fiber optic light-emitting channel. These light channels shower the outside faces of the Bridge"s stone facade, accentuating the authentic stone texture and relief of the masonry. The individual lengths of these cap pieces are consistent at each side of the bridge in order to intentionally reduce the number of mortar joints visible from the drive. In an effort to hide the illuminator boxes which are the light sources for the fiber optic strands, the masonry contractor designed eight (8) vaults beneath the adjacent curbside sidewalks and ran an incredible network of conduit from them for fiber lighting strands, exhaust ventilation, air intake, and drainage weeps. Special consideration was given to stone ledge projections and heights to aid constructability and ensure the desired effect.