Two office warehouse buildings, built in the 1960s, have received a brand new Mediterranean (Greco-Roman) look along First Avenue in King of Prussia, Pa. What once was a brick office building at 1045 First Avenue now has durable EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems).And 250 yards down the street at 840 First Avenue, a second building has a similar look that makes these two buildings really stand out, according to Ed Rosselle of Trevdan, Inc., distributor for the projects.

“These are the most detailed, imaginative projects in which I’ve ever been involved,” said Rosselle. “They went from industrial looking to striking in just a matter of months.”

According to building owner, Bob Burch, the goal was to make 1045First Avenue look like it was the first building built there. With granite and marble columns, it looks as if the building is rising out of the ground -- solid and well grounded.

“The area became an office park in the 1960s and 1970s and the buildings were nondescript and they lacked character,” said Burch. “Then the area became more suburban, with a large mall nearby and a marketplace, raising the bar in the neighborhood. Design is fundamental in everything we do, so this was the perfect opportunity for us to purchase and completely renovate the two most unattractive buildings in the area. We wanted a place where tenants would see a real difference, and where there might have been vinyl tile, we used mosaic marble; instead of standard doors, we used mahogany.”

Michael Daley of Daley Plastering has worked with the construction manager, Brad White, of BCM Construction, LLC, for many years. White contacted Daley, who in turn knew who to call to get the perfect products for the renovation job. Renovation is a mild way of saying that these two buildings were basically “gutted” and used nine products from Sto Corp. to create new eye-catching office buildings.

The most obvious is the new cladding, a product from Sto Corp. called StoTherm NExT. It was used to clad 12,000 square feet of the exterior of the first office building and 15,000 in the second.  StoTherm is an EIF system, and combined with StoGuard, a spray-on building wrap, it incorporates the best of EIFS design flexibility, color range, great exterior lightweight insulation, and with moisture protection to provide a superior wall system. Sto Gold Fill, a joint treatment and part of the StoGuard system, was used to seal windows and sheathing joints, while the substrate was treated with Sto Gold Coat, a waterproof coating.

Sto Limestone finish was chosen to get that Greco-Roman look and design on the first building (1045) in shades of gray. Sto Limestone is a custom textured finish that provides the look of natural limestone in an acrylic based finish. Sto Limestone’s texture is achieved by applying two Sto 100 percent acrylic polymer finishes, first Stolit 1.0 and then Stolit Freeform. According to Architect Thomas Nickel of Wulff Architects, the 1045 building is all about understanding column order and proportion to create the very classic look.

For the second building (840) an orange/yellow “Venetian” color (in three different shades) with an acrylic based textured wall coating with the limestone finish and graded marble aggregate was chosen. The new cladding and finishes were applied directly over the existing masonry using this sophisticated Sto system.

“In the 840 building the owner was thinking Italian Renaissance,” said Nickel. “It has a very Roman ‘Pantheon’ feel due to the proportions, ornate pediment designs, column orders, and the rich orange (earthy) colors.”

In fact, Burch had just returned from Rome where he took photos of great structures of stone, marble and mosaics in rich colors, like the terracotta chosen on 840 First Avenue. According to Nickel, EIFS is an easily accessible material that aids in the scope and design diversity of the project. By using EIFS, they were able to reveal more ornamental shapes. “The limestone finish makes the buildings look more Classical Greco-Roman. These projects have been a lot of fun,” Nickel added.

In addition to the ornate finishes, they had numerous molds created including two lions with shields and floral background reliefs mounted in pediments over each entry way of 840 First Avenue. “The entryways make you feel like you are entering into an art museum,” said White. “The third entryway, using one more mold, will show horses bucking up in the air.There are cast molds all around the windows and when the sun goes down on the building itactually changes colors.”

“The entryway of 1045 First Avenue is phenomenal when the sun comes up on building,” White continued. “There are two ponds on each side and fountains will be added soon.”

According to Burch, the finish looks like it’s been on the buildings forever. “The materials, including the EIFS, really made a huge difference in the look of the building,” said Burch.

All involved agree that the EIF system was a great choice to give them the design flexibility and color choices they needed to create the unique look on each building.

About Sto Corp.

Sto Corp., based in Atlanta, Georgia, is an innovative world leader and producer of a broadrange of versatile cladding and coating systems for building construction, maintenance andrestoration. Sto Corp. is ISO 14001:2004 (environmental management) as well as ISO9001:2008 certified and operates production plants strategically located to serve more than200 distributor shipping locations across North America. At research and development laboratoriesin the U.S. and Europe, Sto continues to revolutionize the industry with the highest qualityproducts and application technology.

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